Custom Beaver Fur Cowboy Hats Made in Jackson Hole, Wyoming

https://www.jhnewsandguide.com/news/business/article_c3370afe-fa51-5105-bf4f-9f18e44e9f46.html

There’s a new hatter in town, and she’s shaping high-quality, custom hats in her tiny 170-square-foot studio in downtown Jackson.

Christy Sing Robertson is the founder and sole maker behind Sing Hat Company, where she’s having a blast creating hats from scratch.

“I felt drawn to this,” Robertson said. “The idea came from God.”

Robertson moved into her studio in October.

It’s in the back corner of the consignment shop GottaHavIt on Glenwood Street.

Robertson’s Americana style is on display in the small studio, which features beaver and rabbit felts, three sewing machines — all of which have a different use — ribbons, hat blocks and hats hanging on antlers.

“I’ve always been a hat wearer,” she said. “My style hasn’t changed in 20 years. When I look at old photos it was always denim and a hat.”

Robertson grew up in the Ozarks of Arkansas in a ranching family, and after working at Lost Creek Ranch in the summer of 2003 she moved to Jackson Hole full-time in 2005.

“I’ve always been attracted to that Western lifestyle,” Robertson said.

Her big smile and Southern charm greets walk-ins who are either there to order a hat or just curious to look around her studio.

“I want to serve this community,” Robertson said. “It’s important to have a local hatter. You can come in and watch the hat-making process and see my face.”

http://singhatco.com

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Christy Sing Robertson makes custom beaver fur hats from her shop on North Glenwood Street, which she has been in since October.

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Robertson loves interacting with customers in person, especially in a time when so many people order goods online.

“It’s important to be able to look your maker in the eye,” she said.

Robertson was making a good living as a sales associate for a company in Fort Worth, Texas.

But in 2017 she stumbled into Marilyn Hartman’s hat studio to have a beloved Stetson shaped.

“She shaped a hat for me, and within an hour I felt drawn,” she said.

Hartman, who founded Jackson Hole Hat Company in 1983 with her late husband, owns the building on Glenwood and still works a few days a week.

“Marilyn has been so good to me, and I want to honor her customers,” Robertson said.

Robertson said she’ll restore hats for some of Hartman’s longtime customers, but she’s mainly in the business of creating custom hats.

Since opening her business she’s made about 50 hats. Each hat takes about eight hours to make.

“It starts with a raw piece of felted fur,” Robertson said. “You steam it really hot and put it over a wooden block the size of your customer’s head.”

After the fur dries for a few hours, Robertson sands the material on a sand block. It’s her favorite part of the process.

“It smells so good, and it feels good in your hands,” Robertson said. “It’s like milking a cow. It’s meditative.”

The hat then is sprayed with alcohol, and the brim is steamed and pressed for several hours on a flange or brim plate.

“Then you can trim the brim to the size the customer wants and you sand the brim,” Robertson said.

Robertson then takes the hat to the finishing table, where her sewing machines sit, to stitch in a sweatband tastefully embellished with her company logo.

“Then you sew in the liner and shape it,” Robertson said.

Robertson didn’t know how to sew before she became a hatter.

Her 93-year-old grandma is a talented seamstress, and her mother has given her some over-the-phone lessons from Arkansas.

But before launching Sing Hat Company, Robertson received formal hat-making training as an apprentice in Salt Lake City.

Robertson found a creative outlet in making hats and loves that people seem less modest about wearing hats to “just any old thing” anymore.

“It’s about that pride of this old trade,” Robertson said.

Robertson’s hats are all different, but they are mostly Western with a modern, Americana flair.

They’re “cool” enough that her 11-year-old daughter and 9-year-old son each begged for a hat.

“The first time I brought a hat home they said, ‘Mom, did you really make that?’”

Depending on which materials are used, Robertson’s hats cost anywhere from $225 to $675.

She hopes the hats she makes for customers will be lifelong treasures and eventually heirlooms.

“I don’t mass produce,” she said. “It’s a slow approach. But it’s a really neat experience.”

You can find Robertson in her studio at 245 Glenwood St. from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday.

She takes walk-ins and appointments.

Information about Sing Hat Company can be found at singhatco.com and on Instagram @singhatcompany.

Contact Emily Mieure at 732–7066, courts@jhnewsandguide.com or @JHNGcourts.