Stephanie Carter

CEO & Co-Founder

Wallaroo Hat Company

 

Boulder, CO

Founded: 1999

Industry: Sun Protective Headwear

It was during a trip to Australia in 1998 that Stephanie Carter discovered the secret to sun protection: crushable, washable, wide-brimmed, UPF 50+ fabric hats available in colorful styles and patterns.

 

“Armed with the motivation to make a difference in people’s lives, I knew that I had to bring this innovative form of sun protection to the United States in a way that merged fashion and function,” said Carter.

 

In 1999, she launched Wallaroo Hat Company out of a small garage in Boulder, Colorado. Twenty-one years later, Wallaroo Hat Company has grown from an initial staff of two to fourteen people working out of the Boulder headquarters. The company has 35 sales representatives around the nation and ten distributors around the globe.

 

The growth has allowed Wallaroo to expand into many styles for men, women and children. “Along with being able to provide functional, attractive and long-lasting sun protection to everyone, my greatest reward as an entrepreneur has been in giving back,” said Carter.

 

Since the inception of Wallaroo Hat Company, Carter and her team have donated more than $40,000 to the Skin Cancer Foundation and their products to the American Cancer Society.

 

Carter has also shared her expertise and innovation in the industry. In 2015, she was elected the first female president of the Headwear Association. She has grown her company into a leading global brand and a certified B corporation. The company is now represented in more than ten countries.

 

Prior to launching Wallaroo, Carter practiced law for ten years and is one of the co-founders of the Hanuman Yoga Festival in Boulder. She has served on the Board of Advisors for Globeln and the Boulder Ballet. She is currently involved in establishing PridePads Africa, a non-profit organization dedicated to manufacturing earth-friendly, bio-degradable sanitary pads for women in rural Cameroon. Her efforts were recognized in May 2019 by the Boulder Chamber of Commerce with the honor of the “Women Who Light the Community” award.

 

As a leader and CEO, Carter believes that it is important to value your employees and create a strong culture. “Employees from all walks of life with different experiences, backgrounds and education work for me and they have created a company culture that is as diverse as it is unique,” she said. “Everyone can bring something to the table to contribute.  Being open to suggestions and change makes for a more successful business environment.”

 

For her contributions to the global community and her strong leadership, Carter has been named a Titan of industry.

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Greatest Leadership Lesson Learned:

The greatest lesson I have learned is that I don't know everything and I can learn a lot from the people who work for me. Every employee who has ever walked through the door and worked at Wallaroo has taught me valuable lessons. Employees from all walks of life with different experiences, backgrounds and education work for me and they have created a company culture that is as diverse as it is unique.

Prior to founding Wallaroo, Carter practiced law for ten years. She is also one of the co-founders of the Hanuman Yoga Festival in Boulder, Colorado which just celebrated its ninth anniversary.

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