Our Story

My friend Stan Gollaher, Master Woodworker and owner of Raiatea Woodworks, here on the Big Island, woke up in the middle of the night a few years ago with an inspiration: Wooden bills on baseball caps!

Stan builds fine furniture and does major custom cabinetwork so he called me to see if I wanted to partner in putting the hat project together, since I specialize in smaller, more production oriented woodwork. It wasnʻt but a few weeks before it became apparent that developing the hats was causing delays with his larger projects so Stan gave the Hardwood Hat Company to me to run with.

From that point it was about six months before the hats were ready for field testing. I found a company who was willing to make the custom hat blanks for the project. G.L. Veneer an industry leader in architectural veneer manufacturing became our major supplier of the select koa, and other fine veneers we use on the hats. I experimented with finishes, glues, molds, and shapes until we came up with a combination that would produce a real hat, not just a novelty item. We put the hats out in the weather for months on sawhorses, and on the heads of friends who were walkers, gardeners, and sports people to get some serious field testing in. Finally we were ready for the challenges of the marketplace.

The hats have been a hit since we started selling them. We added the visors
and started working with the aloha fabrics almost right away. More recently we’ve added hemp fabric to the line and Bamboo. We work with a company that does superb custom embroidery which we provide for our private label clients and at the high end of the line we have a deep stock of gorgeous custom cut curly koa.

Putting this project together has been one of the great joys of my woodworking career. Whenever I was stumped a solution or assistance appeared almost immediately. Help has arrived from all quarters and the fun of creating such a seemingly simple product, where there was none before, has been a real treat.

These hats and visors are great for the woodhound, the hat collector or the friend or relative who is difficult to shop for, or seems to have everything. They are just plain fun. Thank you for your interest and enjoy your hardwood hat, or visor.

  • Hardwood Hat Company

    44-2615 Kalopa Road
    Honoka’a, Hawaii 96727
    phone (808)775-8230
    fax (808)775-9806