Written by Tiffany Allen
photos by dokk savage
Tell us, what is Nathan Mason Hats?
Nathan Mason Hats is a custom hat shop that specializes in creating custom hats that you, the hat wearer, create. You pick your crown style, brim width, color, sweatband, and liner for the inside. In addition, you choose the accessories like a hat band, feather, or other custom hat band for the outside of the hat. If you can dream it I can pretty much make it.
Tell us the origin story of your custom hat-making abilities, when did this begin?
As a hat wearer, for most of my young adult life I could not find fedora-style hats that would fit me, nor could I find different color options. So, I went to a milliner in Washington, D.C., where I lived, and asked him to teach me, and he did. I only spent a short amount of time with him, probably eight hours, but that was all I needed to learn the basics and spark more interest that would lead me to conduct many hours of research to learn the art of hat making.
We hear that you are you a Huntsville Native, when did you return to Huntsville?
Yes, I am a Huntsville native. I grew up here most of my life until the age of 17. The return is not yet official but soon will be once I purchase a home. This store started as a pop-up for 30 days and it took off from there, fast. The response from Huntsville and the surrounding areas has been great, and overwhelming at the same time. So, I had to shift in order to set up a permanent business here and adjust to my family still being in D.C.
The return has been great, and the community has embraced us and shown excitement with us being here.
Walk us through the process of purchasing a custom hat in your store- are we able to order online as well?
The process is six steps: 1) Measure your head; 2) Choose your color; 3) Pick your crown style; 4) Select your brim width and style; 5) Customize the inside by choosing your sweatband and silk liner color; 6) Accessorize by selecting your hat band ribbon in addition to adding additional accessories like feather, leather or suede cording or distressing.
At this time, we provide online virtual consultations so that you can set up a video call with us and we’ll walk you through the entire process. Soon we plan to offer ready-to-wear hats that will be available to purchase online.
Can you share some insight into your typical customer?
We honestly don’t have a typical customer because we offer so many different styles of hats. This is what I love about what I do. I meet and create hats for all kinds of different people.
You have your classic fedora-style wearer who likes to rock their hat to church or nights out on the town. You have your everyday hat wearer who will wear a teardrop-style fedora. Then you have your bowler hat person who is intrigued by the styles from Europe. Then your cowboy or farmer needs a good beaver hat that is resilient when it comes to outside weather conditions for the necessity.
What are they looking for when they walk into your store?
They are all looking for something different. To some, style is important. To someone else, protection from the sun is important.
To another, it could be the history of hat-wearing that was passed down for generations. The demographics change daily, and I like that it does because it helps me stay creative; each person wants something different when it comes to creating their custom hat.
What’s something you’d like for our readers to know about you? I love proving to people who say they are not a “hat person.” There’s a hat for everybody. Take a chance and let me prove it to you by creating the perfect custom hat just for you.
Learn more here: https://www.nathanmasonhats.com