It wouldn’t be Beef Australia without the Two Mad Hatters.
Principals Robyn Strang and Kathy Moloney have been in their unique hat-making business for as long as the world-renowned beef expo has been operating, exhibiting every three years, and they’ll be back again this year.
Described as two great friends in business and at play, their sheer hard work and knowledge of the rural millinery scene has ensured they continue to shine in their 22nd year.
This year the Two Mad Hatters banner will be flying under the Santa Gertrudis tent, where both old favourites and stunning new creations will be on offer.
One of those to look out for is ‘The Flemington’, which embraces the classic trackside look with its large brim.
Kathy said they were also building up a good stock of old favourites, which they knew customers always looked out for.
Both formerly from Longreach, they first attended the beef expo in Rockhampton in May 1997 as part of the Longreach-based Bush Harvest craft co-op stand, then every expo after that under their own business label.
“We love attending Beef,” Kathy said. “There are big crowds and exposure to a diverse customer base.
“International travellers have always been fantastic for us, and we can develop new markets around Australia as a result of Beef.”
While Robyn now lives in Townsville and Kathy is based at Wallumbilla, near Roma, they continue to market together and service their own client bases in the north and south of the state.
Women from right across the country have been sourcing the handmade fabric hats that have been individually sewn, making each one a custom design featuring signature materials.
Their unique operation has seen Robin and Kathy featured in a book by Kerry Phipps, titled Success Stories of Regional Entrepreneurs.
For people keen to have a sneak peak of this year’s offering, Kathy will be taking her hats to the Tambo Stock Show this Saturday.
“I love supporting regional events, whether they’re large or small – they’re the backbone of our communities,” said Kathy.