It’s hip, Hipheadwear, hooray for Sutton Coldfield-based entrepreneur, Sabine Brannan, as her company Hipheadwear have secured a contract to supply merchandise to the UK’s top charity*, Cancer Research UK, for sale online.

Hipheadwear specialise in headwear for men, women and children who have been affected by medical hair loss through chemotherapy, alopecia or stress and Cancer Research UK were quick to recognise the value of working together:

“Hair loss as a side effect of cancer treatment can really affect a person’s self-esteem,” explains Julie Byard, Head of Trading at Cancer Research UK. "With a choice of styles, designs and materials that cater to specialised needs, Hipheadwear is a great addition to our new, cancer care range, which is full of helpful little things for those on a cancer journey and is available at Cancer Research UK's online shop”.

Having forged a career in bridal couture in her home country of The Netherlands, Sabine was approached by a close friend for help in finding comfortable, stylish headwear as she underwent her own journey through breast cancer care. Touched by her friends plight and surprised by the lack of innovation in this niche part of the industry, Sabine set out to do her best to help her friend and in 2008, Hipheadwear was born! Sabine has never looked back:

“I had always wanted to run my own business and with my parents both in the fabric trade, it’s probably no surprise that I’ve combined the two. That said, I am still surprised by how popular and successful Hipheadwear has become,” explains Sabine.

“What started out as bit of a side-line for me, has become a small business with both compassion and passion, at its heart. I am very proud that, like me, my company has really found its feet here in the UK. Whilst my designs are inspired by fabrics and prints from around the world, our manufacturing base is here in the Midlands too.

Sabine continues:

“We are a small team and we take care to recognise, that our customers are people who are going through a period of turmoil and uncertainty in their lives. We keep this in mind as we aim to ensure our customer experience is second-to-none, with one or two personal touches included.”

It is a busy time for Hipheadwear, as the company are looking to expand and move premises to the Jewellery Quarter this summer, having been based in Sutton Coldfield for the last few years. Having already secured ‘approved supplier’ status with the NHS and Alopecia UK, as well as being one of the first suppliers to trade at the state-of-the-art Guy’s Cancer Centre in London, Sabine is optimistic that the partnership with Cancer Research UK, is the start of things to come:

“I am in preliminary talks with CRUK about possibly starting an exclusive range for them, it’s exciting but still very early days yet. I am just really happy that my headwear is so popular and it’s important to me that every purchase that is made via Cancer Research UK  is giving something back to cancer research,  the work they do is hugely valuable and means so much to so many, it’s humbling to play a small part in that.”