Sister act creates fashionable bathing hats
Call it the "Sisterhood of the Traveling Hats." This trio of Greenwich natives took the memories of their mom's old-fashioned bathing cap and combined it with their passions for business and innovation to create a unique combination water-tight bathing hat, Shore Sunhats.
"We're three sisters, but two of us have very difficult hair," said Kim Morrow Laguzza, now of New Canaan. "Donna has never had a bad hair day in her whole life, but (Tracy and I), we blow dry it, we color it, we straighten it. We do all that stuff," she said, just to maintain hair equilibrium.
So, when it comes time to enter the pool, like their mother used to do wearing the old-style rubber bathing cap, it's always been a choice between fighting to salvage whatever work was done on their locks and trying to maintain some semblance of fashion sense.
"Our mom used to wear those bathing caps with the rubber flowers on them, back when," Laguzza said. "We thought, `We've got to have something better than that.' We wanted to look fashionable, but we also wanted to protect our hair."
Last year, Tracy Morrow Bundy, who lives in Dallas, was sitting by her pool, having received a 48-hour hair treatment, when her kids asked her to take a swim. That's when the idea struck her for a waterproof, protective covering that was also attractive and fashionable.
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"Our unique patent-pending design makes our hats the only ones that can actually keep your hair dry and protect you from water, chlorine and the elements," Bundy said.
And so, about 18 months ago, Shore Sunhats was born.
"From that point on, we really took it seriously," Laguzza said.
The three sisters brought different backgrounds to the table. Both Laguzza and Donna Morrow, of Manhattan, have law degrees and have also been involved with finance, while Bundy comes from a marketing background.
"It really was the perfect combination of experience that we all pulled together and started this business together, so it really worked out well," Laguzza said.
"The best part of being business partners with my sisters is that we know each other's strengths and can always keep each other motivated," Bundy said. "Starting a business is a lot of hard work, but when you are doing it with your sisters, it can be a lot of fun too."
"Developing a product that is both stylish and functional has been extremely rewarding," Morrow said.
"The amazing part was that we created a sunhat with one purpose in mind -- keeping your hair dry while you were enjoying the ocean or the pool -- but ended up with a product that actually has many other wonderful attributes," she said, including protecting hair color from the sun.
"The feedback we've gotten has been amazing," said Laguzza, proudly noting that their hats are being written up in Oprah's O magazine. "It's been very exciting."
The sisters' selections were the focus of a trunk show on June 15 at the Darien Sport Shop, 1127 Boston Post Road.
While the hat and matching tote bags are available through their website, the sisters have received requests to share their merchandise around the U.S.
"We've been invited all over the country for trunk shows," Kim said. "It has been amazing."
For more information, visit www.shoresunhats.com.
Jarret Liotta is a freelance writer.