Hats for American Heroes!

At American Hat Makers, we believe in giving back to our community. It is not only a core belief of ours, it is written into our mission statement:


At American Hat makers our mission is to produce distinctive hats while treating our customers and employees with compassion and integrity and bettering our community through service and philanthropy.

Recently, our American Hat Makers family has been asking ourselves:

“What can we do to make a difference in the lives of American service men and women?”

As part of our ongoing dedication to bettering our community, American Hat Makers is proud to announce a new initiative, Hats for American Heroes.


Decorated serviceman Audie Murphy

The purpose of Hats for American Heroes is to give back in the best way we can to those who have given – and continue to give – their all for us. We want to do anything and everything we can to the men and women in uniform – both active military and veterans.


U.S Air Force Veteran and founder of the Make-a-Wish foundation, Frank Shankwitz.

Did you know:

  • According to the U.S. Census Bureau, there are 21.8 million veterans of the U.S. armed forces as of 2014, and approximately 10 percent of them are women.
  • California has the highest number of veteran residents, with 2 million, followed by Texas and Florida, each with 1.6 million.
  • According to the Department of Veteran’s Affairs, as many as 20 percent of troops who served in Iraq or Afghanistan since 2001 have come home and reported having PTSD.
  • The Bureau of Labor Statistics states that in 2013 there were 722,000 unemployed veterans.

To that end, through Hats for American Heroes, American Hat Makers will:

  • Donate hats to America’s heroes through community events and charitable giving opportunities.
  • Donate financially to reputable organizations that support our service members and veterans.
  • Offer employment opportunities to America’s military personnel and their families.



Hannah & Garth Watrous attending Master Chief Navy Seal Steve Viola 30 year retirement ceremony as a notable Navy Seal with several accolades.

We want to show support and gratitude for those on active duty, retired veterans, and the wounded, injured, or sick. We hope that our efforts will not only help our heroes, but also inspire others to volunteer, donate, and support the men and women who so selflessly put their lives on the line for our freedoms.

Please join us as we salute and give thanks to our American Heroes!

Written by Jessica Johnson for American Hat Makers



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.


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.


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.

American Hat Makers- giving away- hats- to the Homeless2015-Leilani Alvarez-Bertollini- Garth and Hannah Watrous (2)

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.

American Hat Makers- giving away- hats- to the Homeless2015-Leilani Alvarez-Bertollini- Garth and Hannah Watrous (10)

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!



American Hat Makers in the Community: Aptos High School Hall of Fame

American Hat Makers welcomes the opportunity to support the local community and was pleased to donate hats for the 2016 Aptos High School Athletic Hall of Fame silent auction on Saturday, April 30 at the Seascape Golf Club.

Inductees included big wave surfer Tyler Fox, extreme skier Cody Townsend, track athlete Stephanie LeFever and many other Mariner standouts.


Members of the Aptos High School Hall of Fame committee said they were honored to have American Hat Makers’ contributions from the Sol Air, Ashbury and American Outback lines. “The hats are gorgeous and they really raise the bar on our silent auction. We are grateful for American Hat Makers’ support of our Hall of Fame.”

American Hat Makers congratulates the Aptos High School Hall of Fame Class of 2016! 

Hat Day in the Sun 2014 – American Hat Makers Press Tour

We couldn’t have made Hat Day in the Sun without the support of our local media. We are so lucky to have excellent journalists in Santa Cruz County!

A huge thank you to these talented and connected folks – especially for allowing us to drop in and give them hats the day before our event in Capitola Village on June 19th – to raise awareness of skin cancer prevention.

Read more about Capitola’s Hat Day in the Sun here.

Here are some of the local press with Hannah Watrous, our VP of Marketing & Branding at American Hat Makers.

Jondi Gumz
Santa Cruz Sentinel
Scotts Valley


Rosemary Chalmers & Bill Graff
KSCO Radio
Santa Cruz


Noel Smith
Capitola Soquel Times


Brian Williams

Capitola Hat Day in the Sun 2014 – Review from American Hat Makers

What a day for hats!


American Hat Makers and Head’n Home celebrated national “Hat Day in the Sun” on June 19th in Capitola Village by giving out 400 hats to raise awareness for skin cancer and the importance of protecting your skin.

We were part of a national public awareness campaign from The Headwear Association – the largest and most prestigious hat organization. We were grateful that Dorfman Pacific in Stockton donated hats so we could give out so many to our local community.

And we gave out 400 hats! The line was nearly down to Zelda’s Resturant at one point — and there were 70 people in line by 1:30p.

According to Hannah Watrous, VP of Marketing and Branding for American Hat Makers (and organizer of the event), “It wasn’t about giving away free hats. It was about educating our kids about the dangers of skin cancer– really relevant in a beach community.”

The true meaning of this event became apparent and so important once we started hearing stories people shared about their own experiences with skin cancer – from a husband who is currently undergoing chemotherapy for skin cancer (he did receive a hat!) to someone showing us her melanoma scars. We couldn’t be more grateful to be able to share our hats with the local community.


Hannah was overjoyed “hearing the different stories of the survivors…it was priceless!”

We even met visitors from San Jose who are now enjoying our hats.

The Jr. Guards supported our event, too – since Hannah’s daughter is part of the team, “I still receive appreciation from not only the parents of the guards but the children/teenagers genuinely appreciate their Sun Hat!

I can’t wait until next year!!”

Neither can we.

Here’s some of our Press from the event:

We made the front page of the local section in the Santa Cruz Sectional: http://www.santacruzsentinel.com/localnews/ci_25997736/capitola-enjoys-hat-day-sun

We also received generous coverage here, too – thanks to everyone!











Hat Day in the Sun – Q&A with Hannah Watrous:

As you know, American Hat Makers are sponsoring Hat Day in the Sun this Thursday, June 19th, in Capitola. We are giving away over 300 sun protective hats – to raise awareness for skin cancer prevention – presently, the most common cancer in the U.S.

This is a national public awareness campaign created by The Headwear Association and the first time this event will be held in Santa Cruz County.

Hannah Watrous, our VP of Brand and Marketing, is heading up the event. She’s an avid sponsor and supporter of charity events – especially if they help the local community.

We caught up with Hannah (and previewed her fabulous hat for the day) to get her thoughts about why this event is important to bring to Santa Cruz County.

According to Hannah, “Any beach community tends to expose their body to sun naturally. Hats are a great way to protect your head and face.”

What does she hope to gain by this event?

“We want to educate everyone about skin cancer prevention. We also want the community to know that American Hat Makers, the premier hat company, is local and can provide headwear for any experience — whether you are golfing, paddle boarding or going out dancing!”

What do you love about this event?

“We love connecting with the locals while giving away free hats. We are always looking for ways to make a difference and support the community.”

Head’n Home Hats, parent company of American Hat Makers, is a family-owned and operated premier cut and sew hat-making company for founded in 1978 by Gary Watrous. All of American Hat Makers headwear are guaranteed for life, custom fitted and handmade in Watsonville, California using the finest American leather and materials. Their men’s and women’s hats are renowned for their unsurpassed quality, attention to detail, and unique designs. For more information, visit headnhome.com.


Skincare Prevention Tips from American Hat Makers – sponsors of 2014 Hat Day in the Sun

Did you know skin cancer is the most common of all cancers? The fact is 90% of all skin cancers are caused by over-exposure to the sun.

The good news is there are many things you can do to decrease your exposure to the sun, and reduce the possibility for skin cancer.

American Hat Makers and Head’n Home is co-sponsoring “Hat Day in the Sun,” a national campaign created by the Headwear Association to promote skin cancer awareness on June 19th 2014, in Capitola from 1pm. They will be giving out 300 FREE hats!

Read more info about Hat Day in the Sun here.

Here are a few top tips to protect your skin that you can start today!

  • WEAR A HAT! You can purchase an American made leather hat here.
  • Seek out the shade between the hottest part of the day 10am-4pm
  • Do not burn, and avoid tanning and UV tanning booths
  • Wear lip balm with sunscreen everyday
  • Cover up with clothing — breathable long-sleeved shirts and pants are best
  • Wear large UV-blocking sunglasses
  • Use a broad spectrum (UVA/UVB) sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher even on foggy days
  • For outdoor activity, use a water-resistant, broad spectrum (UVA/UVB) sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher
  • Apply 1 ounce of sunscreen to your entire body 30 minutes before going outside
  • Reapply sunscreen every two hours or immediately after swimming or excessive sweating
  • Keep newborns out of the sun, and use sunscreen on babies over the age of six months
  • Examine your skin each month from head to toe and make note of any abnormal growths or moles
  • Schedule a yearly skin exam with your physician or dermatologists
  • Keep sunscreen in the car – for long car trips
  • Use extra sunscreen near water, snow, and sand – these surfaces reflect the intensity of UV rays
  • Buy extra bottles of sunscreen and keep in gym bag, trunk, diaper bag and purse
  • Lightly spray sunscreen in your hair or on head for extra protection

For more information or to buy UV-Protection Sun Hats, visit our Head’n Home Hat Store.

Have a safe and happy Summer!