Kansas City Hatters
I believe quality products made with real passion can become more than just the sum of their parts. My goal is for people to feel a connection with me through the hats I make. I want them to see my love for hats with their eyes and experience the quality of my work with their hands and heads.
I first fell in love with hats as a child. I grew up watching old black and white moves where the style of the 30’s and 40’s always drew me in. Hats told a story back then, from the beat up utilitarian hat of a farm hand or villain to the slick smooth felt hats of the high class. People’s hats reflected who they were and men and women alike weren’t seen without one.
That love for hats never left me, but as I grew older I traded fedoras and baseball caps for kevlar helmets and eight point covers. I served as a medic, called a Corpsman, for eight years with the U.S. Marines and U.S. Navy. Shortly after the birth of our son, my wife and I knew we wanted one of us to be at home with him, especially during his formative years. What that meant for us was the end of my military carrier, moving back home to Kansas City and embarking on a new journey together. My wife continued her career working in hospitals while I stayed at home and raised our son. I did this for four wonderful years during which I inadvertently stumbled upon the art of hat making.
I had an old fedora that needed the sweatband changed, the only problem was I couldn’t find anyone in Kansas City that worked on hats nor could anyone tell me where to take it. Out of necessity, I decided to see if I couldn’t change the sweatband myself. I found someone that would cut and sew a leather sweatband to size in Minnesota, promptly ordered one and set about learning how to install it. My research took me deeper and deeper into the art of hat making. My quest for a new sweatband ignited an ember started so long ago in me as a child and I was quickly engulfed in a passionate fire for hats and creating them. I began to obsess over learning everything I could about hat making. I purchased some old hatter’s tools online, what I couldn't find I built myself and I got started. I began buying old hats, tearing them apart and building them back. Each new hat was a new challenge, a new learning experience and I loved it.
After a while of tinkering and making hats for myself I started having a desire to make hats for others. This desire just happened to coincide with our son getting ready to start school full time. I sat down with my wife and told her of my idea to make hats for others. I asked her if I ran a successful Kickstarter campaign for start up money would she be on board with me starting a business and seeing where I could take it. The resulting Kickstarter campaign was successful and on November 27th, 2017, Kansas City Hatters, Inc. was born.