I heard about Greeley Hat Works probably five or so years ago when I was helping a ranch rodeo association figure out prizes for their finals. The finals happened to be in Loveland, Colorado so it made sense to reach out to the nearest hat maker...Greeley Hat Works. I remember that several hats were donated and the members had nothing but good things to say about the hats, but that's about all I remember. After all, a hat is a hat right?
WHOA....Hold Onto Your Hat!!
Can you believe I used to think that? As much as I'm embarrassed to admit it, I did. I just didn't place a lot of importance on the hats I wore. I grew up rodeoing. As I look back through pictures of me competing it was clear that my hats were put through the rigors of being worn by a carless young gal. I rodeoed in the dirt. the wind, and the mud. I didn't grow up wearing a hat out on the ranch nor in the arena...unless I was competing. My hat wouldn't normally go on until I got to the rodeo and then came off immediately upon our way home. My hats back then were purchased off of a shelf in a western store. If it fit and looked relatively decent that would do for me. Boy, how times have changed!
I no longer think that way and I haven't for a long time. I've come to appreciate the craftsmanship, time, and effort that goes into custom made items. I'll chalk up me coming to my senses with me getting older. It's a good thing...truly! The first custom made item I ever ordered was a pair of boots. I still have them and wear them often. I love them! I had no idea what I'd been missing. As a cowgirl it was only natural that I stumbled into the realm of custom hats also. Again, I had no idea what I had been missing!
I met Trent Johnson, the president of Greeley Hat Works, at the Art of the Cowgirl event in Phoenix, Arizona back in February. It was immediately apparent to me that there was something different about him. He was really friendly and he had an enigmatic personality and sense of humor. His passion for what he does exuded in every word he said. The way he explained his different hats and the process behind creating each one had my uninterrupted attention. Something in me right there decided that I needed to order a hat from him.
This was not my first custom hat...it would be my third to be exact. However, I'd never been more excited about ordering something in my entire life! My other two hats were okay....yes, just okay. I didn't hate them, but I wasn't in love with either of them. Why? Well, the biggest reason for both was fit. I don't enjoy getting a headache every time I wear a hat and I don't enjoy having indent marks on my forehead that last for hours. So, when Trent put his head measuring contraption on me (don't laugh - that's what I'm calling it). It is the coolest thing I've ever seen. Here's a picture of what it looks like:
After Trent had it on my head he was able to tell me that my head shape is a long oval. Imagine my surprise because I've always been told that my head was round. No wonder my hats never fit me correctly!!! Wow!! That contraption that Trent used punched holes in a little piece of paper and it was in the shape of my long oval head. I was mesmerized!
"A piece of magic is a hat." ~Martha Sliter
Trent measured me and talked to me about what I wanted in terms of color, shape, look, etc. The entire process was truly one of the best shopping experiences I've ever had. I felt heard and understood. I never felt like I was taking too long or asking too many questions. I also felt involved in the entire process. I was even able to add a super special accent to my hat (beading) that I knew would lengthen the time for it to be completed, but I was okay with that. Trent and his assistant helped me get it all lined out. They both said they would be in touch, but I could expect my hat at the end of April.
Here is Trent taking down my friend Jamie Kirkpatrick's information in his booth.
I do have a confession to make. I definitely did think long and hard about my order. I almost cancelled it too. Yep, I started to second guess myself. Did I really need another hat? Would this one be any different than the others? Did I really need to spend the money? These are the questions that were circling in my head. After discussing it with my husband, I decided to go forward with my order. Trent and his assistant were great from start to finish. I left the Greeley Hat Works booth confident that I was doing the right thing.
"How a hat makes you feel is what a hat is all about." ~Philip Treacy
Boy, was I ever! Over the months I didn't hear anything...and I didn't expect to. I wasn't expecting anything until the end of April. About the end of March I received a phone call from a gal in the office. Apparently there was an issue getting in the type of felt I had ordered. She was informative and told me she would be in touch as soon as they knew a timeline. A couple of weeks later I heard back from her. Things were going to take a bit longer than they originally said. I was fine with that. I appreciated being kept in the loop.
They called when it was done in May. The final touch had to be put on though and that was out of the hands of the folks at Greeley Hat Works. I was having a special beaded touch added to my hat. They said it shouldn't take more than a couple of weeks and it would be completely finished. True to their word, I received my hat on Thursday, June 13th.
My initial thoughts? I couldn't believe how well packaged my hat was! The boxes were sturdy and really did a good job of keeping it secure.
When I opened the actual hat box my heart did a little leap. There was a cedar block, instructions, and my hat was in plastic. When I unwrapped it and got a good look at it I was truly speechless. It was exactly what I wanted!!
The color, the shape, the size, the beading....all SPOT ON! When I put it on my mind was blown. There was no pinching, nothing too tight, it wasn't too heavy, it felt like a continuation of myself....so natural. The fit was perfect! I couldn't have been happier at that moment. I think you can see it in the picture below:
Check out the special touch on the side too. I'm a lover of feathers. I loved the idea that I could have a feather beaded on the side without having to have an actual feather crammed in the ribbon on the crown. I love it!!
I am so happy with my new custom hat and the entire ordering experience that I contacted Trent and asked if he would work with me as I did a product review. He quickly obliged and even threw in an amazing giveaway. Stay tuned for that coming a little later today on my social media channels (FB and Insta). You do not want to miss it!!
Here is where you can find Greeley Hat Works (click on each below):
Greeley Hat Works Website
Greeley Hat Works Facebook Page
Greeley Hat Works Instagram Page
If you are contemplating checking out what Greeley Hat Works can create for you, I encourage you to contact them and get the ball rolling. You will be glad you did! I know this...my family and I will be longtime customers from here on out. Customer service and quality don't go hand in hand a lot these days, but when you find them both together it's important to recognize it and seize the opportunity. That's Greeley Hat Works! Thank you, Trent and staff. My hat is off to you! :) ~Cheyenne
"May your hats fly as high as your dreams." ~Michael Scott