Markia Herro is the designer, maker and sole proprietor behind Herron Hats, a line of fashion-forward fedoras and other classic wide-brim styles. The Monticello native said she started her own business in 2016 “when faced with the daunting task of finding an accessory” that worked with her “unique style.” She’s self-taught; she watched tutorials online and disassembled old hats to learn the craft. Her hats are made of rabbit felt and come in various sizes and bold colors with snazzy accoutrements. The inside black lining in the crown of her “Nevaeh” hat has the word “anarchy” printed in white with white polka dots lining the brim. If you need a one-of-a-kind, she’s game for bespoke work, too. In her day job, Herron is an instructional designer at UA Little Rock. Buy a hat at herronhats.com and follow @herronhats on Instagram, where you’ll see celebs like R&B singer Anthony Hamilton and actor and writer Lena Waithe styling Herron’s toppers.
1. What are you working on? I’m in the process of rebranding and refining my processes for making hats so that I can become more efficient. By spring, I hope to produce a line of hats that reflects a renewal of my craft.
2. Where is your favorite local spot to gather inspiration? On the campus of UA Little Rock, the second floor of Dickinson Hall brings me serenity and clarity. There, I am able to focus and flesh out fresh ideas that otherwise seem stifled by clutter and distractions.
3. Tell us three handmade items on your wish list. I’m going tell you instead about a couple of things I craved until I recently got them and one that I’m in the process of getting: Most recently, artist Michael Shaeffer of House of Shaeffer blessed my workspace with four paintings of me crafting hats; they’re simply amazing. During my last fashion show, at Northwest Arkansas Fashion Week, I purchased a jacket from Bruce Davis’ 22nd Element. Last but not least, Bryant Phelan of O’Faolain Leather is making me a custom wallet. I’m incredibly grateful to be able to own pieces from their collections.
4. Name three can’t-live-without locally made eats or drinks. The food at Breaker Drive-Inn in Monticello and Mongolian Grill in Pine Bluff and drink from Rock Town Distillery.
5. What’s your favorite local hangout? I thoroughly enjoy Samantha’s Tap Room. I can count on them to provide a good vibe, great food and smooth libations.
6. Name a local artist who deserves more recognition. One underappreciated local artist is Bruce Davis of 22nd Element. I believe that his latest line of clothes is truly inspirational because it pays homage to the Tuskegee Airmen while managing to be incredibly fashionable.
7. What craft fair do you most look forward to and why? In recent years, I have looked forward to attending Africa Day Fest on South Main Street in Little Rock. This event highlights African heritage by showcasing art, music and talents that express diversity.
8. What’s your favorite art/music venue or event? I enjoy the variety of artists that South on Main features. The annual Blues on the River festival, too.