The Archie Effect: Kiwi company’s sales ‘go through roof’ after royal baby Archie wears one of their hats

''Yesterday was just crazy. We've never had so many orders in one day,'' says Make Give Live co-founder Becky Smith.
Loading the player...

On New Year’s Day Prince Harry and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, released a video covering the highlights of their year in 2019.

The one-minute-16-second ‘2019 in review’ video featured a gorgeous never-before-seen image of Prince Harry holding the royal couple’s son, Archie, presumably taken by the duchess during the family’s holiday in Canada.

Proud father and son stand before a lake rugged up in warm hats and jackets and the image is accompanied by the caption: “Wishing you all a very Happy New Year and thanking you for your continued support! We’ve loved meeting so many of you from around the world and can’t wait to meet many more of you next year. We hope 2020 brings each of you health and continued happiness.”

The image instantly went viral, but take a closer look to see the Kiwi connection. The adorable bobble hat that Archie is wearing is made by a Kiwi organisation, Make Give Live.

Make Give Live is a social enterprise that runs community knitting groups around New Zealand. The groups knit hats and for every hat purchased, the organisation donates one to a Kiwi in need.

Co-founder Becky Smith says that since the image of Harry and Archie was released sales have gone “through the roof”.

“Yesterday was just crazy,” she told Now To Love. “We’ve been doing this for three years and we’ve never had so many orders in one day.”

To put that into perspective, in Make Give Live’s best month yet, which was June 2019, they sold 45 hats. Yesterday, in one day alone, they received 304 online orders.

“It’s wonderful because we can do so much more good,” Becky says.

“We can run more [knitting] groups and more therapy sessions, we can give more hats away.”

Becky says that they had “no idea who we were dealing with” when the online order came in for Meghan and Harry. “We believe they bought two hats online.”

Make Give Live was launched three years ago by Becky and co-founder Claire Conza to not only provide warm hats for Kiwis in need but also to draw communities together.

They explain on their website, “Being part of a Make Give Live group is like having a second family, we knit but we also nurture our own mental health and wellbeing. Looking after yourself is essential and it is a proven fact that knitting has a multitude of therapeutic benefits, including reducing stress, improving self confidence and helping provide meaningful connections and purpose, especially when you are part of a community.”

There are currently 11 knitting groups involving 124 knitters based in Auckland, Christchurch and Taupo, however Claire says that with increased demand for their hats it means they can now create more groups.

Becky and Claire posted a message on the Duke and Duchess’ Instagram page acknowledging them for choosing their hats:

“So excited to see Archie wearing our little hat to keep his head warm. Even better it keeps the head of someone that really needs it warm here in NZ too. Thank you x”

The Cocobear hat which Archie wore retails for NZ$49.

They also posted a message on their website to advise people there may be a delay in delivery due to the unexpected increase in demand: “We are delighted to have received so many orders over the last few days enabling us to continue to make an impact across New Zealand. All our products are handmade by our community groups and so, any orders placed now will experience a delay in delivery… Thank you so much for your patience and support!”

“The Archie Effect!”, they titled their message.

Becky says their knitters have been advised that they may be a little busier in the weeks to come.

“But it’s all about enjoyment. We don’t want to put any pressure on anyone,” she says.

There is also an Australian connection… Archie is wearing a pair of UGG boots from Australia. The boots were one of Prince Harry and Duchess Meghan’s first baby gifts, given to the couple by Governor General Sir Peter Cosgrove and his wife, Lynne, on the first day of their royal tour of Australia in 2018 when the royal pregnancy was announced.

Related stories

Get your favourite magazines home delivered!  

Subscribe and save up to 38% on a magazine subscription.