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Design Thinking: Teressa Foglia

(Image courtesy of Teressa Foglia)

In Graduate School, one of the buzzwords professors love to discuss is "Design Thinking." Design Thinking is an iterative process in which we seek to understand the user, challenge assumptions, and redefine problems to identify alternative strategies and solutions that might not be instantly apparent with our initial level of understanding (Dam and Siang). Design Thinking enables a company to understand consumer needs to serve their audience better. For this, project, I contacted different companies to learn how the organizations apply Design Thinking into their market offerings. I had the opportunity to talk with founder and designer Teressa Foglia to learn more about the mission and vision of her company/

(Image courtesy of Teressa Foglia. Image depicts founder Teressa Foglia)

1. What makes Teressa Foglia different from other hats on the market?

Our bespoke business model differentiates us; all of our pieces are made to measure and one-of-a-kind. Each piece we create is unique, especially the hats we design with our clients. The customization process allows our hats to be extensions of our client’s personalities and lives, which means there is no other piece like it!

(Image courtesy of Teressa Foglia)

2. How does you stay ahead of upcoming trends?

We don’t focus very much on trends. Sustainability is at the core of my business,which is the antithesis of the fast-fashion corporations that generate trends. Instead, we focus on designing and crafting hats that are intended to last a lifetime. Our clients design hats based on their individual experiences and many of them choose to add a special quote, symbol, gem, or family heirloom to truly make it their own. A bespoke hat will never go out of style and instead is the perfect compliment to any outfit over multiple seasons.

(Image courtesy of Teressa Foglia)

3. Where does you draw inspiration from during the design process?

I glean a lot of inspiration from my travels; I have visited over 35 countries and derive inspiration from landscapes, cultures, and people I meet. Our collections incorporate these aspects through distinctive colors and designs. In addition to our ready-to-wear collection, clients can further customize any of our hats with our design team led by Tyler Hays Wild, my partner in business and life. When designing a custom hat with a client, Tyler draws inspiration from their lives, personalities, passions, and relationships to create a piece unique to them.

(Image courtesy of Teressa Foglia)

4. How do you incorporate its mission and vision into its product offerings?

Sustainability and community are the cornerstones of my business. We achieve true sustainability by manufacturing hats to meet, not exceed, demand. This helps to ensure that we are never being wasteful or overproducing, which aligns with our slow-fashion mindset. Additionally, we source and use only the highest quality straws and felts and often incorporate vintage pieces into our hats that otherwise may end up in a landfill. When we have scrap materials, we either re-use them in one of our pieces or

donate them. What makes us most sustainable, though, is creating pieces with structural and creative integrity, which will never wither nor go out of style.

(Image courtesy of Teressa Foglia)

We stay connected to our community by partnering with independent artisans worldwide and supporting other sustainable, women-owned businesses. We foster a strong coalition of fashionable women with excellent product offerings by partnering and supporting businesses whose missions align with ours. We also, of course, give back to our community as much as possible. In 2021, we were excited to donate to Black Girls Code, Chiquita's Friends, CASA Orange County, The Loveland Foundation, Children's Hospital LA, the Pacific Marine Mammal Center, and more organizations! Donating to charitable organizations is incredibly important to me, and it helps us engage with our fantastic community.

(Image courtesy of Teressa Foglia)

5. What is the future of the company?

Without giving too much away, we are excited to open a few more stores, both permanent and pop-ups, in 2022. Additionally, we have taken Teressa Foglia into the Metaverse with the first-ever NFT hat. We are excited to continue cultivating experiences, both IRL and in the Metaverse!

(Image courtesy of Teressa Foglia)


Me on my first day of graduate school

Rachel Huss

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