OFFBEAT: "REDHEADS" - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

Jonesboro, AR--Bob Snell reports

OFFBEAT: "REDHEADS"

September 4, 2004--Posted at 11:00 p.m. CDT

JONESBORO--It's 'hats off' to a Jonesboro woman and ASU fan who turned her idea into millinery madness.

ASU's mascot, Red, romped his way onto the sports scene in the summer of 2003 and has been a real hit and to at least one fan, a true inspiration. "We were at the game talking about Red and I said, 'what somebody needs to do is take a hat and put his hair on top,'" said Allyson Lewis. "I put my fingers up and you know that was it and somebody said that's a great idea, why don't you do it."

So Lewis did. That was November of last year and it's taken this long to get the idea out of her mind and onto her head. "You first contact the collegiate licensing association because you have to license the rights," said Lewis. "So I contacted Dean Lee and said I'd like to license the hair of red and he started laughing and said that would be interesting."

For the next three months, Lewis did the red tape thing, developing a few Redheads prototypes, filling out the paper work and sending it all off for approval. Then she found a manufacturer in China and learned all about importing and exporting. "You know this is not my day job," said Lewis. "I'm doing this soley out of my love for ASU. I'm a fan from the bottom of my toes to the top of my head."

Lewis is also a financial planner, wife, and mother of two great kids, who love to wear the Redheads. "It's the transforming hat," said Lewis. "It makes people laugh at each other, especially when adults put these on."

If they catch on, Lewis may be laughing all the way to the bank, but she says this is not about making money it's about support and creating new traditions at ASU. "If we don't sell a single hat. This is going to be a great thing to support the school," said Lewis. "Every hat that we sell through The Indian Club, the Chamber of Commerce, or my web site www.allysonlewis.com , $5 will go to The Indian Club."

And with 6,000 hats ready for wear, well, you can do the math. "I hope that we have to order more for basketball season," said Lewis. "We want kids, teenagers, college students and adults all wearing them and laughing all the way to the victory board."

There are two hats for two seasons, the bucket head when it's warm and the polar fleece cap for the cold.

"I'm going to be excited standing in the stands and see those first few people sitting in the stands and saying you know what I had a small part of that," said Lewis. "And that brings me joy."

The "Redheads" hats sell for about $22 and you can buy yours through The Indian Club, the Chamber of Commerce, or www.allysonlewis.com .

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