4 Pauls: Before, During, After

Tuesday, December 27th, 2011

Cold but sunny, dark out now

2 cups of coffee, about to have another, never enough!

I’m currently sitting backstage during the theatre show that the Pauls and I run every December, at least we have for the last 6 years. Paul 4 is running lights and Paul 2 is running sound. Did you know that before we bought Paul’s Hat Works the four of us did a lot of theatre and themed events? Did you know that Paul 3 has been a partial owner of a grocery coop for the last 5 years and her last day is on Friday because she’s going to focus hard on Paul’s Hat Works so we can make this New York thing happen? Did you know that Paul 4 teaches at preschool 3 days a week? And myself and Paul 2 teach high school sewing classes? Did you know I take costume design gigs from time to time for theatre and tv? Did you know that Paul 4 is passionate about building free haunted houses for the community? Did you know that Paul 2 wants to produce theatre again? That Paul 3 wants to be an HIV/Aids nurse, and Paul 1 takes as many ballet and jazz classes as possible in between everything?

The four of us had so many dreams and interests before Paul’s Hat Works appeared, and we still do. However, human beings aren’t capable of doing absolutely everything, or at least not everything at the same time. So, since taking over the shop, we have learned how to incorporate our other interests into our business, or use our shop to help out the other communities we’re involved with.

We throw fun, free, themed events at our store where we integrate and expose local artists and musicians to our customers, friends, and community members. We lend our sewing workshop to those making costumes for haunted houses and other events. In the basement of our hat shop we have a large inventory of props, costumes, and set pieces that we lend out to whomever, whenever. We have a garden in the backyard that we invite any green thumbs to participate in and take advantage of. We always have a full pot of coffee and welcome any friend, neighbor, or stranger to take a load off, hang out, have a cup of coffee, and talk.

We are not just a hat shop, we are a community space and a group dedicated to the entertainment, the promotion, and the continuation of other local artists and community members, and it is this feeling and sense of community and of circles upon circles intersecting that we hope to bring with us to New York alongside our hats.

As of now, we are exactly a week into our campaign and we have raised $1,780, one fourteenth of what we need to get us to New York. But I am not discouraged. It’s still a significant amount, and I trust that we will get what we need to get there because it simply needs to happen. I think we will benefit and learn a lot from New York, and New York will benefit from and enjoy the quirky qualities that we will bring.

We stand for quality goods, for handmade items, for integrity in product, for community, for fun, and for giving. We stand for the propagation of all these things. Do you?

~ Paul 1