A FARMHOUSE in the Dengie has been transformed into a high-quality, elegant hat showroom which has already brought in business from across the county.

Karen Carr and daughter-in-law Ellie have transformed one of their farmhouses at their family farm in Latchingdon into a showroom for Get Ahead Hats, a nationwide company who sell a range of styled and specialized hats for specific occasions.

The company has 16 showrooms in the UK, all based in rural areas, with one in each region.

After a branch in Saffron Walden closed down last year, Karen and Ellie, whose family have lived and worked on Butterfields Farm in Latchingdon for more than 30 years, decided to refurbish one of their cottages to set up the company’s Essex branch.

The showroom has a wide range of hats for occasions including weddings and funerals, with flexible opening hours by appointment only.

They officially opened in February, and have already seen many customers come from across Essex and the South East.

Karen and Ellie said: “We’ve always been big fans of wearing hats and the types available for big occasions, and when we heard that the branch in Saffron Walden closed down it left an opening for the company in this region.

“We have a lovely setting here at the farm, it felt like the ideal place and opportunity for us to renovate and re-thatch the house and make use of it.

“So far we’ve had people come from Harlow, Cambridge, Bishop’s Stortford and Saffron Walden, it’s been quite a huge range of people.”

Hats can be hired or bought, with hiring prices starting from £45 and up, with buy prices starting from £100.

They will also be holding a fundraising on April 1 for Wear a Hat Day, which supports Brain Tumour Research.

Karen added: “We’ve had some lovely feedback so far, and we want to make the people of the Dengie aware that we’ve set up here. We’re the only place in the area to offer this service.”

Visit www.getaheadhats.co.uk.