Kent County designer’s hats seen in Rose Parade

GAINES TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) — Some of the marchers in Wednesday’s Rose Parade were sporting hats designed in Kent County.

Heather Werkema-Smith designs and makes hats at her home business, Initial Impressions by HWS near Caledonia. This year, Rose Parade spectators saw 21 of them on the heads of the Mid America Cowgirls Drill Team, which is based in Three Oaks in southwest Michigan.

Werkema-Smith has been designing hats since 2016. She said she started making horse show costumes and matching hats for her daughters and then decided she could turn her creativity into a business. Since then, her hats have been worn overseas and at the last presidential inauguration.

“When people support me, they are supporting my family directly,” she told News 8. “This money goes right into helping my girls go to horse shows and ride.

“I just really have a passion for helping people look great,” she added.

Interested customers can reach Initial Impressions by HWS on Facebook. Prices start at $185.