The sock hat is making the world a better place.
Just ask creative crafter Tony Pook, who will bring the Pook Toque to Studio Fair, Nov. 2, 3, and 4, in an effort to significantly improve the quality of life in Prince George.
From improving the intelligence of the fashion-forward toddler to breaking the ice with the cute girl at the bus stop, Pook said his toque can even slow down global warming.
Big claims, but he's got the science to back it all up.
Pook, whose hats have been worn by celebrities like Justin Bieber, Andie McDowall, David Duchovny, Ben Stiller, Liv Tyler and William H. Macy, said he heard good things about Prince George's annual Studio Fair and called the Prince George & District Community Arts Council to ask if he could come sell his Pook Toques. He was put on the waiting list and managed to get the go-ahead.
"Let's put it this way, our product is not a hoity-toity thing," said Pook, who lives in London, Ontario. "So when we heard from another crafter there's a show in Prince George and it's one that we should do, we decided we're going to pop in the vehicle and drive up. We call them Pook Toque tours. There's been Pook Toque Tour Wild Ride. There's been Pook Toque Tour God Bless America. There's been Pook Toque Tour It's Been Emotional - all based on the events that happened along the way. We all end up doing ridiculous things and I've driven across the country probably 15 times now."
Pook, like a good boy scout, is always prepared and has a Pook Toque in his back pocket at any given time.
"The only problem is, I always have the hat hanging out of my back pocket, and the kids now think this is some sort of gang-member flag but they aren't intimidated because it's socks, so they're like, 'what kind of sissy gang is this guy coming from?'" Pook said, suppressing laughter. "This is what's happening. It's reality."
Pook was in the Tim Horton's drive through during the Citizen phone interview and ordered a large coffee with one and a half cream and one and a half sugar. No doubt starting a new trend, because one is too little and two is too much. It's Pook 1.5.
"The Pook Toque is a life enhancer," said Pook, with great conviction. "For babies, the Pook Toque helps their dexterity go up. They're associating images with words before anybody else and it's basically making them smarter. We've had studies from scientists prove that babies are becoming more intelligent when wearing a Pook Toque at an early age and to help more you can replace the mobile above their crib with a sock hat."
And then we move on to the older kids.
"So you're the pimply-faced high school student and you don't exactly know how to go about talking to somebody but guess what?" Pook asked. "They're wearing a Pook Toque and you can ask them where they got it and tell them how much you like it. And it works the other way, too. When you're wearing one, the girl waiting at the bus stop might otherwise not have said anything but now she has an in. She has an easy way to start talking to you. So, we're finding that basically what's happened is - every time Pook Toques have been introduced into another town, the birth rate goes up drastically. So we're finding it's increasing populations across the nation, specific to where the Pook Toques are being worn."
There have been many studies done and it's all been proven, Pook insisted. He swears it's all fact.
"We're changing the world, one sock hat at a time," he added. "What's happening is most everybody knows that most of the heat from your body escapes from your head. So we had a couple of Nova Scotian scientists prove this to us last year. When you put a sock hat on your head you're putting a dome over your head, containing your body heat, lowering the temperature that's escaping into the atmosphere, which is actually keeping the atmosphere cooler, which is slowing down the melting of the ice caps which is halting global warming. And then what happens is the ocean currents are able to continue their normal patterns. Humpback whales are able to continue their migration patterns and their mating season and we've actually calculated that each Pook Toque is worth one baby humpback whale. So buy a Pook Toque, save a whale. And that is 100 per cent true."
As for the rest of the Studio Fair, visitors can explore booths of more than 90 vendors from across the country at the Civic Centre. In the foyer there will be a variety of representatives from local guilds. Then guests can cross into the main room and find old favourites and new ones, like the Pook Toque pushers, to get a head start on their Christmas shopping. The Recognizable Faces Calendar, a fundraising effort between the Community Arts Council and the Prince George Public Library, will be for sale at the fair for $25 each and features community leaders with their faces painted by local artists in the theme of literacy.
Tickets for the fair are $3 for adults, $2 for students and seniors, children under 12 are free. The show goes Friday, November 2 from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., Saturday, November 3 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday November 4 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.