Go behind the scenes at Bollman Hat Company, which makes Bailey cowboy hats that Drysdales carries at its retail stores and online. The company has made hats in America since 1868.
Don Rongione, president and CEO of the company, does most of the talking. A few takeaways from the clip:
- The factory in Adamstown, Pa., is imbued with a sense of history, including the original barn where the founder kept his horse that helped him haul hats to a nearby railway station.
- “Not only are we the oldest hat-maker in America, but we’re the most vertical hat-maker in America, in that we buy the wool and take it all the way to the finished product to the consumer,” Rongione said. “There could be 90 steps involved in making a hat, so there could be 180 hands — 180 American hands — involved in making this world-class product from start to finish.”
- Employees who are interviewed express pride in the work and craftsmanship that go into making hats.
- “The automation in hat-making has largely been unchanged in the past 50 years,” Rongione said. “While there are machines that help us to make a better hat, most of our processes are done by hands — by people who use their talent, skill, and craftsmanship.”
- Bollman instituted an employee stock-ownership plan in 1985, so that all U.S. workers are not only employees, but owners of the company. Rongione says this gives the workers more pride and loyalty to the company.
At Drysdales, we received a shipment of new Bailey straw western hats for the warm summer months (click on the image for more product information):
And we offer a number of Bailey felt cowboy hats as well:
You’re invited to shop our full selection of proudly American-made Bailey western hats online.