Future 50: Retail return boosts Little Hotdog Watson

Little Hotdog Watson hat

Little Hotdog Watson's hats are full of high-quality details - Credit: Little Hotdog Watson

Specialist children’s hat-maker sees sales swing back to shops as lockdown eases. 

“The past year has changed the face of retail,” says Emma Watson of Little Hotdog Watson. “It's changed people’s shopping habits, when they’ve had to really think about what they purchase.” 


The Future 50 programme is supported by the partner businesses - Credit: Archant

That move to more considered purchase has, she says, played to the Norwich-based Future 50 brand’s strengths, because so much detail and consideration goes into all of its children’s hats. Especially with a return to planning for holidays after lockdown and carefully choosing items for their staycations. Emma says. “You can see parents planning to go away for half term, so two weeks before half term we'd see sales pick up.” 

Little Hotdog Watson founder Emma Watson

Emma Watson founded her company when she spotted a gap in the market for high-quality children's hats - Credit: Little Hotdog Watson

The business began when Emma, who had worked in the fashion industry in London, left the capital with her husband to start a family. "We went on our first family holiday and I just had that lightbulb moment,” she explains. “I thought, I can I can solve this problem - I can make it easier to get out and about with a little baby but also with a family.” 

Little Hotdog Watson hat

Little Hotdog Watson hats are stylish, function and well-made - Credit: Little Hotdog Watson

When the business started it was based on direct sale, but that was soon overtaken by a wholesale approach, supplying hats to retailers. "Through pandemic, we tipped back into direct sales again,” Emma says. “What I'm seeing in the last two months is shops and boutiques opening, confidence building and retailers really wanting to place orders again.” 

Little Hotdog Watson children's hat

The Little Hotdog Watson range aims to go beyond blue-for-boy, pink-for-a-girl with hats children want to wear - Credit: Little Hotdog Watson

Little Hotdog Watson Cub hat

The Little Hotdog Watson Cub hat, with lobster design - Credit: Little Hotdog Watson

Little Hotdog Watson now has summer and winter ranges, with 15-20 hats in each. It is purely hats: “A lot of children's brands want to do everything, but I always felt that it's okay to just be good at one thing and do it really well," Emma says. "And that's where I could see a gap in the market.” 

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Her approach is, she says, the antithesis of fast fashion, as she spends a long time on product development and is very selective about the suppliers she works with. “My approach is all about: Let's make what we need, and make it better,” she concludes. 

For further information see www.littlehotdogwatson.com 

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