Hatsational is back and opening in Saratoga Springs – Saratogian
SARATOGA SPRINGS, NY — Hatsational, the men’s haberdashery and women’s clothing store, is back in business.
With both stores united in one location at 506 Broadway, owner Joyce Locks looks forward to welcoming customers and helping them look and feel good.
A ribbon cutting ceremony for the new flagship store was held in the presence of city and state officials. A representative of Representative Carrie Woerner (D-Round Lake) presented Locks with a congratulatory letter praising Hatsational as a “significant and essential component of Saratoga Springs retail.”
Locks also received proclamations and certificates from Sen. Daphne Jordan (R, C, I-Halfmoon) and Spa City Mayor Ron Kim.
“I can’t think of a better location for a hat shop than Saratoga Springs,” commented Jordan.
Locks is already a household name, not only in Saratoga Springs but also in the hat industry itself. In 2019 she was named Retailer of the Year by the Headwear Association. In the more than 100 years that the award has been presented, Locks is the first female founder to receive the prestigious national title.
“That was my Oscar,” she recalls. “That was the proudest moment I’ve ever had.”
Her husband Roger also credits her with shaping the image of how people dress for a day at the racetrack.
“When we started 13 years ago, we had a pop-up tent in Congress Park on ‘dark Tuesdays,'” he said. “I think back then maybe 30% of the people who went to the circuit wore hats. Then the next year it went to 40%, then to 50%. Now around 80% of the people at the circuit wear hats.”
From those humble beginnings with a tent in the park, Hatsational has really evolved. They are now a very recognizable kiosk at Saratoga Springs Racecourse, and their new Broadway location has large storefronts full of colorful displays. Hatsational once had three different locations, but locks reduced the number to two during the pandemic.
“It was a difficult time,” she admitted. “I hope I never go through that again.”
She soon made the decision to combine her two remaining stores, which were side by side and linked internally, into one larger store. The new location had a tentative opening on March 1st and the ribbon cutting a month later, with plans for a grand opening extravaganza on April 9th.
Locks is convinced that bringing everything under one roof was the right decision.
“The new location is flowing so well,” she commented. “It enables interaction with the customer.”
She was joined in celebrating the ribbon-cutting by Locks’ longtime friend and mentor Bernard Grossman, who traveled from New York City to see her. Grossman had nothing but praise for Locks’ new business and her career in the hat business.
“This store is a lot more elaborate than you think,” he explained. “There is so much detail in everything and there is nowhere else like it. The range is unique. You won’t find anything like it. Joyce has exceptional taste and talent.”
In fact, all of the items found at Hatsational are rich in color, material, and style. The bow tie department alone has more colors and patterns than a typical clothing store. The store is filled to the brim with fine clothing, designer labels, every accessory from umbrellas to wallets to cufflinks and of course hats of all shapes, colors and styles – including Locks’ own line of bespoke creations.
Hatsational has everything you need to wear or take with you on a day trip, be it a special occasion or a day at the races.
“It sounds silly to say, but you could walk in here completely naked and we’ll get you fully dressed,” Roger said. “The key is that we have a lot of stock. Our motto is “You are here to choose, not to commit.” We have it all – every accessory, everything you can think of. Joyce is very talented. Your creativity is incomparable.
“She knows how to make someone look good. If you try on a hat and she doesn’t like it, she immediately tells you to take it off.”
“The key to this place is being able to choose a style that suits you,” agreed Locks. “I’ve had people come in here saying they don’t look good in hats. Well, that’s because they couldn’t find a hat style that fit them. We want you to feel empowered, alive and beautiful – or handsome – when you put on a hat. That’s why I love what I do.”
With pandemic restrictions finally easing and hopes for a more normal summer around the corner, Locks can’t wait for the track season to start.
“I think this year is going to be absolutely phenomenal,” she said enthusiastically. “People want to go out and dress up. We’ve been in our pajamas for two years and we’re sick of it. I think it’s going to be a great year.”
For more information about Hatsational, visit www.hatsational.com or call the store at (518) 587-1022.