Prosperity Camp

This year’s Prosperity Camp was such a fun and fulfilling experience! For those that don’t know, Prosperity Camp is a 2-day seminar created by Greg Reid where the lucky few that attend have the opportunity to interview and discuss key points of business with a multitude of successful entrepreneurs. The energy, information, and networking we walked away with was invaluable and we left feeling completely fulfilled and ready to improve the way we approach running our company. Along the way we met so many interesting, amazing, and driven people who’s experiences gave valuable insights on many aspects of living your life to it’s full potential.

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We at American Hat Maker’s are all about constant improvement in all aspects of life, so we of course jumped at the opportunity to attend such a useful event. Among those we met there was Jeff Hoffman. Jeff is a successful entrepreneur, proven CEO, worldwide motivational speaker, published author, film producer, and a producer of a Grammy-winning jazz album in 2015. He has been the founder of multiple startups, a CEO of both public and private companies, and has served as a senior executive in many capacities. Jeff has been part of a number of well-known companies, including Priceline.com. uBid.com, ColorJar, and more.

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Introducing our New Line: Freedom Hats

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Let Freedom Ring!

All of us at American Hat Makers are excited to announce our newest line of hand-crafted, top-of-the-line hats:

Freedom Hats

Freedom Hats are the ultimate in durable, luxurious, one-of-a-kind outdoor hats. And, like all of our hats, they are suitable for all of your adventures – from kayaking to golfing, horseback riding to gardening, hiking to rock climbing and anything else you do!

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Made from the same high-quality, 100% sourced and produced in the USA materials as all of our American Hat Makers hats, Freedom Hats offers you an exceptional deal on limited run hats.

Our vision for Freedom Hats is to produce hats that live up to our high American Hat Maker quality standards while offering exceptional value to you. We do this by producing hats based on the availability of exclusive materials – which are then used to produce a limited run.

With this model we are able to offer these unique hats to you at an amazing price. 

If you are interested in taking advantage of this unprecedented opportunity to buy from American Hat Makers act fast! Each season our line of Freedom Hats will change based on the availability of materials. While we require you to place an order for a minimum of 12 hats in the same style keep in mind this is not a pre-pack – you get to choose the colors and sizes of your hats! 

Don’t forget, each and every hat from our Freedom Hat line is produced, by hand, in our Watsonville shop. Each hat adheres to our high-quality standards and is backed by our exclusive unconditional lifetime guarantee: 

We guarantee our hats for a lifetime against defects in materials and workmanship.

We include our sizing system with your order. This allows your hat to be adjusted to three different sizes. Should you need a different size than this allows, we will gladly exchange your hat for a perfect fit. Simply return the hat in the original box with a note as to what you need, and we will send you the appropriate replacement. By the same token, if the color of the hat is not what you expected we will exchange for another of our standard colors at no extra charge.

Our 100% Satisfaction Guarantee speaks for itself. Should the hat not meet up to any of your expectations, simply return the hat to us for a full refund (less shipping costs)……no questions asked.

We are proud to introduce you to Freedom Hats and look forward to offering you another way to enjoy all the benefits of our high-quality, handcrafted hats at an amazing cost savings!

Contact us NOW at 1-800-NICE-HAT to get in on this incredible new opportunity! 

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Photographer: Neil Simmons

Stylist: Ruby Roxanne Agresta

Models: Greg Flowers, Heather Bonds and Nicole Hatsedakis Happee

Catalog Design: Nikki Wolf

Blog Post Written by: Jessica Johnson

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Rigoberto Arenas: May Employee of the Month

American Hat Makers is dedicated to honoring those who work with us – we know we wouldn’t be nearly as successful as we are without our valued team members. Because each of our employees is so important to us, we honor one special employee each month.
Even though we are a little behind, please join us as we celebrate our
May Employee of the Month:
Rigoberto Arenas
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Rigo, as he is known at American Hat Makers, was born on July 19th in “the best town in the world,” El Potrero in Guanajuato, Mexico. He remembers his hometown fondly and says it was “surrounded by cows, goats, dogs, chickens, horses…oh and rats!”

Rigo is married to “the prettiest girl in the world,” Lupita, and together they have two children, 4 year old Alexa and 2 year old Hendrix. He loves to spend time with his family playing in the park and making music with his kids. Rigo shares that Alexa loves to sing and Hendrix plays the drums!

You might guess that with a son named Hendrix (like legendary guitarist Jimi Hendrix) that Rigo is a music fan. You would be right! Even more than a fan, Rigo is a musician!

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Rigo and his bandmates!

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Rigo and his Band Playing at Planet Gemini

In his three and a half years with American Hat Makers working in the trimming department, adding trim and wire to all our hats, Rigo has earned a reputation as a hard worker who is always willing to step up and loves to learn new things.

Director of Global Marketing for American Hat Makers,  Hannah Watrous, says, “Rigo is a friendly face who loves to sing while working 🙂 He is very approachable and is always willing to dress for all our crazy theme parties! We love when he brings his beautiful family to our company events.”

Please join us as we thank and honor our

May Employee of the Month Rigo Arenas!

Thank you for all the music and joy you and your family bring to

American Hat Makers!

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Employee of the Month: Silvia Lobato

American Hat Makers is dedicated to honoring those who work with us – we know we wouldn’t be nearly as successful as we are without our team members.

Because each of our employees is so important to us we honor one employee each month. Even though we are a little tardy, please join us in celebrating our April Employee of the Month: Silvia Lobato!

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Silvia has been working for American Hat Makers for 2 years.  She works in production sewing hat crowns and does fantastic, consistent, high-quality work.

Born in a small village in Michoacán, Mexico on September 30th (that makes her a Libra!) Silvia is married and has 4 children – 2 sons and 2 daughters. Her children have blessed her with 2 grandchildren who are the light of her life! (Well, other than working at American Hat Makers, of course!)

Silvia enjoys spending time at home, BBQing, watching movies, and enjoying time with her family. She told us two of her favorite things to do are eat – and sleep!

When asked what makes Silvia south an outstanding part of the American Hat Makers’ family, Hannah Watrous said, “She’s a team player, always willing to go the extra mile – whether it’s making flower bouquets or working Saturdays in a crunch time.  We are so grateful to have her!”

Great job Silvia! 

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American Hat Makers in the Community: Headwear for the Homeless

At American Hat Makers we are dedicated to operating our business with the same level of integrity and compassion that we strive to bring to our day to day lives. We treat each and every team member as though they were family, for indeed, they are.

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Our dedication to sustainable and compassionate business practices extends far beyond the walls of our Watsonville warehouse. We believe in supporting the organizations that support our local community and are always willing to contribute high-quality donations for local events such as prizes or silent auctions for non-profit organizations.

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One of our most fulfilling  campaigns is Headwear for the Homeless. Last winter we teamed up with The Headwear Association for the Eighth Annual Headwear for the Homeless Hat Giveaway.

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In conjunction with the Bollman Hat Company, Magid Hats, and Dorfman Pacific we distributed more than 5,000 free winter hats from New York City to Santa Cruz.

“We gave at least 200 beanies away at the homeless shelter. Afterwards we walked the streets and passed out free hats to anyone we thought may be cold. It was a great experience. The event was truly amazing to be a part of, and teaching our daughters about local philanthropy has been priceless,” recalls Hannah Watrous, Director of Global Marketing for American Hat Makers.

Hannah Watrous is a driving force behind American Hat Makers’ charitable and philanthropic giving. With a background and degree in Addiction Counseling, she brings a compassionate and insightful mindset to the business. Hannah’s open heart and dedication to service contribute to the giving culture at American Hat Makers. She is a tremendous role model.

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We are honored and pleased to be able to help others and support the residents, schools and other organizations doing good work in Santa Cruz County. We are truly grateful to be a part of this thriving and caring community!

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Happy Birthday to Gary Watrous! 

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The American Hat Makers family came together last week to celebrate the 66th birthday of founder and president Gary Watrous.

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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.”

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Daughter-in-law Hannah serves the birthday cake.

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!

 

Ruby & Pearl American Hat Makers Daogs with hats

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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!

 

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Getting to Know Garth (Garth Watrous of American Hat Makers, that is!)

It’s not unusual for a company to have a list of core values. What is unusual is for one of those to be “be happy and weird.

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Then again, thanks to Garth Watrous, American Hat Makers isn’t your usual company. From “Keep It Weird Wednesdays” to a rousing game of line ball at lunch, the Watrous family is dedicated to promoting a sense of fun and family in the workplace.

 

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Son of founder Gary Watrous, Garth Watrous has taken a hands on, interactive approach to managing the team at American Hat Makers since he became partner in 2005. “We’ve always made incredibly good hats,” Garth said. “So I decided to focus on company culture, promoting teamwork and connection and sharing fun and laughter with the team.”

 

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Garth is dedicated to hiring incredible people who really want to find a home and grow with American Hat Makers. To help team members thrive  – inside and outside of work hours – Garth focuses on mentoring, training and authentically connecting with each and every person at American Hat Makers. “Connection has always been important in my life,” he explained. “If we notice someone is struggling,  or we see fear or uncertainty growing among the team,  we address it. It is important to maintain open communication with our entire team.”

If nothing else, Garth wants everyone at the company to feel like they are appreciated, valued and trusted to make good choices for themselves and the business. Garth is not afraid of change and he wants to engender that spirit of innovation and fearlessness into the culture at American Hat Makers. When he first became partner he instituted a practice where anyone could make a decision that impacted the company up to $50. Since then, he has increased the limit to $500 with nothing but positive results. “When you are hired you are encouraged to try new things and we trust you to make independent decisions,” he said. “I believe this makes our team feel more connected, more confident and more fulfilled in their work environment.”

Ultimately, Garth is driven by a strong desire to stay true to his personal beliefs. Fortunately for the team at American Hat Makers, primary among them is to treat everyone kindly and, as he puts it, “to love them up.”

We hope you feel that love when you wear a hat from American Hat Makers.

 

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