Article from Western Horse Review | January/February 2017
Eric Watson has had a hat obsession since he was a teenager, and today, in his mid-30’s his lifelong study and practice of the art of making a felt hat is paying off as he has to his credit such big name clients as Justin Timberlake and Kenny Chesney.
Almost everything at Watson’s Hat Shop in Stagecoach Village in Cave Creek is antique, acquired from scouring the planet for moulds, blocks and his 1930’s-era sewing machine. He puts the same care and respect master hatters of the Old West did into his craft. His felt hats are made from the finest blends of pure beaver, European hare, and Cuenca from Ecuador for the hand woven straw Panama hats. Every hat is completely customized, hand stamped in gold leaf with the wearer’s initials, using a lettering machine that dates back 100 years ago. Silver and bead bands are crafted from master silversmiths and beaders.
As Watson says, “I began my quest to learn the art of hat making by restoring fine vintage hats as old as 1912. Back then people took pride in what they wore, because it was tailor made by a master craftsman. My hats are made with pride and will last a lifetime when worn properly. At Watson’s Hat Shop you will enjoy the natural luster and signature finishes that make our hats functional works of art.”