I met Sonia at AfroPunk Fest in 2014. She was one of my volunteers at the House of Marley booth area for the weekend. Side note, if you didn't stop by the House of Marley area last year, yourrrrrrr bad! Anyways...
Sonia, briefly spoke about having a hat company and it immediately took my interest, because I don't know anyone that designs hats. We kept in contact on Facebook, and I finally reached out to her for an interview. I loveeeeee interviewing people so I was very excited to draft up these questions for her, peep dem below.
Name: Sonia Luthria
City/Location: Bombay, India | Brooklyn, NY
Website(s): Coming late.
How long have you been designing hats? And when did you realize your designs could turn into a lucrative business?
I started making hats in February 2014 so a little over a year now. I started off with a Facebook and Instagram page for the hats and just invited everyone I knew to like the page. I guess thats pretty standard. People seemed to respond well to it, so i figured why not. At the time I was not sure if it was lucrative or not i just had nothing to lose by trying.
Why did you choose hats?
I really just felt like it. So I made a few samples (5) and then just went crazy and made a few hundred in all different prints and colors. Once I started I couldn't stop it was like a weird addiction. I recently started making fanny packs too. And would gradually like to make other things too.
Who is your favorite hat designer? Or a creator in general that you draw inspiration from?
I am pretty new to hat making, so prior to this I did not really follow any hat trends or designers. so I cannot say I have a favorite hat designer. I do think on a subconscious level it was a story called "the man and his caps" that might have done it for me. It is about a hat/cap peddler that wears his entire stock of caps on his head and goes through villages and towns selling his wares. I don't wear all my hats on my head while selling but that is the dream.
Where did the name Inshadycompany come from?
I thought about the name Inshadycompany long before I even started making hats. I guess I kept it at the back of my mind, waiting for the right opportunity to present itself. I guess the thought came from me wanting to make lampshades and it just never materialized. But now I think about it caps, lampshades they are not really that different.
Where would you like to be in the next year, five years, 10 years?
I am terrible at planning. I like to take each day as it comes. I guess this is not a good business plan? I know what I am doing tomorrow/ next weekend but 5 years who knows. I know I would like to travel and see more of the world so hopefully I will be peddling hats in other places too, spreading joy and caps like the man in the story.
If you could pick anyone to collab with for a hat design who would it be?
I have already collaborated with a friend on a hat, her name is Alison. That was the first time and hopefully not the last time I do something like that. She designed the print and I made a hat in it. We ( her and I) are quite satisfied with the way they turned out. I am hoping I can do more collaborations with friends.
If you could give a hat to anyone in the world who would it be and why?
My grandma but I guess she says that she "is not a hat person".
If you would like to reach out to Sonia and purchase a hat, frannypack or whatever awesome product she designs, please email her at email@example.com.
It was a pleasure interviewing Sonia and learning about her passions. Can't wait to cop a couple hats for myself!