The Extraordinary Clarissa Burt’s Once in a Lifetime Italian Tour!

Business dynamo Clarissa Burt is giving a select few the opportunity to experience one of the most beautiful countries in the world, Italy, with her exclusive “Once in a Life Time” Italian Tour. The world is full of wonderfully talented and versatile individuals, and Clarissa Burt is definitely one of them. Entrepreneur, television/video producer, public speaker, author, writer, award-winning actress and emcee are among the many titles she can claim. At 18, Clarissa was a top model with the Wilhelmina Modeling Agency in Manhattan. Soon after she moved to Milan and quickly began appearing on over a hundred magazine covers such as Harper’s Bazaar, Vogue, and Cosmopolitan as well as on most of the major runway shows in Milan, Rome, Paris, New York, and Japan. This led to work for cosmetic houses Revlon, Dior, and Carita’, Helena Rubenstein and her selection as the worldwide “Face” for Orlane Cosmetics.

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We’ve had the extreme pleasure of getting to know Clarissa at the Secret Knock seminars we regularly attend. Her versatility in the professional world has given her invaluable advice to share, and has solidified her reputation for entrepreneurial excellence.

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Garth and Hannah with Clarissa at the Prosperity Camp seminar.

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Clarissa with Frank Shankwitz

Clarissa has a passion for the beautiful country of Italy like no other. Having lived there for many years and enacted many business ventures there, Clarissa has become interested in sharing the unique experiences of Italy with others! Clarissa is offering a chance to experience Italy like no other with her exclusive “Once in a Life Time” Italian Tour. Eight nights, nine days of pure Italian extravagance along with fine dining, glorious wines, gorgeous sights, shopping, and lots of fun! This tour will give you a taste of Italy like no other. The Vatican, Pavarotti House and Coliseum are among the many stunning places you’ll visit.

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Going from September 9th to September 18, this tour covers so many sights, almost nothing is left out. You’ll start with two days at the gorgeous hotel Canal Grande in Venice, which is within walking distance of countless beautiful and historically significant sights.

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Among these, there will be a tour of a local vinegar cellar where you will learn about how all of the artisan balsamic vinegars are produced. A 3 course dinner at a local restaurant will follow. Next there will be a full day excursion to Motor Valley, the super car center of virtually the entire world! A visit to the house of tenor Pavarotti, with lunch served at a nearby restaurant is sure to be worth while. After this, Florence is the next stop. 3 days will be spent in this enchanting city, with stops including the Uffizi Art Museum, the Florence historical center, the Duomo, Ponte Vecchio, and wine tasting at a medieval castle in the Tuscan countryside. After this you’ll transfer to Rome, with a stop along the way in the historic town of Orvieto for a tour of the town square and cathedral. When in Rome, you’ll have the opportunity to visit the Vatican Museums, tour ancient roman sites such as the Coliseum, the Roman Forum, and the Arch of Titus.

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If you’re interested in inquiring about attending this priceless trip, you can contact Clarissa at info@clarissaburt.com. Don’t miss out on this wonderful opportunity!

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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Business Highlight: Chapel Hats

Chapel Hats is a nationwide chain of high-end hat stores that is dedicated to providing a fun environment in which the consumer can find a hat that’s perfect for them. Every Chapel Hats store has a story to tell. An interesting fact about Chapel Hats is that they partner with architectural salvage companies to reclaim wood and iron to build the shelves, tables and cash counters used in their stores. Each store is built on history with the use of old pieces, and salvage from old shops, factories, schools, pubs, churches, etc. When you step foot in any of their shops you will be taken to a different time period!

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Chapel’s Chinook location.

We first got involved with Chapel Hats 6 years ago at a Las Vegas trade show. John Mckernan, owner and founder of Chapel Hats, came into our booth and remarked at how much he loved our Steampunk Hatter line. We instantly hit it off! John is honest, open, and willing to try new things, which is one of the core values we employ here at American Hat Makers. John is a knowledgeable buyer who is dedicated to the organic growth of his company and isn’t in a rush when it comes to the way he runs his business. The values he employs in his company insures that he does not get too big too fast and lose touch with his clientele.

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John is well known among hat enthusiasts for the impact his chain of shops has had on the hat world. By making high end, high quality hats more widely available to the public, a resurgence of hat styles has been started. Each location has a wide variety of styles in order to cater to a larger demographic. Chapel hats has a reputation for stocking new and cutting edge styles that keep them ahead of the curve when it comes to fashion.

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Working with such dedicated people, such as those at Chapel Hats, is always so rewarding. Our shared interest in hats and hat-making has really made Chapel Hats a part of the American Hat Makers family. Sharing such similar company values and culture has made Chapel Hats a pleasure to partner with! If you’re ever around one of their amazing locations go check them out! The vintage appeal of their stores is only surpassed by the many fashionable hat styles they carry!

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What Happened at Lone Star Rally 2016!

The 2016 Lone Star Motorcycle Rally was a huge success for American Hat Makers! We always have a blast bringing you the absolute highest quality handmade hats available!  Here is what we saw and who we connected with.

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This year, American Hat Makers sponsored the Perewitz Paint Show. Jody Perewitz is the first woman to break 200 miles per hour on an American – made motorcycle, so naturally we at American Hat Makers jumped at the opportunity to get involved with such a genuine badass! We were so happy to have the chance to partner up with Jody and her amazing team. They spent the entire rally promoting us and giving us shout outs on social media. They also put up banners at the Galvez Hotel! Jody was an absolute pleasure to work with, and we’re so glad she’s enjoying her hats and custom key-chains! It was a pleasure working with such great people. Thank you to the Perewitz team!

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Jody fell in love with this style, the Skull N’ Roses! Designed by Adam Rose of Fallen Owl Tattoo, its laser engraved and airbrushed crown were right up her alley, and definitely set her apart from the crowd!

This hat is available on our website: http://www.headnhome.com/skull-n-roses.html

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Jody wearing the Boheme hat with Feather band. $167

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Jody wore her Player for the entire rally! It must’ve been her favorite!

This hat can be purchased on our website: http://www.headnhome.com/player.html

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Jody & Hannah the Marketing Duo promoting each other throughout the whole Rally!

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Dave & Dave hanging up sponsorship banners at the Galvez Hotel.

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Chad, the winner of the Best Graphics Award and proud owner of a badass top hat from Voodoo Hatter! The trophy was designed by Fast Life Garage!

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Dave Silva & Garth Watrous

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Dave wearing the Skull N Roses top hat, which is a rare occasion he doesn’t normally wear hats.

Chopper Master and King of Flames, custom bike genius Dave Perewitz describes the long years, hard work, and unflagging passion that transformed him from a kid with his first motorcycle, a Harley-Davidson Sportster, into a star riding his creations across the television screens of America on Discovery Channel’s Biker Build-Off. Being able to work with a man who has been a major influence in the custom motorcycle industry for over 30 years offered us a rare look at how a self-taught designer, mechanic, painter, and fabricator managed to build the American dream his own way!

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We met and connected with Karl and Jacquie from Progressive Motorcycle had a blast seeing them enjoy the rally with their new hats from American Hat Makers.

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Where we sold a ton of hats and connected with our customers. One of our biggest highlights was being well-known in the Motorcycle Industry. Everyone knew who Voodoo Hatter was. “We had so much traction from Social Media to our booth it was a rewarding feeling” says Hannah Watrous Director of Marketing and Branding.  We threw out T- shirts giveaways at shows, Voodoo Hatter was everywhere!

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The streets were absolutely lined with top hats! Everybody was lookin’ so stylish!

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Everyone that walked into our booth was amazed by all the different hats and the handmade craftsmanship. We are a luxury brand, our hats are a true investment that comes with a lifetime guarantee.

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If you want a look that sets you apart from the average person and is handmade in America, We’ve got you covered. Stay tuned for the 2017 new hat styles we are working on.

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That’s a wrap for the 2016 Lone Star Motorcycle Rally! See you guys next year! americanhatmakers-voodoo-hatter-galveston-texas-lone-star-rally-24

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Don’t forget to follow us on

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The Decline of the Hat in American Culture

Hats have been a staple of fashion and elegance for millennia. Glance over any picture of a crowd in the early 1900’s and you’d have a hard time finding anyone hat-less! Leaving your house without your hat was comparable to going to work without your pants! So what caused such a popular and widely used accessory to be phased out? During the early 1900’s, a renaissance of self-grooming habits arose which saw the first commercially released PH-Balanced shampoo. This discovery promoted showing off your hair, which would require leaving your hat at home. A May 1908 printing of the New York Times contained an article detailing the processes and benefits of shampooing, saying that hair that is “soft and glossy in appearance and texture” was of utmost desirability, thus encouraging many people to embrace these new hat-less style trends.shampoo

At the start of WWII, any non-essential resource or material was redirected for the wartime effort. This disrupted the availability of many of the materials necessary for the production of different hat styles. Fashion had to respond accordingly, and many man-made materials and alternative processes were developed to replace the scarce resources. Although millinery itself was unrestricted by law, due to extreme rationing, hats became largely unavailable simply due to the fact that they were not a necessary item. Average citizens could not justify using precious rationing coupons on something as frivolous as a hat. Men returning from war had just endured five years of regulated uniforms which did not include hats, and many were not eager to resume wearing them when they returned and simply hung up their helmets and abandoned head wear entirely.

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Years after the end of WWII,  President Dwight D. Eisenhower became a key player in the implementation of a national interstate highway system. His experiences during the 1919 Motor Transport Corps convoy, which was a long distance military convoy that traveled roughly 3000 miles from Washington D.C using the Lincoln Highway, gave him the knowledge necessary to design an effective transport system across the country. While serving as an allied general, he gained an appreciation for Germany’s Reichsautobahn system which was the early version of today’s Autobahn. Eisenhower noted at how quickly a central highway system could be used to deploy troops and resources necessary to combat an invasion or provide relief for an emergency.

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With the implementation of a national highway system, transport in America shifted from bustling, cramped, public transport to using personal automobiles made available by companies such as Chevrolet and Ford. This shift from public to private transit is probably the most to blame for the decline in hats. When using public transit, a large portion of time is spent enduring the elements, whether walking to the bus station or sitting on a bench waiting for the bus to arrive. The unpredictability of the elements made it smart to wear an outfit that could be used in various weather conditions. Therefore, no outfit would be complete without a hat. As more and more citizens made the change to private transit, time spent outside while traveling dwindled greatly. This, coupled with the diminished headroom inside of the average car cabin, made it almost an inconvenience to wear a hat. 1348488portrait-of-former-president-dwight-eisenhower-wearing-cowboy-hat-on-his-190-acre-farm-posters
Presidents and hats have a very storied history.President  John F. Kennedy’s inaugurational speech was the first ever to be broadcast to the nation in color. Coming only about 15 years after the first televised presidential speech, the importance of this event was not lost to the public. Wearing a hat to inauguration was commonplace, and even somewhat regarded as tradition. President John F. Kennedy shook this tradition and ditched his top hat after the first few sentences of his inaugural speech.

 

The impact of this gesture was noticed largely by the young baby boomers, who wished to resist the conformity of their parents and pave their own way.This decision is most widely regarded as the single most impactful event pertaining to the popularity of wearing hats, although the significance was probably increased due to various other social factors at that time.

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As time went on, more and more radical hairstyles developed and the use of hair products continued to rise, with 1964 seeing hairspray as the top-selling beauty product. Rather than being decimated by the actions of one man, the hat was metaphorically hung up due to a rise in youth culture in the 1960’s and the suppression of formality in all areas of life.

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