About the "Top Hat" Archie

Archie (Barbara) Burkel, also known as "Top Hat," grew up loving hats.  But it would take a move to Charleston, South Carolina to motivate her to do something besides simply wear them herself.  She set out to encourage other Ladies who love to wear hats to do so as well.

wHAT began in the Spring of 2001 with four (4) women in a loosely-knit group has grown into The Hat Ladies LLC, a well-structured meaningful Organization with hundreds (100's) of members. New members of all ages and backgrounds join each week, while cHApTerS are forming across the country.

"Meeting and Eating" activities quickly expanded to participation in civic, cultural, educational, and social events.  Soon businesses began creating "Hatpenings" just for The Hat Ladies; organizations started inviting them to their functions as a lovely addition.  The Hat Ladies can even be seen as being patriotic and stimulating the economy.  Hat shops have multiplied in towns where Ladies reside, and stores carrying accessories have experienced their own "trickle down" theory.  The Hat Ladies movement may start (h)at the top, but it flows right down to the jewelry, purse, and shoes. 

Ladies are feeling pretty and having FUN--MEANINGFUL FUN...something that doesn't hurt in the best of times and surely doesn't hurt when Americans are experiencing anxiety and uncertainty. Their hats are a powerful symbol of volunteerism, for when one looks and feels good, one does good. Thus The Hat Ladies effortlessly blend camaraderie AND community service.

Above all, people are coming together because of The Hat Ladies.  The love of hats is not tied to a particular age, gender, religion, ethnicity, or culture; it cuts across all differences. It is the perfect icebreaker.  Total strangers are talking to one another, expressing their admiration for The Ladies' hats. They typically share their own love of  hats, then start wearing theirs, too.  Confidence and communication are wHAT it's all about.  Hat by hat, barriers between people are dissolving.

Welcome to The Hat Ladies website.  Learn, laugh, and let your fingers do the walking through the hat-related topics contained herein.  Enjoy your hatventure!  And don't forget to wear those hats!  Why should our ancestors have had all the fun?  Besides, who knows?  Perhaps a Hat Ladies cHApTer will be coming soon to a town near you!

(A Few of) The Many Hats of Archie

How many hats does she have? Scroll down for the answer.

Answer: "Not enough!"



Chosen as one of the ten "Women of the Year" by Skirt! Magazine, www.skirtmag.com

Public Speaker

 Women's groups, community groups, church groups, conferences, fashion-related business meeting, College of Charleston.  Themes: wHAT's in a Hat; Putting it All Together; Thinking Outside the (Hat) Box; Self-Esteem, Following Your Bliss; Creativity is Ageless; Look Good/Feel Good/Do Good; Re-Inventing Yourself; any number of topics can be "pulled out of (Archie's) hat!

Print Modeling

"24/7 South Carolina Edition," Available October 2004

"Graces Hat" Magazine, September 2003

"Women Through The Lens," representing "Femininity," Charleston City Paper May 1, 2002

1st Place (Personality Photo or Portrait): "The Hat Lady," 2002 South Carolina Press Association Awards

Television and Radio

Comcast Cable Channel 28, Tammy Show, "The Hat Ladies 3rd Annual Easter Promenade" Charleston, SC, April 2004

WCSC Channel 5, Carolyn Murray, "The Hat Ladies 3rd Annual Easter Promenade"

WTMA Richard Todd Morning Show and Rocky D afternoon show, "The Hat Ladies 3rd Annual Easter Promenade"

Bridge 105.5, Morgan Green, "The Hat Ladies 3rd Annual Easter Promenade"

Television Commercial for Prevecare - February 2004

Television Commercial for South Carolina Bank & Trust, Duet Films, Charlotte, NC, January 2004 - March 2004

30 minute Live Interview, Channel WHHI, with Mary Amonetti, "Lowcountry View," Hilton Head, SC, November 2003

Newscast Interview, Channel 4 WCIV, "The Second Annual Hat Ladies Artisans and Artists Show at The Old City Jail," Charleston, SC, October 2003

Radio Interview, WTMA 102.5, with Rocky D, "The Second Annual Hat Ladies Artisans and Artists Show at The Old City Jail," Charleston, SC, October 2003

Radio Interview, WTMA 102.5, with Rocky D, "The Second Annual Hat Ladies Easter Promenade" Charleston, SC, April 2003

Newscast Interview, Channel 4 WCIV, while awaiting arrival of "Good Morning, America," Charleston, SC, November 2002


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Copyright ©2002 The Hat Ladies of CharlestonSM. All rights reserved.