Meet the Etsy creator behind Beyoncé’s disco ball cowboy hat
The journey of Beyoncé’s sparkly “Renaissance” tour cowboy hat, which has been all over the internet this week, began in the humble basement of Abby Misbin’s childhood home in suburban Pennsylvania.
Misbin, known online by her company name Trending by Abby, calls the basement “the hat bunker.” From her parents’ home in Ambler, Penn., Misbin runs her humble Etsy shop selling custom cowboy hats.
This week, one of Misbin’s creations suddenly went viral after her disco ball cowboy hat crowned Beyoncé’s head for the announcement of her “Renaissance” world tour.
“I’m in a Twitter group chat and someone shared the tweet, and everyone says, ‘Is that it? Is that it?’” Misbin told the Times on Friday, recalling the morning the tour poster fell and Beyoncé sported his hat. “I woke up and thought, ‘This is definitely it.’ I remember holding it and now I can see it on her, close up.”
As fans swarmed the tour poster and signed up for ticket sales following Wednesday’s announcement, one of Misbin’s friends agreed to help her gain recognition for her work.
The friend started leaving comments on Beyoncé fansites, telling people that Misbin made the hat and linked it to her Etsy page. In return, the friend got a free disco hat and some cash. Suddenly, the Beyhive stormed onto Misbin’s Etsy page hoping to snag his own hat.
Misbin typically sold several hats a week. But in a single day this week, she sold all 60 disco ball hats ranging in price from $100 to $200 while hundreds of other orders waited in the queue.
She started her business in late 2020 amid a TikTok trend of people wearing cowboy hats with alcohol logos on the front going to parties. Some of Misbin’s early creations included a glowing Bud Light hat and a red, feathered Fireball hat. Other designs included university logos and sororities. Her friends modeled her at parties, sporting events and music festivals.
The idea for the disco hat came from one of her friends in early 2022, who suggested Misbin coat one of her hats entirely in mirror ball tiles.
The painstaking process requires each hat to have approximately 15,000 mirror tiles. Misbin places each piece of glass individually on the surface of the hat.
In June, the disco hat caught the eye of one of Beyoncé’s stylists, Hollywood-based costume designer B. Åkerlund, who sent Misbin a message on Etsy, where she has had more than 2,300 sales and around 700 followers on Instagram. The stylist asked for one of the hats for an upcoming untitled Beyoncé project.
Part of the “Yeehaw agenda,” Beyoncé is known for rocking the Black Western aesthetic in recent years. The look featured prominently in their Ivy Park Rodeo campaign with Adidas, which was “inspired by the inimitable style and undeniable influence of black cowboys and cowgirls.”
“I stayed up all night making the hat and then express mailed it to her,” Misbin said, noting that she sold it for $250.
But the payoff didn’t come until August, with the release of Beyoncé’s music video teaser for her song “I’m That Girl.” Misbin’s hat only appears on Beyoncé for a split second, but the cameo was enough to boost sales — but they skyrocketed this week.
On Friday morning, her mom called and woke her up to say her Etsy business and hat were showing up on Good Morning America. Misbin then made the 45-minute walk from her new Philadelphia apartment to her childhood home to get back to work in the “hut bunker.”
After posting several more fresh hats online Friday morning, shoppers snapped them up within 15 minutes. Since each hat takes about four hours to make, she tells clients that production will now take two to three months, still in time for Beyoncé’s tour, which begins in May.
Misbin does not intend to hire staff to meet production needs for the hats. Sometimes she hires friends to ship packages, or her sister, a former NASA rocket scientist, to cut up the mirror tiles. But as for the actual creation, she prefers to work alone.
“I don’t want to let someone else do the work,” Misbin told the Times while assembling one of her hats. “I like to make them myself. That’s the fun part for me.”
As a Beyoncé fan, Misbin first saw the multiple Grammy winner don a cowboy hat during a performance at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia on her “Formation” tour.
Although Beyoncé is making another stop in Philadelphia this July, Misbin has no plans to buy tickets. Instead, she and her friends will be standing outside the stadium selling cowboy hats.
https://www.latimes.com/entertainment-arts/music/story/2023-02-04/beyonce-renaissance-tour-disco-cowboy-hat-etsy-creator Meet the Etsy creator behind Beyoncé’s disco ball cowboy hat