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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Big Hats for Big Heads ~ We Got ’em!

If you have a larger than average head, finding a hat that not only fits properly, but is flattering as well, can be a big hassle.

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But not here at American Hat Makers! We proudly offer hats in large sizes all the way up to 5XL.

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Did you know that your hat size doesn’t change, once you are an adult? So although you may wear different pant sizes over the years, your hat size will stay the same.

If your head – measured around the largest part of your head – is between 23 5/8” and 24- 1/8” you are an XL. If your head measures 24 7/8” to 25 3/8” you are a 3X.

And we have you covered, no matter what size you are!

Take Jeff, for example. We met him at our recent Hat Day in the Sun event where we gave away over 500 sun protection hats including many from our top-selling SolAir line. Jim came by with his wife and was helping her select a free hat to wear.

When we asked Jeff where his hat was, he sadly told us he had a larger head and was never able to find a hat that fit him.

“And if I find one that fits, it never looks right,” he said.

Well, it was Jim’s lucky day! We were more than happy to run into the warehouse and find him a hat that fit – and looked great too!

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If you want more information about finding a hat to fit your head and your lifestyle, come visit us at The Hat Hangar. We are located at 125 Aviation Way in Watsonville, CA and we are always happy to help you find just the right hat!

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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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Meet Our Newest Jewel: Ruby Roxanne Designs

When Hannah Watrous, Director of Global Marketing and resident fashionista at American Hat Makers, wanted to bring some extra high-fashion glamour and pizzazz to the company she reached out to local designer Ruby Roxanne Agresta.

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Hannah Watrous and Ruby Roxanne at WESA in Denver

Known for her much adored leather statement cuffs – seen on the wrists of rock stars, celebrities, runway models and that stylish woman you see around town – Agresta’s company, Ruby Roxanne Designs, exhibits a strong appreciation for well-crafted, carefully designed, high-quality leather accessories and Hannah Watrous knew she wanted to meet Ruby.

Initially attracted to Ruby’s keen marketing and branding, Hannah recalls,  “I wanted to meet with her and ask what she was doing to reach the celebrities because I thought she was doing a remarkable job.”

 

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Some of the many celebrities who rock RRD!

Luckily,  Hannah Watrous is both patient and persistent, because it took over two years for the two world-traveling, successful working moms to be able to connect face to face. Ruby remembers Hannah extending an invitation for her to come to the Hat Hangar.

“Hannah said, ‘Why don’t you come to my little store, we just opened it.’ When I got here and looked around my jaw dropped and Hannah said, “Well, the store is little!” said Ruby, laughing.

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American Hat Makers’ not so small home.

While Ruby was impressed with the quality of the hats and the size of the business it still took a bit of persuading to get her into the hat business.

“We worked together and got some hats on some celebrities,” recalls Ruby, “but when they asked me to design a collection I said no way. I love a challenge, but I didn’t want to let them down.” 

But then Ruby began to think about all the work she does with teens through her work as a mentor with local organizations FashionART and Pivot: The Art of Fashion and she realized, “I gotta practice what I preach!”

Even though she admits she was “a little scared” she designed her first two hats under the Ashbury hat line – the Maddy and the Bella – which made their debut in Denver at the Western and English Sales Association Market.

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Hannah rockin’ the Maddy by Ruby Roxanne Designs

Hannah Watrous couldn’t be happier with Ruby’s designs. “Ruby adds an element of flirty fashion to our leather hats that we haven’t had up to now. If you want to feel luxurious and fabulous and stand out in the crowd then you want to have one of the hats from Ruby’s collection!”

Ruby brings bling, high-fashion, and meticulous attention to detail to her collection and this innate sensibility meshes perfectly with American Hat Makers’ commitment to unique, artisan, best-in-class hats.

Ruby is thrilled to be a part of the American Hat Makers family. “[American Hat Makers] are so amazing to work with,” she says. “They love my work and I love their work and it has just been a blessing!”

According to Hannah, the feeling is mutual. “Ruby is like a sister from another mother.  I absolutely adore her. She has the most giving and generous heart, she’s easy to get along with – we laugh often – and working with her has been a perfect fit for our company.”

Welcome to the American Hat Makers family Ruby Roxanne Designs!

 

 

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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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