Nestled between Nubanusit Brook and the Sharon Arts Center on Grove Street in downtown Peterborough you’ll find Sarah’s Hat Boxes. Sarah’s Hat Boxes is a unique retail business that deals exclusively in an unusual item — hat boxes. What is a hat box? Well, it is exactly what it sounds like: a box used for storing hats.
Though sometimes considered an old-fashioned item, hat boxes are in vogue again of late. Built by hand and made from recycled cardboard with chemical-free dyed fabric and non-toxic adhesives, the hat boxes at Sarah’s come in different sizes and design choices. They can be used as traditional hat boxes or serve as specialty gift packaging, corporate gift boxes, wedding boxes or as containers for items such as candy and confectionery as well as knitting wool.
While new to its location in the downtown Peterborough business district, Sarah’s Hat Boxes is, in fact, over thirty years old. The owner, Peter Mills, is a master craftsman and box maker who created the business three decades ago when he saw the opportunity to reintroduce a practical item to the public with the understanding that fashion styles often repeat again in the future.
The business is based on two basic principles: hard work that produces the best quality, and creating a positive experience for every person who walks through the front door. All items in the store are handmade in the company’s warehouse which is located in Hancock.
Though decidedly local in its appeal, Sarah’s Hat Boxes also deals on a national and international scale, shipping merchandise to eager customers on other continents. Even with the business’ international success, Peter Mills and his coworkers continue to value the town of Peterborough and the impact they have locally. They choose to focus on their homegrown following in order to ensure that Sarah’s Hat Boxes will carry on as a healthy and thriving business in the town of Peterborough.
Photographs by Karlee Sell
Karlee Sell attends ConVal High School and will graduate with the class of 2016. She has a passion for photography and digital media, and is currently an intern for the CVHS Athletic Director; maintaining and updating the athletics webpage. She aspires to further her photographic skills by attending college for photography and film production.
Text by Eathan Whitaker
Eathan Whitaker is an 18 year senior at ConVal High School participating in an internship that focuses mainly on his desired field of writing. He is looking to improve his writing skills by getting some real world experience writing for this website and the local newspaper.