Getting to Know Garth (Garth Watrous of American Hat Makers, that is!)

It’s not unusual for a company to have a list of core values. What is unusual is for one of those to be “be happy and weird.

Pajama Day


Then again, thanks to Garth Watrous, American Hat Makers isn’t your usual company. From “Keep It Weird Wednesdays” to a rousing game of line ball at lunch, the Watrous family is dedicated to promoting a sense of fun and family in the workplace.


the team 2015 crazy hat day


Son of founder Gary Watrous, Garth Watrous has taken a hands on, interactive approach to managing the team at American Hat Makers since he became partner in 2005. “We’ve always made incredibly good hats,” Garth said. “So I decided to focus on company culture, promoting teamwork and connection and sharing fun and laughter with the team.”



Garth is dedicated to hiring incredible people who really want to find a home and grow with American Hat Makers. To help team members thrive  – inside and outside of work hours – Garth focuses on mentoring, training and authentically connecting with each and every person at American Hat Makers. “Connection has always been important in my life,” he explained. “If we notice someone is struggling,  or we see fear or uncertainty growing among the team,  we address it. It is important to maintain open communication with our entire team.”

If nothing else, Garth wants everyone at the company to feel like they are appreciated, valued and trusted to make good choices for themselves and the business. Garth is not afraid of change and he wants to engender that spirit of innovation and fearlessness into the culture at American Hat Makers. When he first became partner he instituted a practice where anyone could make a decision that impacted the company up to $50. Since then, he has increased the limit to $500 with nothing but positive results. “When you are hired you are encouraged to try new things and we trust you to make independent decisions,” he said. “I believe this makes our team feel more connected, more confident and more fulfilled in their work environment.”

Ultimately, Garth is driven by a strong desire to stay true to his personal beliefs. Fortunately for the team at American Hat Makers, primary among them is to treat everyone kindly and, as he puts it, “to love them up.”

We hope you feel that love when you wear a hat from American Hat Makers.



“Keeping it Weird”

conchoCore Values, #7:  Happy/Weird – Being comfortable in the work environment, as well as having fun, has helped us be our most productive selves here at Head’n Home. We’re a bit weird here at Head’n Home Hats, but in the end we always end up with an extraordinary product that is beyond our expectations.

The Zappos Experience

Recognizing a need to establish a group dynamic that would stand the test of time,  we flew our team to  Zappo’s to experience their company culture.   We collected and applied ideas, and we continue to add our own sense of style.  Making hats is a collaborative team effort.  Without exception, each and every team member is treated with respect, and provided with quality materials, and the necessary tools to create their masterpiece.   All work stations are designed to be comfortable and efficient, but that’s not a reason to take ourselves too seriously.

Let’s get weird!  Our Company culture promotes a “Keeping it Weird” campaign, keeping things light and fun.

Garth eats cake

Garth’s cake eating etiquette is on point!

At Head’n Home Hats/American Hat Makers, our Keeping it Weird Committee plans monthly themed luncheons, including recognition for outstanding team members, and odd games.   We are a celebratory group, celebrating any holiday (standard calendar holiday’s or fictitious ones).

StPatricks and Easter2

St. Patrick’s Day and Easter

Crazy Hair Day

The Keeping it Weird Committee is not alone in bringing good times to the workplace.   The staff  are full of surprises at every administrative level, keeping things light.  We’re making hats, not performing open heart surgery.

Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk“One day Garth called everything to a halt, loaded us up in cars, and we went to the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk.  We rode the Giant Dipper a couple of times and came back to work”, said Retail Associate, Bruce Driggs. “It was awesome.”

Our festivities feature themes, and raffle prizes.


100.00 Winner!

Crazy Hat day

Crazy Hat Day

Pajama Day

Pajama Day


Lunchtime Foosball

We’re big on high fives, and incurably competitive.  In the heart of our facility, you’ll find the employee lounge.  Foosball, air hockey, hoops, recliner chairs and plenty of friendly competition.

This kind of company culture is what makes the staff want to be here, working and playing in this  fun environment, and giving their best talent back.

We’re proud to be making an American made product.  We make it, we wear it, and we keep it weird.

the team 2015 crazy hat day

The Team