The American Hat Makers family came together last week to celebrate the 66th birthday of founder and president Gary Watrous.
It’s easy to celebrate a man like Gary – he’s far from a stereotypical “boss.” Not only is he profoundly passionate about leatherwork and hat making, he is equally enamored with the team of people working with him at the Watsonville warehouse and boutique.
Gary’s heart of gold is the stuff of legend at American Hat Makers, and each and every employee knows they can come to him if they need anything and he will do all he can to help.
To Gary, the team he works with is like family. In fact, many of the folks working at American Hat Makers are family. Gary’s wife, Merry Lee contributes to design and creative development; son, Garth, is second in command; and his daughter-in-law, Hannah, is the Director of Global Marketing and Branding.
“Family has always been the most important part of life to me,” Gary said. “There is a satisfaction in sharing the creative process and continuing the dream with those you love.”
Speaking of those he loves, Gary’s constant companions, Ruby and Pearl, come with him to work everyday. They are an important part of the team and if you come to the shop you may well be greeted by them. If he could, he would likely bring his gorgeous horse, Tucker, to work too!
Gary is undoubtedly the golden heart of American Hat Makers – and he is the first to say his family and team are the soul.
Please join us all as we wish Gary a very Happy Birthday!