Lisa Robinson of Silver Lake is well aware of the ‘many hats’ philosophy of Lake County living; and by no stretch is her level of experience described as ‘all hat and no cattle.’
Robinson recently established Top Knot Hats, a business centered around custom-made cowboy hats that are tailored to each and every customer.
Few things serve in as universally recognizable an iconic Western motif as the cowboy hat.
While the curved form and shape is instantly associated with the buckaroo lifestyle and traditional heritage, there are many subtle differences implemented into their design; all of which are dependent upon the individual wearing the hat.
Robinson recently ventured forth with the business as a new opportunity following decades working in the ranching and cowboy-ing realm. Robinson said she worked shoeing horses for 25 years or better, and dreamed up the hat-making business as a viable alternative.
She attended special schooling in Covington, Tenn., and Salt Lake City to learn the craft, and established a dedicated home-based shop in a cozy cabin-like 16-by-16-foot shop.
Though the business is still fairly young, the demand appears to be steadily growing.
“I’ve built about 40 hats, and have orders for about 30 more,” she said. “Cowboys are all for it. I’m tickled for the chance to do it.”
Robinson acquires the hat bodies from a source back east, and performs the finishing work to individually stylize and fit them to each customer.
Turnaround time, from start to finish, is about two to three weeks, Robinson said, noting the time involved with acquiring necessary materials as a key factor.
Customers select a color swatch and a grade, and provide Robinson with the desired style as well as sizing.
The hats serve a multitude of purposes outside of traditional Western fashion, Robinson noted. The working life of a cowboy is often wrought with severe weather conditions, not to mention occupational hazards.
Not only does the hat keep the sun and elements off their face, but it also offers a modicum of protection in the event one happens to tumble from their horse.
There are varied styles that range from the Montana, which Robinson noted features the ‘Gus crease’ made famous in the film ‘Lonesome Dove,’ to the flatter-brimmed Spanish styled hat.
“The trick is to learn how to shape according to whatever anybody may happen to dream up,” she said.
For more information, contact Lisa Robinson at 541-219-1777.