SAN ANTONIO - If you are looking for the perfect hat to "top" off your attire, then Paris Hatters may have exactly what you need.
This year the company is celebrating 100 years!
Broadway Street downtown may be coming back to life, but Paris Hatters is one business that's never had to turn out their neon lights.
"We carry an array of hats. We carry over 300 hats in stock and we probably have 15-16 different colors in western,” Paris Hatters owner Abe Cortez said.
They’ve got western, fedoras, golf hats, top hats, and derbies. They even carry kid’s hats.
"You name it we carry it," Cortez said.
Hats have been a long standing tradition in Cortez's family.
"Ya know my dad was 17-years-old when he got started in the business. His uncle is the one that started it,” Cortez said. "They were selling suits at the beginning. They added hats and my dad had a knacking for it,” Cortez said.
With over 15,000 hats sold last year, it’s easy to say this family still got it.
Known for stocking some of the best hats in the world, Paris Hatters has been able to make that name thanks to their customizing of cowboy hats.
"We customize hats to a person's flavor. That's very important. Cause a lot of people, the smaller person does not wear a big ole cowboy hat and that's what we are experts at," Cortez said.
Using a steam machine, they can renovate or shape your cowboy hat all while you wait.
"What the steam does it softens the felt, so you are able to round it out and then start all over again,” Cortez said.
In five or ten minutes you've got a new look. This unique technique has gained Paris Hatters a reputation.
"It's a neat business. You never ever know who comes in,” Cortez said.
You can tell from his wall of fame they must be doing something right.
"Here's Kid Rock. I've made hats for kid rock. The Pope in 1986. There's Sammy Davis Junior, merle Haggard, Billy Gibbons and ZZ Top. We've done so, so many of em," Cortez said.
The store does not seem to be slowing down especially with hats once again gaining popularity with the younger generation.
"We've seen the spike in sales since Mad Men premiered. The 60's kind of came back into fashion,” Cortez's daughter Alexandra Sledge said.
However, Paris Hatters said shading the sun still accounts for most of their sales in the summer time.
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