When Hangerbee opened in 2014, our primary customers were museums. By that point it’d been 12 years since Lindsey had made her first padded hanger and had been a consultant for many years. As part of her consulting work, Lindsey visited dozens of museums and cultural collections and assessed the condition of their artifact collections. By 2014 she was tired of seeing under-funded museums struggle to preserve their clothing collections and decided to do something about it.
And thus, Hangerbee was born, with the hope that Lindsey would never again cringe from seeing a WWI uniform being torn apart by a wire hanger. But even though affordability was vital to our mission, Hangerbee hangers were still out of reach of many institutions. If only there was a way to make our products even more accessible to everyone. If only they could somehow bring the spirit of a “hanger bee” to life at their own museum.
Akin to a quilting bee, a event that traditionally featured many women sitting around a table working on a single quilt, a “hanger bee” brings together museum staff, interns, and volunteers to sew padded hangers for the collection. In fact, Lindsey’s first padded hangers were made during such an event at the Amherst Museum (now the Buffalo Niagara Heritage Village) near Buffalo, NY, in 2002.
Early on, Lindsey knew she must provide her customers with the option to host their own “hanger bee”. After all, it’s our namesake!
Today, we offer DIY padded hanger kits for our wooden hanger styles. They’re still most popular in the museum world, but we have had individuals and boutique owners purchase them too. All of our kits include pre-washed and pre-cut material, as well as a colorful DIY instruction guide. And the best part? There’s no sewing required! Sure, we sew the tops of our hangers shut because think that adds the perfect finishing touch, but if you’re needle & thread shy, you can just skip that step.
Also, you don’t need to be super crafty to pad a Hangerbee kit hanger, either. It’s a great activity for all ages and most abilities.
At the end of the day, our goal is to get our high-quality products into your hands as easily and affordably as possible. And if that means handing out detailed instructions about how we make our products, so be it.
Now let’s save all of those ill-fated WWI uniforms! Go forth and pad a hanger!