Tip Your Hat: Paul’s Hat Works & O’Lover Hats from Oakland are putting together a hat show/trunk show on August 21st from 7-10 pm.
There will be 5-6 other Bay Area Hat designers, hatters and milliners, that will be showing. Most likely all featured include:
Katie Burley, Jasmin Zorlu, Justin Credible, O’Lover Hats, Paul’s Hat Works, Ricardo Felix
There will be nice music, a good bar, and a $3.00 door fee. The purpose of this show is not only to retail hats, but for the Bay Area community to learn more about hats, the making of, and their local hat business owners. For Paul’s Hat Works, this will be an opportunity to preview our creative seasonal line, and for people to meet us as the new owners before we open.
The Box Factory
865 Florida Street (at 21st st)
San Francisco, CA
Opening!! Saturday, August 29th.
There will be an open house from 10-6, and then the gala from 6-10, where there will be champagne cocktails, hors d’ourves, music, and more. A formal invitation with more details will be issued.
Howdy from the Richmond District in San Francisco!
We are writing to share with you personally the rich past, the exciting present, and the limitless future of a little shop in San Francisco called Paul’s Hat Works. In short, Paul’s Hat Works, residing in the Richmond District for the last 90 years, is a business that makes hand made men’s
hats. It has been owned by three generations of gentlemen since 1918, but now it has been handed over to four ladies: us. At the end of the summer,
Paul’s Hat Works will finally be in full production once again…
The Past: In 1918, Napoleon (or Paul) Marquez, a Peruvian, having returned from the U.S. Service in World War I, began making hats; specializing in Panama Straw. He opened Paul’s Hat Works in a building on Geary Blvd. Paul ran the shop for 37 years, until 1955, when his godson, Kelley Bowling, took over.
Kelley ran the Hat Works as a “Mom and Pop” Renovation Shop, with his wife Stephanie for 25 years. Kelley later sold the shop to Michael Harris and his wife Judith in 1980. A Hatter now for 40 years, Michael steadfastly worked to achieve and maintain the “Museum” quality of the Hat Works. Carefully preserving the integrity of over 90 years of fine custom-made hats, Michael worked with the same tools and equipment used since the early 19th century, in what is now one of the oldest operating hat shops in the United States. 6128 Geary Boulevard has always housed a Hat Shop, and now, due to the following events, it always will.
It was New Year’s Day, 2009, and one girl walked into a building that transported her into another time. The building contained Paul’s Hat Works. Amazed by its beauty, its preservation of the craft, and this feeling of stepping into another decade, Olivia Griffin, visionary and Head of Marketing & Outreach, engaged the owner, Michael Harris, in a conversation about the life of the business. She quickly learned that Paul’s Hat Works was shutting down, and 90 years of history would be split into fragments across the country and further, unless someone could keep it together.
Olivia was inspired by this and knew the perfect three women to bring along for the ride: Kirsten Hove, a hat designer, Abbie Dwelle, building & organizational
visionary, and Wendy Hawkins, co-owner and operator of a food cooperative. These ladies along with Olivia, a soon to be graduate with three B.A.’s in Costume Design, Apparel Design, and Dance, will be the perfect four women to continue this legacy of hat making.
Six months after that fateful day, these four ladies, with the support of their community, family, and friends, have taken a leap, and became the proud new owners and propagators of this beautiful and old traditional business. The ladies are dedicated to preserving the legacy of Paul’s Hat Works with the same name, same location, and same phone number, but also know that to keep up with the very weary
economy, a few additions and changes need to happen.
Some of the changes we are implementing include renovating and re-designing the space to allow for a large sewing/crafts studio, a new and improved hat making space, and a lovely backyard for a flower and vegetable garden. The décor and design of the space will be focused on the feeling of going back to the time and place where people still wore hats every day, still listened to old records, and still spent time getting to know the local hatter in the community. This complete rejuvenation of the space is spearheaded and organized by Abbie, Head of Maintenance and Organization.
We want to continue the legacy, history, and artistic value of Paul’s Hat Works while doing something that has not been done: designing seasonal, more creative lines of men’s hats that will extend over a wider price range. We will still be making all of our hats by hand with old, valuable hat blocks, tools, and machines, the same way the previous owner, Michael, has been making hats for the last forty
years. Kirsten, Head of Production and Design, is in charge of producing these creative lines. She is also organizing the installation of intricate, eye-opening window displays that will be changing every month.
Aside from prizing the art of designing and making hats, we place a high value on education, community, and skill sharing. Wendy, bookkeeper and Head of Human Resources for Paul’s Hat Works, is a local business owner and is committed to bringing the community into Paul’s Hat Works and extending our support to our fellow local
businesses. We will be having sewing and craft classes in the studio we are creating behind the storefront. By doing this, we can invite the community in to experience and examine some of the interesting relics that are used in hat making while perpetuating what we know amongst others. This will fulfill our need to continue a rich part of
history and become more integrated into the community of the Richmond District of San Francisco.
Not only do we wish to inform you not only of the existence of the shop and change in ownership, but to interest you in getting involved. Whether that’s as a propagator or customer, any support you can give us is immensely appreciated. As business owners, or simply as people, trying to be successful during an economic downturn, we need
to be supportive of each other in whichever ventures we endeavor to pursue. Whether you are able to contribute time, monetary or material resources, advice, or the small act of spreading the word, we are entirely grateful for anything you have to give, if not materially or physically, than in your verbal support and patronage.
If you want more information concerning Paul’s Hat Works, or want to support us in any of the aforementioned ways, visit our website at www.hatworksbypaul.com, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call us at 415.221.5332.