New business success is often a bit like pulling a rabbit out of a hat, which means that Arun Mistry is halfway there already, thanks to his company, Carmi Hatters. He says that he launched his millinery business using his father’s contacts, after his dad’s original partnership in the hat industry was dissolved. His aim was to combine his passion for textiles with his ability to put his own unique stamp on the design and manufacturing process. “Carmi Hatters manufactures all kinds of hats – all to SABS standards - although we specialise in baseball caps. We also make custom hats for customers and uniform hats and caps for government institutions like the SAPS, SANDF, SAAF, Transnet and SARS. We also manufacture hats for church groups, wedding functions and schools,” says Arun. He adds that he particularly loves the creativity aspect of the business, along with the challenge of putting systems and procedures into place for mass production. He points out that he thrives on challenges and it gives him great pleasure to be able to provide alternatives and to find solutions to differing client requests. “I will soon be introducing my nephew to the business, and with this added input I hope to become the leading hat manufacturer in the country. Moving forward, we are also keen to move our factory to bigger premises and to improve our in-house training facilities, in order to develop a more skilled workforce. We are busy planning an online store as well and ultimately, I envision opening franchise stores in all the major centres around the country, under the banner of ‘Hat City’,” he concludes.