Connect
To Top

Meet Mr. George of Vintage Hatters in Long Beach

Today we’d like to introduce you to Mister George.

Thanks for sharing your story with us george. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
My own story is probably no different than many others you’ve read before. For twenty odd years I worked in the banking industry. Not in a brick and mortar building you see in small towns but a high-rise building you see downtown Chicago, New York or Los Angeles. Banking assets and securities was my profession, from the early morning, sometimes way into the night I would analyze communication reports, performing schedules and so on. Most my afternoons would be overwhelmed with phone calls, peer meetings or some sort of sensitivity training. I excelled at my job, and I enjoyed every moment for the most part. When I was younger, I thought bankers and bank buildings were a cold and empty place. But after many years working in large firms I began feeling the emptiness of my chosen profession. I was not alone or friendless, or unchallenged at my role. I simply began to feel the lack of individuality and substance in my life. I began to feel as a badge ID. A parking space number. A place-holder in an ocean of computers and desk. A sea of Blue, Grey or Black pinstripe suites moving about like sharks, just as you would see in the movies. Way before turning Forty I made a quick decision to quit and go to business for myself. Making a decision that would impact your future is never easy. Like many of my colleagues they too moved on to open their own shops. Unlike my friends I was not going to open a lending services firm, or go into Real Estate or be a broker. I would work with determination to overcome any challenges, and I would use this ethos to drive me.

Today, I own hat store named Vintage Hatters. But its not just another hat store. I deal in vintage and classic hats because of their deep genera roots and history. For over Five years I have been a maker of hats and style. Working hard and determined to make every opportunity count. These days I don’t meet with bankers. I have the pleasure of foster friendships with many artist, and fashion stylist, and headwear lovers alike. I work with them to curate many hat styles from Fedoras, to Porkpie and even the hand woven Panama.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
Making every penny count, watching the spending, calculating every sale just for that Return On Investment. Its almost too discouraging for anyone to start their own business. The challenge for a small business like mine is working on a shoe string budget. For my business to grow I need the brands of styles that have been a staple in American history. Brands and craftsmanship like Stetson, Dobbs, Champ, and many others that date back to 1800’s. With Social Media being prevalent many new artisans designers are popping up to create the new look, or brand. So tradional craftsman ship takes back seat to the newest and latest. All the while these new items are being mass produced by the cheapest bidder, and certainly not made in America.

Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about Vintage Hatters – what should we know?
I am a maker of hats and style, and uncovering specialty hats is what we do. That distinctive crown and trendy brim style are our specialty. My friends and I like hats a-lot and we’re out to make old hats new again. From the traditionally made in America to the uniquely styled hats of Paris. We’re working with true vintage felt, wools and imported straw to deliver you a quality product. These days we are curate a superb choice traditional hat styles like Bowlers, Homburgs, Trilby, Stingy brim and textures like Fur Felt, Velour and Kashmir. Uniquely hand blocked for that true custom finish. You can find your style and me at many different locations across Los Angeles and South County.

Any shoutouts? Who else deserves credit in this story – who has played a meaningful role?
There are many people who deserve praise. For starters, my wife Andrea she’s been with me from the beginning. Always cheering me on for my efforts and ideas. She’s been partner, my rock, my voice of reason and encourages me to let anything hold me back. Second, my closest and long time friends Mike and Christina Vi NG, Kevin and Mliss Cadra. That without your neverending friendship and enthusiasim I would never have persued this journey. And certainly never forgotten; LA Stylist Madison Dixon, and International Artist Thierry Guetta. Big Thanks! Your inspiration, support and selfless wisdom helped guide me through it with gist. Special thanks to everyone of our customers and friends for shopping our hats.

Pricing:

  • Hat Prices Range from $65 to $300.

Contact Info:

Getting in touch: VoyageLA is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

More in