From a Dream to Reality: Creating the ‘Sailing Into the Sunset’ Trucker Hat

For years, the idea of crafting my own sublimation trucker hat danced in my mind. However, the journey to bring this dream to life was no simple feat. Let me take you through my creative process, the challenges, and the triumphs that led to my first piece of wearable art: the ‘Sailing into the Sunset’ Trucker Hat!

View From Van's Beach Watercolor Painting by artist Deb Lanning
The Inspiration Vs The Artwork

Inspiration: Northern Michigan’s Natural Beauty

Living in Northern Michigan is a constant source of inspiration for my art. I love to spend an evening on the beach, using watercolor to replicate the scenery around me. One particularly serene evening at Van’s Beach in Leland, Michigan, captured the true essence of a summer sunset up north. I snapped a picture, and this became the muse for one of my favorite watercolor paintings to date.

When deciding on what art to use in the design of my first trucker hat, I turned to my Facebook friends for advice. Their vote was unanimous, and their love for this specific painting helped me gain perspective on how to realize my vision. The watercolor’s whimsical charm seemed a touch too unrefined for this endeavor so I decided to  transform it into an acrylic masterpiece. Though it had been years since I used acrylics, I embraced the challenge. The painting became not just a piece of art but a new centerpiece for my living space.

Bringing My Trucker Hat Design to Life

After six months, my acrylic masterpiece finally reached its culmination in late 2023. Then, the next chapter began: materializing my hat design. This started with a quest to find the right vendor—a search filled with challenges and dead ends. It was a test of perseverance and patience, but it was also a crucial step in turning my dream into reality. I finally found a vendor who shared my vision, and together, we embarked on creating a prototype. Every stitch and hue was infused with my personal touch, transforming fabric into a canvas of expression. From selecting colors to designing intricate graphics, each element bore the stamp of my creative vision.

Finalizing My Design: The Details MatterIn mid-April 2024, the moment of revelation arrived as I beheld the first photos of the prototype. The rush of excitement and satisfaction was palpable as my ideas materialized before my eyes, marking the convergence of creativity, craftsmanship, and entrepreneurial In mid-April 2024, the moment of revelation arrived as I received the first photos of my prototype.

From the hue of the brim to the color of the stitching, each detail underwent careful consideration. After numerous discussions and a couple iterations, I emerged with the final prototype, a true reflection of my vision!

Your Support Means the World!Now that I have the product in hand, it is time to switch gears. I am learning how to navigate financing production and selling my creation. 
I decided to start by launching a Kickstarter-inspired campaign to both finance and market my trucker hat. I invite YOU—friends, family, and followers—to join me on this journey by pre-ordering your own piece of wearable art. Setting a modest goal of 50 hats at a retail price of $36 each, I aim to reach the breakeven point and bring my vision to fruition with the support of my community.

I’ve ordered the production of the hats, and they should arrive by early-July 2024. As soon as they arrive, I’ll send them off to everyone who has placed a pre-order. Thank you in advance for your support. These trucker hats will also be available in select stores in Northern Michigan. Stay tuned for more details!

A New Chapter: Wander With Direction

Amidst the backdrop of hat design, watercolor and acrylic painting endeavors, and completing my yoga teacher training, a clandestine venture was quietly taking root: the inception of my new business, ‘Wander with Direction.’

This venture is a culmination of my passions for art and travel, offering not only tangible products but also immersive experiences. I will be offering outdoor yoga classes, plein air watercolor experiences, and a variety of artwork available in my online shop. Each offering is designed to inspire creativity and mindfulness, connecting you with nature and your inner artist!

I’m thrilled to invite you to join this exciting new chapter. Whether you’re interested in enhancing your yoga practice, exploring your artistic side, or simply looking for unique wearable art, ‘Wander with Direction’ is here to help inspire purposeful exploration!


My kickstarter campaign has started, the new trucker hat is now available for pre-order!  My goal is to pre-sell 50 hats, help a girl out with a pre-order 🙂  Hats are in production and are scheduled to be delivered early July 2024.

The “Sailing Into the Sunset Trucker Hat” is not just a hat — it’s your passport to a Northern Michigan Summer. The front panel depict a vibrant Lake Michigan sunset complete with a sailboat drifting by.