The Myth of Finding the Perfect Hat

Just as the shopkeeper told Harry Potter, “The wand chooses the wizard…” so does the hat choose you!

It is not an unusual occurrence that someone will come into the shop and say they are “just looking” and don’t want our help. But they go on to try on hat after hat, looking for the “right one” while our sales person is standing by, hat in hand, waiting patiently.

You see, our sales people are trained hat whisperers, and they know how to listen. They can see the customer’s energy and can listen to which hat is calling to them.

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Beth Watrous helping customers pick their perfect hat.

Our sales people may ask you a few questions to help narrow your options, such as:

  • Is this hat for everyday wear or a special occasion?
  • What kind of music do you like to listen to?

Meanwhile, they are checking out your vibe, your style – do you seem to like attention, want to me noticed? Or perhaps you are more subtle, want to hang back a bit?

No matter what your style, from Steampunk to Outback, we have got your topper!

There is an art to picking the right hat – one that creates symmetry and brings balance to your face.

The right hat complements the features you have, accentuating the positive and creating harmony.

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Jamie Foxx and his daughter Annalise Bishop wearing the Wisdom

If you have a round face, a flat bill may make your face look rounder, so you may want to avoid that style. Tilt your hat back a bit, if it is tilted forward your face may look shorter.

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Madison Hu wearing a Summit 

If your face is longer, pick a hat that will shorten the appearance of your face. Perhaps a Fedora, jauntily tilted to the side?

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Drake Bell wearing the Summit

If you are like me and have a square face, well then, that wide brim might be calling to you. Pick a hat with some curve to it to soften the hard angles.

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Brando Eaton wearing a Cyclone

The right hat can make all the difference – it can bring you to the forefront or give you a quiet confidence.

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It can also transport you to another realm completely, so tread carefully, and trust the hat!


If you would like to read more about selecting and wearing your next hat, check out these links:

From The Art of Manliness

From Men Style Fashion

From Articles of Style

From Essential Style for Men

As the world’s leading luxury boutique hat brand for over 40 years

American Hat Makers prides itself on creating handmade American products.

We are THE Premiere cut and sew facility in the world.

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Written for American Hat Makers By Jessica Johnson

Hannah Bertollini Watrous

One of the first things you notice about Hannah Bertollini Watrous is the warmth of her smile. Most likely the second will be the warmth of her hug, because whether she is meeting you for the first, or fifty-first, time she will greet you like you are a long lost friend.

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Its that open joy that drives Hannahs work as the Global Brand Marketing Manager for Watsonville-based American Hat Makers.  Hannah is an integral piece of the family business (Husband Garth is the son of Founder Gary Watrous), whose mission is, Having fun, laughing often, and honoring everyone’s unique strengths.

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When I first met Hannah it was not long after American Hat Makers had moved into their large warehouse near the Watsonville airport. What began as a one-man operation in her father-in-laws garage over 40 years ago has since grown to employ 50 positive and fun loving people who work together to produce the finest, most striking, handmade leather hats in the world.

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As Global Brand Marketing Manager, Hannah is tasked with promoting several unique brands under the American Hat Makers umbrella. This is no small task, as each line has its own distinct personality. Her work takes her all over the country, from the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally in South Dakota, to high-end trade shows in Las Vegas and New York.

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Regardless of how many miles she is logging, Hannahs priority is family first and foremost. I love that my beautiful daughters (Gianna, 23 and Leilani, 16) have the courage to follow their dreams, take risks, and fall short. They both love deeply, are knowledgeable, athletic, nurturing, humorous, and part of the next generation of entrepreneurs who will make a difference in our community,she said.

dsc_0052As far as her marriage is concerned, Hannah clearly loves working with her husband Garth as much as she loves him. We really complement each other. Im proud of the fact that we work so hard on our relationship so that our girls are able to see what a healthy relationship looks like – to be respected, loved, and enjoy life to the fullest!”  

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Clean and sober for over 18 years, Hannah is now addicted to living life fully present and finding love and laughter in every day. Her dedication to enjoying life is evident in every aspect of her being. With her guidance, American Hat Makers dedicates as much to the fulfillment of their employees as they do to making amazing hats. She and Garth mentor employees, provide monthly themed breakfasts and lunches and Keep it Weird days (where everyone dresses up and laughter and smiles abound!) They work to encourage each and every employee to become their highest selves and fulfill their dreams.

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One of the things Hannah feels most strongly about is helping the community. I know we are fortunate to live a charmed life and it feels exceptionally good for my family to be able to give to those in need.

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Whether it is through American Hat Makersannual Hat Day in the Sun event, where they give away hundreds of hats and educate the community about protecting their faces from the sun, or by gifting beanies and socks to the homeless each winter through their Headwear for the Homeless campaign, Hannah knows it is through giving that we receive much more.

I used to really worry about what others thought of me,she said.  Now I feel incredible knowing I work hard at keeping my side of the street clean and discovering how I can be the best me, and finding ways to impact our world in a positive way. There’s not a doubt in my mind that I can make a difference. I have an abundance of Faith in the outcome.IMG_0625.jpg

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Ruby Roxanne Agresta

Ruby Roxanne Agresta is a powerhouse. She is one of those women you meet and later ask yourself, “How does she do it…and how do I get some of that energy?”

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Not only does Ruby have a successful business as the creator of Ruby Roxanne Designs leather jewelry and hats, she has been married for 11 years to her handsome husband Jim, and together they raise three beautiful children in Scotts Valley.

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She is deeply involved in the art community through her work with Pivot; The Art of Fashion and explores her avant-garde creative side by creating Wearable Art and mentoring teens through FashionTEENS Santa Cruz.

“I love creating very unique pieces that makes one wonder what is that made out of? whether it be a dress, jumpsuit, hat or headpiece,” she said.

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I was surprised to learn that Ruby considers herself “kinda shy” because she really does have a big, sparkly personality, just like the wearable art she creates. She is known for her gorgeous, often blinged-out, leather cuffs. (You may well know someone who has been “cuffed” by her – I know I have been!)

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It makes sense that, as a designer and stylist, Ruby feels more comfortable behind the scenes, even though she doesn’t fade into the background herself at all.

“I’m very proud of myself for never turning down a challenge. I push myself to think and design outside of the box,” she said.

Her latest challenge has been designing hats for Watsonville-based American Hat Makers Ruby Roxanne Designs and American Hat Makers have joined forces to get their hats seen in the world of high-fashion, and guess what? They are making it happen!

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“I didn’t really think I could do it [design hats], but with the encouragement and support of Garth & Hannah Watrous  – plus the incredible production team –  we came out with a collection of amazing hats,” Ruby said.

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And that quest to get their hats seen in the high-fashion world? Well, it’s happening. The hats were featured on the runway at New York Fashion Week for Tumbler & Tipsy and a gold metallic top hat Ruby designed was featured on the cover of Lux-PR Magazine.

But that is really just the beginning. “I am super excited to announce my new venture with American Hat Makers,” Ruby shared.  “Ruby Roxanne Head Couture is a luxury high end wearable art collection of gorgeous hats and head pieces that will make anyone who wears them become ART!”

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When I asked Ruby what the keys to her success are she didn’t hesitate, “Having an open mind,” she said. “If I hadn’t been open to working with Garth and Hannah and American Hat Makers I wouldn’t be on this new path.”

It looks like a path to the runway to me!

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Do you believe in MAGIC? American Hat Makers does!

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Do you believe in MAGIC?

I’m not referring to the David Copperfield kind (although this kind does appear in Las Vegas!)

Nor I am I referring to the pulling a rabbit out of a hat kind (although this kind does involve hats!)

No, I am referring to the amazing, one-of-a-kind fashion tradeshow that takes place in Las Vegas twice a year. With over 60,000 (yes, that is correct: sixty THOUSAND) industry insiders in attendance, MAGIC is the marketplace for all things fashion forward.

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If this is the place to be then you know American Hat Makers is there! We are proud to be a part of this huge marketplace for the past several years. It’s one of our favorite places to be! (Well, they all are, but don’t let the secret out!)

MAGIC is truly like nothing else and American Hat Makers is thrilled to be exhibiting in “The Collective” marketplace again this year.

What is “The Collective” you ask? well, according to MAGIConline:

THE COLLECTIVE is the culture of men’s fashion. This platform showcases everything from classic collections to lifestyle-driven and licensed apparel for men and young men. By uniting this community under one roof next to PROJECT, THE COLLECTIVE gives buyers unparalleled access to the rapidly growing men’s and young men’s market.

Come by THE COLLECTIVE and find us:   August 15-17, booth #30038.

This year we will be proudly showcasing both our new hats and our perennial bestsellers as well as celebrating our new Outdoor and Heritage catalogs!

 

If you’re in Vegas August 15- 17 we’d love to see you – or you can follow the magic on our Facebook page or  Instagram or Twitter!

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Written by Jessica Johnson exclusively for American Hat Makers

Take Care of Your Hat: American Hat Makers Shares Hat Care Tips

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A great hat may speak for itself ~ but it still needs you to take care of it!

Finding the perfect hat can feel a little like that birthday when you get exactly what you wished for ~ you want to dance about and show it off to everyone!

And right you should, go ahead and show it off! Sport that hat, tip it to strangers, wear it with pride! Your American Hat Makers hat will bring you years and years of joy and happiness – not to mention protection from the sun, rain and wind – especially if you take good care of it.

Here are a few videos to help you do just that – our team has compiled a series of videos to help you clean, pack, shape and even add a chin strap to your  hat.

How to Clean a Suede & Finished Leather Hat:

Here Kameron shares how to do general cleaning of suede and finished leather hats as well as how to get rid of unwanted scuffs and scratches. He also demonstrates the gentle touch required when cleaning our airbrushed and laser etched hats.

How to Pack A Hat:

Watch Kameron demonstrate our hat packing tips! Learn about the hat saving taco move.

 

How to Maintain Your Hat’s Shape:

Learn our best tips for helping your hat maintain its ideal shape.

How to Shape a Hat:

American Hat Makers founder Gary Watrous demonstrates the best way to shape your leather hats using a simple coffee can. He also shows his favorite techniques for utilizing our wire shaping systems.

 

Here is another exclusive video of  American Hat Makers founder, Gary Watrous showing you how to attach a chin strap to your mesh hat using a pencil!

How to Add a Chinstrap to a Hat:

Not one to be left out, we have Gary’s son, Garth, demonstrating how just how indestructible our hats really are! You have to see this to believe it!

Our Hats Are Crushable:

 

If you have any questions please call us – we love to help!

1-800-NICE-HAT

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Written by Jessica Johnson exclusively for American Hat Makers.

American Hat Makers: Heading to Sturgis

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American Hat Makers is getting ready for the 76th Annual Sturgis Motorcycle Rally in South Dakota August 8-14.

If you are not familiar with the epic event that Sturgis is, here are some facts from the official Sturgis Motorcyle Rally website:

  • in 2015 there were 739,000 attendees
  • there were over 900 licensed vendors (American Hat Makers has attended Sturgis for the past three years!)
  • 122 marriage licenses were issued. (There must be something about seeing folks in their leathers and on their bikes!)
  • Sturgis has approximately 6,700 residents, but each year the population nearly doubles that of the entire state!
American Hat Makers will be featuring the Voodoo Hatter line come check us out at the corner of Main and Junction!

This year we have more of our unique and eye-catching hats and gear like steampunk goggles, belts, and bags.

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Of course,  we will be showcasing our full line of artisan, hand-crafted, Made in the USA hats. 

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Come by our booth and say “Hey”, try some lids on, check out our gear, and
find your next favorite hat!  
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Don’t be shy, you’re at Sturgis! 
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Written by Jessica Johnson for American Hat Makers.

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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