RIVER’S BRIM — Special event planned for store producing customized cowboy, felt and straw hats

Published 12:06 am Friday, July 8, 2022

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ORANGE — It is humid as heck in Southeast Texas, and the sweltering heat is only getting hotter.

As hairdos become flatter, hats rise in favor to offer various uses for the wearer. The hat is a marvel of utility, from ventilation and sun blocking to fashion statements and pushing political opinions.

For Brittni Sonnier, an Orange County resident, opening “River’s Brim” July 9 is her dream of becoming an entrepreneur made reality.

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The fun runs from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. at 1329 Beagle Road in Orange.

“There will be refreshments, snacks, giveaways and then the first 10 customers get 10 percent off,” Sonnier said. “There will also be a vendor, Texas Teal Rose, selling women’s and children’s clothes, accessories and shoes.”

River’s Brim sells customized cowboy, felt and straw hats.

“Southeast Texas is home to festivals, concerts and rodeos,” Sonnier said. “My hats differ from other brands and businesses that sell hats because at ‘River’s Brims,’ the possibilities are endless as we offer many shapes, colors and sizes of hats, as well as 50 different bands and accessories. Also, when you look in fashion magazines, most looks are finished with a stylish hat to tie the outfit together. So, I believe there is something for everyone here.”

Pictured is a hat display at River’s Brim in Orange. (Courtesy photo)

Sonnier’s passion for hats stems from pairing hats with outfits when she travels.

“Hats are something that have always been a must on my list to pack when going on vacation,” she said. “Hats have always been one of my favorite staple pieces for outfits. My personal collection of hats is very large, and if you ask my husband, he will say it’s a problem, but I say it’s an obsession!”

Sonnier’s business is located on her home property for convenience as she juggles “mommy and wifey,” duties.

She is clearly the embodiment of female power.

“The shop being so close is how I can maintain all of my responsibilities, as well as follow my dreams,” she said.

“Being a mom to River, a toddler boy, and juggling everything for this small business has been anything but smooth sailing,” she said. “But it has always been worth it. River is out there every day and night with me while I work. When he looks back in a few years, I hope he remembers and becomes inspired by seeing how hard his mom worked and how happy it made her for all her visions to come to life.”

After the grand opening, Sonnier said the business will continue as appointment only.

“I am still working on my future availability to open the shop every Saturday,” she said. “I also plan on being present at shows, markets and pop-up events.”

Sonnier said her budding business relationship with Texas Teal Rose owner Jennifer Dickerson bloomed from support to guidance.

“She has answered, what I feel like is, a thousand questions and has offered so much help and support,” she said. “So, when the idea came to me of having something extra for customers during the grand opening, I knew I wanted Jennifer to join.”

Texas Teal Rose is an Orange County online retail shop geared towards women, children and home goods.

“I will have two racks of clothes, shoes and accessories, as well as fall items, school spirit shirts, dresses, crop tops and everyday casual wear,” Sonnier said.

Jennifer Dickerson, owner of Texas Teal Rose, is seen at The Oaks Event Center’s Spring Fling Event March 20, 2021, in Vidor. (Courtesy photo)

Dickerson attends events as a “pop-up” vender until she can acquire a brick-and-mortar location.

“I have an office inside of my house that I run my business from,” she said. “All of my inventory, shipping, live videos and product pictures happen in that room. When somebody orders, I get their items together to package, weigh the items, print out the label for shipping, neatly package the items in a poly mailer and then put the shipping label on it and it is ready to send off.

“Some days are harder than others. As I am a stay-at-home mom with two kids ages eight-months-old to three-and-a half years-old, so I cannot always get things done right away like I would like to. However, Aria, my toddler, likes to help with ‘mommy’s business,’ while the baby is asleep. She helps me print up labels, packing slips, and sometimes even packs orders with me.”

Dickerson said buying locally means a lot to the small businesses.

“It shows you support them and what they have to offer,” she said. “You are helping put food on the table for their families and gas in the car. By shopping local, you get the best customer service, more one-on-one attention to your needs and we strive to fix anything that does not exceed our customer’s expectations.”

For more information on River’s Brims, email Sonnier at @riversbrims@yahoo.com or call 409-344-3732.

For more information on Texas Teal Rose, visit texastealrose.com.

By Sierra Kondos