How Beyoncé wore a hat I designed impacted my Etsy business


  • Abby Misbin is the founder of Trending by Abby, an Etsy shop where she sells a variety of hats.
  • In June 2022, a stylist requested a hat for Beyoncé. After she was spotted wearing it, business skyrocketed.
  • Now Misbin works 12 to 15 hour days to keep up with the 6,000 waiting list for the disco ball hat.

This essay is based on a conversation with Abby Misbin, a 24-year-old Etsy seller from Pennsylvania, about her business. It has been edited for length and clarity.

In June 2022 I received an inquiry to my Etsy shop Trending by Abby, which I opened in 2020. It came from a stylist who came across my shop and said she works with Beyoncé. She wanted to know if I could make her one of my disco ball cowboy hats within a week.

I got in touch with her straight away and said it would be an honor.

a disco ball cowboy hat

Misbins disco ball cowboy hat.

Courtesy of Abby Misbin

As soon as she placed the order that night, I began work on it in my parents’ unfinished basement in Ambler, Pennsylvania, which I refer to as the “Hat Bunker.”

The hat, which I charged $250 for, took six hours to complete and I had to manually attach nearly 15,000 mirrored tiles to its surfaces, including the bottom of the hat.

The next morning I shipped it to Los Angeles as a priority overnight to ensure it arrived on time before it was actually needed.

I was so excited that I told all my friends and co-workers at the local Starbucks, where I was working at the time, that I had made a hat for Beyoncé. I’m not sure if they really believed me or thought I was joking.

Then I went back to business as usual, not knowing how or when the hat might be used.

I haven’t seen the hat for 6 months

In December, Beyoncé posted a video teaser on social media promoting her album release, and she wore the hat.

The clip was only a few seconds long but I was hooked and thought that was the end of the story – but it was just the beginning.

The Renaissance World Tour was announced on February 1st, and the same stylist who ordered the hat from me posted several pictures of Beyoncé on social media that day, including one of her wearing my hat.

But the stylist hadn’t tagged my shop in her post, so no one knew the hat was my design. I have a degree in Marketing, but my least favorite thing has always been having my own business.

I knew if I could tag my shop on a Beyoncé fansite, I could probably make a sale or two

I offered my friend Ryan $100 to help me. Ryan messaged every fan account he could find, and a Twitter account with 40,000+ followers was kind enough to take a screenshot of my Etsy shop and tag me. The tweet got more than 4,000 likes.

That’s when things started to explode. On February 1st, I sold 70 disco ball hats at an increased price of $350 each. Before Beyoncé wore one, I was selling about 25 a month. I increased the price because I realized I was undercharging between the cost of materials and labor for the hats.

People started reaching out to me with all sorts of time-sensitive requests and asking if I could make them a disco ball hat for the Super Bowl or Carnival in Brazil. One even offered triple the price for a single hat if she could get it right away. There were offers I just couldn’t say no to.

But it didn’t take me long to realize that unless I paused orders I wouldn’t be able to keep up with production, so I decided to temporarily stop ordering this particular hat.

With the help of another friend, I created a temporary email sign-up list for anyone interested in receiving a notification when the disco ball hats would be available again.

I estimated around 500 people would sign up, but nearly 6,000 people did.

For the past month and a half I’ve been working 12 to 15 hour days

It’s not as tiring as it sounds as I mostly work from home in my pajamas. I’m not really the talkative type, so I enjoy being alone and just working on my hats.

a table with accessories for hat making

Misbin’s “Has Bunker”.

Courtesy of Abby Misbin

What I love most about my business is the creative part. I am primarily a hat decorator and I am not willing to sacrifice the quality of my products in order to sell more of them.

However, I have recruited my boyfriend, family and friends to help out in the backend with activities like cutting mirror tiles or pulling out supplies, but as far as the hat making itself goes, I’m not willing to delegate.

Thanks to her help I shave about an hour off the process of making one disco ball hat, so at five hours per hat I can usually make about 15 a week.

The truth is I can’t make them fast enough to meet current demand so I don’t blame anyone who finds another seller. Some people don’t want to wait or think mine are too expensive and I understand that.

Ultimately, I didn’t create the disco ball hat. These hats were around long before I started making them, so I’m not trying to monopolize the concept.

If you want to make one yourself, I say go ahead

If you’re looking to buy one from someone else, just be aware that there’s not only a variety of prices, but also different levels of quality.

As long as another seller isn’t actively impersonating me or using my product images, which unfortunately has already happened, I have no problem with people selling their own variant.

Unlike concert tickets that sell out, I have an infinite number of hats – it will just be some time before I can get them ready and in the hands of anyone who wants one.

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