Tucked away off a busy street in one of our up and coming neighborhoods in Louisville is Paul’s Hat Works. The San Francisco based company recently set up a permanent shop in Butchertown after having a pop-up shop in the area during Derby season for the past 2 years. Their services range from basic cleaning of hats, to full cleaning, and custom made pieces.
The team made the decision to set up a permanent shop in the area so that they would be able to bring all the tools and supplies needed to have a full service shop. In the past years they’ve worked with odds and ends pieces, which shows you how talented this group of ladies are. Currently there are 4 part owners in the company, and I was able to meet with the charming Abbie who is self proclaimed “tinkerer” of the group. Continuing a legacy that began in 1918 with an immigrant to the Bay area from Peru, Napoleon Marquez, who passed on the business to his godson Kelley Bowling, who ran the shop with his wife Stephanie for many more years. The third generation to own Paul’s Hat Works was Michael Harris and his wife Judy. Michael became the owner in 1980, but 28 years later he was ready to retire and paint the coasts of California. Michael looked for a successor, sure that only a knight in shining armor could continue the 91-year-old legacy. Abbie and her 3 young lady counterparts rose to the occasion. With a collective history in fashion, textiles, costuming, invention and co-operative business, the four ladies filled the role of knight in shining armor well. They’ve popped up just in time to make sure the fella’s hat game rivals that of the ladies this year at Derby.
Paul’s Hat Works in Louisville is located at 1319 Story Ave and is open from 10-5 Tuesday through Saturday. They can be reached at 502-561-0080 or on their Facebook page. Or if you’ve in the Bay area and want to visit the shop that began it all it is located at 6128 Geary Blvd., San Francisco, CA, 94121 and is open from 10 – 6 Wednesday through Saturday and they can be reached at 415-221-5332 or on their Facebook page.