Recently I took a vacation to Texas, which is one of only a few states I wish I never had to leave. There is no shortage of things to see and do and the people are friendly and absolutely wonderful. Before heading to Texas I had read about a hatter in Lockhart that has made some of the best custom hats money can buy. The shop is called Manny Gammage’s Texas Hatters and is family owned and run by 3rd generation Master Hatter Joella Torres and her husband Master Hatter David Torres. With my love of cowboy hats nagging at me, I decided to make a trip down to this shop. Hats custom made by Texas Hatters have been worn by some of the most famous people world wide; including Willie Nelson, Peirce Brosnan (007), Burt Reynolds, Lewis Hamilton, Ronald Regan, Danny Glover, ZZ Top, etc. (For the full list see the Texas Hatters website). As soon as I walked into the shop I was greeted by David with a smile and a warm welcome. The shop was packed with people since I chose to arrive on Saturday which happens to be their busiest day. David and Joella quickly and gracefully helped everyone in the shop, including myself, find what they needed. Every person in the shop seemed to leave very satisfied. David and Joella run the shop like clockwork and are some of the most personable people you will meet in the state of Texas. I hung out until the shop was cleared of other customers, so that I could discuss having a fully custom hat made. Texas Hatter’s does offer a selection of quality pre-made budget friendly hats, but if you want top of the line quality that will outlast your lifetime and maybe your kids as well, you will want to go custom.After the shop cleared, David looked at my head and visually calculated the size and shape before even touching the tape measure that is always hanging around his neck. After visually estimating the size and shape, he verified with his tape measure which ended up being the size he picked up by eye. Right then I knew I had found the right hatter. David really knows heads. He then went through all the styles and colors of hats with me one by one. After I had found the right size and color, I asked David how long the creation time would be since I was only in Texas for 3 more days, and the shop is closed for two of them. David said it typically takes between 1 and 2 weeks depending on the type and style of hat. I asked David if he would ship it to my house since I would only be in town a few more days, and unexpectedly David stated that he would finish it by the time I had to leave to avoid any risks assoiciated with shipping, and so he could fit it to my head in person. I knew that probably meant that David would have to spend some time on his days off working on it. That shows true dedication to his customers! Since David began creating my hat that day, I asked if he also had time to show me the creation process for my hat and allow me to film some of it, and he gracoiusly agreed. I was amazed at how David treated me. At that point he had no idea that I would be writing this, yet he treated me as if I was just as important as a famous celebrity. I cannot say enough about the customer service at Texas Hatters! Be sure to check out the short clip below that I took of David working on my hat. I won’t describe the full process here, but I can tell you that the hat turned out to be a beautiful work of wearable art that I will put to good use. You won’t be disappointed. Texas Hatters can also make and ship your custom hat over the internet, and while it is recommended that you stop into the shop for the best fit, it is not required.
I would like to add that I was not compensated in any way for writing this. I paid full price for my hat and would do it again if I find myself wanting another in the future.