The Yellowstone Hat Co. Opens New Storefront
Customers can help create the perfect custom-made hat
Russ Fry and Susan Byerly love hats. Specifically, bespoke hats made of leather, beaver pelt, nutria and rabbit fur. The couple began making hats for themselves, but they soon started receiving requests for hats from friends.
The Yellowstone Hat Co. began as a hobby during the pandemic shutdown and became an in-demand, thriving business endeavor. “It became kind of a passion project, and we found ourselves making custom hats,” Byerly says. “We can really do anything for specific customers.” Fry adds, “No two hats are alike. They all have a custom style, fit, hatbands and vintage trinkets, which are made-to-order.
The quest for a hat begins with an appointment. Fry says people often bring in inspirational photos of hats they like. “We go from there. We even do client consultations on Zoom.”
The most crucial aspect of creating a hat is the client’s head measurement. Once they have the sizing and style nailed down, they move on to envisioning the material and customizations that will make the hat completely unique. Byerly notes, “Some of our customers have details from an old hat that belonged in the family, and we incorporate that into the new design.”
Artwork is also featured as a prominent component of many hats. To achieve an unusual and creative look, Fry and Byerly have partnered with tattoo artist LaTascha Diaz, who hand marks and brands hats with her unique artwork. She draws an image or design, and once the client approves, she puts it on the hat. Hats can also be branded, and the trio works with branding irons to create that look.
Business has been so good that the Yellowstone Hat Co. has expanded to include a brick-and-mortar storefront in Livingston, MT. They have big plans for the shop. “The storefront has been huge for foot traffic,” says Fry. “We’re located on the main thoroughfare here in town, so lots of people see us and reach out. We’ve had great support from the community.” Byerly notes that in addition to hats, they are filling the shop with various merchandise, including clothing. “People can stop in to browse. If they have an older hat that needs re-fitting, we can do that on-site too.”
Visit the Yellowstone Hat Co. website page to locate the storefront, get a sneak peek at some of the available hat designs, and find the contact information to schedule a consultation. Consultations are by appointment only, so scheduling in advance is a must. Fry and Byerly explain that “just doing what they love” helps customers find a timeless wardrobe staple like no other. It’s an heirloom piece they will wear and cherish for a lifetime.