Havstad Hat Company is a custom hat company based in Central Oregon focused on building lifetime quality, heirloom hats using the finest beaver felts made in the USA.
With a background of fundamentals in classic western hat-making, Cate Havstad has been building hats independently as Havstad Hat Co. in Central Oregon since 2014. Each hat is handcrafted from start to finish by Cate. From using the finest beaver fur felts made in the USA, the highest quality sheepskin leather sweatbands, to utilizing hand-shaping techniques and hunting down original hatter’s equipment dating back to the late 1800s, Cate’s approach to hat making honors the history and traditions of the past while incorporating modern day flare into her designs and business.
It all started with an old flat top hat, and a young woman’s search for passion and inspiration.
Many years ago, Cate Havstad was offered an opportunity by friend and songwriter Willy Tea Taylor. Willy Tea was about to embark on a tour of the western United States, playing shows and filming footage for his music documentary, ‘Searching for Guy Clark’s Kitchen.’ He showed up in Santa Cruz, CA one day with an old flat top hat in hand. Willy Tea asked Cate if she wanted to hit the road and assist in filming during the tour. He presented the hat to her, telling her it was her “movie-making hat” and encouraged her to listen to her heart and follow the inspiration that was to be found on the road. The time on the road with Willy Tea, as well as the family of artists and troubadours that they spent time with left a permanent mark on Cate. It was from that trip on that she started her own journey in seeking that which truly inspired her. That hat gave Cate a new silhouette as she embarked on a new direction in her life, and the sentiment behind the hat made it her most prized possession.
For the next year, Cate rambled around the western United States and Canada with her dog, Charlie. One day she returned home to find that her beloved “movie-making hat” had been chewed up. Devastated, Cate started researching hatters and the process of hat making, hoping to repair her beloved hat. As she learned more about the trade, the process and the few remaining traditional custom hat makers, her interest grew. She sought out an apprenticeship with a Master Hatter and moved to Oregon to pursue the trade. In the mornings she worked in a barn leading horseback trail rides and in her free time she learned all she could about hat making.
In addition to running her hat company, Cate also runs an Organic, diversified farm with her husband Chris, Casad Family Farms. Due to the demands of the farm, Cate pauses her hat work from May through September each year, therefore months of hat production are October through April. Contact Cate directly if you have any questions about ordering, workshops or gift certificates.
in 2015 Havstad hat Co. started collaborating with one of the west's most passionate
craft strategist and builders,
Claire began collaborating with Cate and Havstad Hat Co. as the producer and "Chief Creative Wrangler" of the Hatter & The Hound Tour. Claire is the owner and founder of Western Reign Creative, a strategy and management firm working with a large network of craftsmen, farmers, artists and creatives dedicated to building a life & craft on their own terms. In 2019, Havstad Hat Co. and WRC became full-time partners in the build out and development of Havstad’s evolving custom ordering process. Since, Claire has become an essential partner in ensuring the relationship Cate has with both her business and her customers continues to deepen and flourish. WRC works directly with individuals and small teams remotely and in person to develop lasting systems and clear road maps as well as identify and deploy the proper tools necessary to get the job done. You can get in contact with Claire at westernreigncreative.com with any inquires about projects or collaborations.
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