The Extraordinary Doc Phineas!

We’d love to take some time to highlight one of our wonderful hat ambassadors! If the Steampunk world was personified into the body and soul of a single person, that person would be Doc Phineas! There’s hardly a more distinct character than he.

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Doc Phineas has an intriguing story for any day of the week! In fact, he’s probably runner-up for Most Interesting Man in the World! Doc is a seasoned world traveler, with experiences in 92 countries around the globe. He is a veteran actor who has starred in 15 Hollywood motion pictures. During his college years in the SF Bay Area he wrote, scored and produced 18 Broadway style shows which were produced at the Grace Church in San Jose, CA where he was Youth Minister. On top of this, he has produced 3 musical CD’s, authored 5 books, and has been teaching for over 45 years.

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It seems that since birth, even, Doc Phineas has had an affinity for artistic performance. At the age of 3, he went into full on dance lessons, tap, ballet, gymnastics, singing, violin, piano, and drum lessons. Every weekend his mother took him to do fancy dancing at Buffalo ranch in Akron, Oklahoma. From ages 5 to 8 he appeared as a regular tap dancer on the Pinky Lee Show on television, with appearances on Howdy Doody, the Mickey Mouse Club. He even made guest appearances on The Lone Ranger, Jungle Jim. As he got older his  piano skills really developed and he could play old fashioned rinky tink piano tunes. As a young teenager he was dressed up in a bowler and spatz and even a fake moustache, knocking out the tunes at the Long Branch Saloon in Dodge City, Kansas where they filmed Gunsmoke. Doc Phineas claims that he adopted the style known as Steampunk as early as the 1950’s!

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He soon landed a full scholarship to attend UC Berkeley and relocated to San Francisco, where he worked 3 jobs and produced broadway style shows for the children at a local church, where he was a youth minister. When he completed his BA degree he got a scholarship to study in India. He then headed off to India where he studied yoga under the tutelage of the great Indian saint Sri Anandamayi Ma. He completed his MCE at Madras University, and headed back to Berkeley to continue work on his Ph.D. He was very thin being 6 ft tall and when he returned from India he weighed only 105 lbs as he had gone through famine there. When he was walking in San Francisco one day in long flowing Indian clothing, the fashion diva Sabina saw him and signed him into her agency as a male model. He became a celebrated male model working for House of Dior in Paris and the house model of I Magnin in San Francisco appearing in GQ magazine and on fashion runways all over the world.

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His cousin was on her way to Hollywood to appear on Police Woman and St. Elsewhere so she took him to Hollywood and he ended up with parts on Young and Restless, and was featured in OOKid, Alexa, Out For Blood, Oakbay, Ardvarks, and Batman Forever. He was also working as a set designer and consequently ended up doing designing for Bette Davis, Doris Day, Barbara Streisand, and Michael Jackson for their homes. One night at a party for Wolfgang Puck, he met Tony Curtis. They became such great friends, Tony invited Doc to be on his production team and he worked with him on the last films of his life. He always plays characters that are like Steampunks and old characters in a Western city; the piano player in a bar, the old shop keeper in a western town. Tony asked Doc to move to Las Vegas so they could keep working together . In the year 2000 he had finished his Ph.D. at London University, Shefferton College, so he continued working in productions and teaching in the Las Vegas area. As a member of the Single Action Shooting Society he continued to work on Old Time Movies out at Bonnie Springs Ranch and Calico Ghost Town. Five years ago, he noticed the transformation of some of his students at UNLV to Victorian clothes, top hats, monocles and goggles. He told them he had been wearing that attire since he was a boy. They begged him to sponsor the Steampunk Group at UNLV they told him they couldn’t find one faculty member to back them up, that people laughed at them and they weren’t really welcome at Renaissance Faire…they loved this genre of fiction but they felt sad and alone. He decided it was time to resurrect Dr. Phineas, a character he had once played.

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He was named President of the Steampunk Guild and they got organized so that they could have meetings, learn more about garb, enjoy tea and conversation with eachother, work on wonderful inventions, and travel to archeological sites and digs all over the world including Valley of the Kings in Egypt! Without Doc Phineas’ drive and dedication to the fashion subgenre, who knows where the world of Steampunk would be!

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The amazingly talented Lindsey Stirling!

Lindsey Stirling  is an American violinist, dancer, performance artist, and composer.

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She presents choreographed violin performances, both live and in music videos found on her YouTube channel, which she created in 2007. Stirling performs a variety of music styles, from classical to pop and rock to electronic dance music. Aside from original work, her discography contains covers of songs by other musicians and various soundtracks. Her music video, “Crystallize” finished as the eighth-most watched video of 2012, and her cover version of “Radioactive” with Pentatonix won Response of the Year in the first Youtube Music Awards in 2013. Stirling achieved one million singles sold worldwide by August 2014. As of July 2016, her Lindseystomp YouTube channel exceeded 8 million subscribers and over a billion total views. Stirling has been named in Forbes magazine’s 30 Under 30 In Music: The Class Of 2015. Forbes notes her quarter-finalist position on America’s Got Talent in 2010, a No. 2 position on the Billboard 200 for her second album Shatter Me in 2014, and her 8 million subscribers on YouTube. Stirling’s debut album was a commercial success in Europe, selling 200,000 copies in Germany, winning a platinum certification; three additional certifications were given by Austria, Switzerland and Poland. The debut album was nominated for the 2014 Billboard Music Awards for Top Dance/ Electronic album. Stirling’s second album Shatter Me won the 2015 Billboard Music Awards for Top Dance/Electronic Album. Check out this awesome video, Roundtable Rival, to see just how talented Lindsey is!

 

 

Her dancers are always so coordinated and alluring! It’s always such a pleasure watching one of Lindsey’s videos. She’s so obviously passionate about what she does, seeing someone create something so beautiful and genuine is so inspiring!

 

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Lindsey and the Roundtable Rival dancers. The top hat on the left is a Trinket!

Stirling describes her childhood as being raised in a modest household and stated “I would not trade my humble childhood years for anything else. Due to her family’s financial limitations, her parents could only afford to find a violin teacher who would give her half lessons. Told by instructors that “a child isn’t going to learn how to play in 15 minutes a week”, her parents persisted, and at the age of five she began taking violin lessons. You can see where this led!

 

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Lindsey with the Master of Tides dancers. The hats pictured here are the Pipefitter, Kraken, and Trinket!

Nowadays, Lindsey is recording amazing music and stunning crowds with performance pieces like “Master of Tides”. Lindsey partnered with UE Boom to create a live, spontaneous performance piece in a crowded plaza and filmed it with hidden cameras! Check out this one-of-a-kind performance!

 

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Whenever we get the chance to partner with such a unique, creative-minded individual such as Lindsey, we’re reminded of why we do what we do! At American Hat Makers, we strive to create masterful pieces of art, so that artists like Lindsey can achieve their vision and continue to fill the world with captivating and genuine art!

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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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Face Off!

Have you heard of SyFy’s competition series, Face Off? It’s an absolutely crazy show where special effects make-up artists participate in elaborate challenges for a grand prize and the honor of being Hollywood’s next great effects artist.

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Gotta get it just right!

We at American Hat Makers love seeing what other creative minds can do, so naturally this show was right up our alley! Seeing the contestants give their all at something they are so passionate about is awe inspiring!

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Stunning work!

We’ve been introduced to some really unique and talented individuals such as Cig Neutron! As the love child of 80’s campiness and 50’s sci-fi, Cig Neutron has been creating creatures from his imagination — his “Cig Neutron Universe” — since childhood. He crafts an elaborate story for all the creatures he designs in order to better realize his sculpts.

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Mr. Cig Neutron looking gloriously dapper!

He is currently a special effects make-up artist and a freelance sculptor, and co-founder of his company Bizarro Au Go-Go. In 2013, he won the Son of Monsterpalooza costume contest with his Baphomet makeup. Cig and his girlfriend Rani enjoy dressing up in full creature makeup and going out to karaoke bars.

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Rani rocking a Draco with her amazing makeup!

We also got to meet the amazing Rachael Wagner! Rachael Wagner is an accomplished makeup artist with a professional concentration in special effects makeup, creating and applying highly realistic prosthetics for film, television and live events. She is a graduate of Make-up Designory’s Master Program and a finalist in multiple IMATS Battle of the Brushes events. She has worked with and for many diverse clientele, including Fall Out Boy, National Geographic, Girl Scouts of America, the Metropolitan Opera, Universal Studios, Hyundai, Nerdist, Syfy, MGMT, Solar City, Sheroes Entertainment LLC , the Magic Castle and DragonCon. Rachael has returned to freelancing after almost a year of working as Global Effects Inc’s project supervisor, a prestigious costume and fabrication shop with whom she had the honor of working on many special projects, including Steven Spielberg’s Bridge of Spies, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D, Castle, the upcoming film Geostorm and a host of live events including Universal’s stage shows.

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Rachael knows how to wear a Garbo just right!

Among others we had the pleasure of interacting with was RJ Haddy! Robert “RJ” Haddy’s goal when he was cast in season two of Face Off was to give his career a push so that he could quit teaching high school and work full time on his art. Mission accomplished. These days, RJ works full time creating special effects and running an e-commerce site selling airbrush equipment, including his own Shadow line of brushes. He hopes that his new confidence and refined techniques will propel him to new heights in the special FX world. He’d like to use the champion’s prize money to build up his airbrush business, and also to allow his mother to retire. His favorite movies with special effects are Labyrinth, The Dark Crystal, Little Shop of Horrors, Star Wars, Batman (1989), Beetlejuice and Gremlins.

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RJ as the Penguin, and Merry Lee.

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Seeing our hats grace the heads of such inspiring, driven, and creative individuals is exactly why we do what we do. Being around others who have the same mission to create  art and impact the community pushes us to reach for higher standards when it comes to every aspect of the way we do things. Don’t forget to check into Syfy channel on January 24th for the newest season of Face Off and keep an eye out for the latest and greatest in headwear only from American Hat Makers.

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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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Badass Elegance with Voodoo Hatter!

Looking for a hat that will set you apart from the crowd? You’ve come to the right place. 19th Century style infused with fierce sensibility and a touch of dark energy make Voodoo Hatter essential to your subversive lifestyle. From hard-kicking rocker to brazen biker or neo-noir grifter, you will make a definitive statement wherever you go.

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The Deadwood by Voodoo Hatter

We designed these bad boys to be the kinds of hats you become known for wearing. Formed out of black or brown full-grain smooth leather, our toppers are built to last, and are guaranteed to draw eyes.

Featuring laser engraved and airbrushed designs from Adam Rose of Fallen Owl Tattoo, finding more artful hats would be a chore. Adam’s creative vision truly sets these hats apart from the rest.

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The Skull ‘N Roses designed by Adam Rose

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The Silver Skull designed by Adam Rose

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The Balance designed by Adam Rose

Handmade with unsurpassed attention to quality and a discerning eye on the details, each piece is as much an individual statement as it is a cover for your head. Elegantly don a Voodoo topper at an exclusive event, or boldly show off your attitude at a motorcycle rally, it’s truly up to you.

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They’ve even been said to stay on at 60+ MPH!

When it comes to accessories, hats are the most powerful of all. Nothing sets you apart from the crowd more than a hat from Voodoo Hatter. Utilizing exotic materials hardly found elsewhere, each hat is truly a handmade work of art.

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The Caliber, available in black, cigar, rattlesnake, and red.

Accents of rattlesnake and ostrich leg elevate the Caliber to a new level of artisan craft. A dual appliqué accentuates the bold crown to make this one fierce topper!

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The Rio Topper by Voodoo Hatter

The Rio Topper is like no other hat in this collection.This hat is made in all black leather, and accented with an intricate appliqué that highlights Eastern Diamondback rattlesnake skin on the front of the crown. The unique hatband is made from double rattles that cross in the front and are tied together with a reproduction 1944 Mercury dime. Just the hat for the elegant Voodoo punk.

Featuring a deer-skin band embellished with a taxidermy eye, the Eye band brings all of the mystique and allure of the Kraken into a minimalist package. Stand out at any event with this elegant topper.

 

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The Silverado by Voodoo Hatter

Reminiscent of a pork pie, but with a distinctively western brim. This hat is low, lean, and mean. Leave the brim flat for a gunslinger look or curl the brim to dial up the attitude.

With hats like these, it’s hard not to make an impact! Next time you’re looking for a powerful accessory that speaks on it’s own, go with those who know best!

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Voodoo Hatter!

Voodoo Hatter goes to lengths unseen to deliver the ultimate in handmade leather top hats. 19th Century style infused with fierce sensibility and a touch of dark energy make our Voodoo Top Hats essential to your subversive lifestyle.

 

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The Caliber in red, black, cigar, and rattlesnake.

 

From hard-kicking rocker to brazen biker or neo-noir grifter, you will make a definitive statement wherever you go. We designed these bad asses to be the kinds of hats you can become known for wearing. Formed out of black or brown full-grain smooth leather, our toppers are built to last. The new additions feature remarkable airbrushed, laser engraved designs and eye catching rattlesnake skin overlay.

 

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The Skull N Roses (design by Adam Rose)

 

Adam Rose of Fallen Owl Tattoo is an amazing tattoo artist who sends us his designs to be used in the production of our hats!

 

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The Silver Skull (design by Adam Rose)

 

These styles utilize state-of-the-art laser engraving and airbrushing techniques to perfectly recreate Adam’s absolutely stunning works of art.

 

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The Cocktailer (design by Adam Rose)

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Shipwrecked (design by Adam Rose)

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Balance (design by Adam Rose)

 

Voodoo Hatter lives for biker rallies! Whether it’s the Lone Star rally in Galveston, Texas or the world famous Sturgis Motorcycle Rally we love absolutely tearing it up with our fans and having a great time.This year’s rallies were especially great. As we attend more and more rallies, Voodoo Hatter becomes more and more recognizable among the community and being able to experience that first hand is incredible!

 

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Downtown Sturgis 2016

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Enjoying Sturgis Motorcycle Rally

Voodoo Hatter is even respected among celebrities! We’re absolutely delighted to see such a wide range of stars enjoying our hats!

 

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Steven Tyler of Aerosmith looking absolutely characteristic in an El Dorado

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Elvis Nolasco of American Crime rocking an El Dorado

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Anastasia Baranova of Z Nation wearing an El Dorado.

It really isn’t hard to see why Voodoo Hatter is so well loved! When you put on a topper by Voodoo Hatter it invokes an adventurous spirit that’s sure to take you to new places! When it comes to Voodoo Hatter, the meek need not apply!

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