GARLAND (CBS11) – When the White House decided to tout United States goods with products made entirely in the U.S., it looked to a plant that has made iconic cowboy hats for nearly a century and ships a million of them a year.
“It was a shock and an honor because you know there are millions of companies in Texas and we got chosen,” said Justin Thomason who’s in charge of quality control for Stetson hats, owned by Hatco. “And that’s a pretty great deal. I mean, Stetson is been around since 1865 and we want to keep that tradition going.”
Four hundred workers in two Texas plants make every Stetson hat from start to finish.
They even have their own tooling department to keep original equipment running or build all new factory tools if they need it.
“We have the control of every single process. And why would you want to outsource that?” Thomason said.
The company wasn’t just sending a sample of its hats for the exhibition, it made two hats for the president.
“I mean, you’re making a hat for the president. It doesn’t matter what the president it is. You know, you’ve got to make it perfect,” Thomason said.
With his New York roots in mind, one of the hats was a black, dress hat. But they sent a cowboy hat, too, based on the company’s $5,000, top of the line model. With a custom liner and jeweled hat band made just for the president it was this hat the president put on his head during the show in Washington.
And that was a proud tip of the hat to the company steeped in U.S. manufacturing tradition.
“If anybody comes to our factory they all see it’s not just an assembly line it’s people touching each at in each process and that’s pretty great,” Thomason said.