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Meet Trent Johnson of Greeley Hat Works in Greeley

Today we’d like to introduce you to Trent Johnson.

Trent, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
I’ve always had a passion for hats. Growing up I had a hat collection. I still have some of my grandfather’s vintage hats in my collection. When I went to college I got a job on the Orr Ranch and had the opportunity to see Susie working in the hat shop. I spent my spare time in the hat shop learning the craft. Toward the end of college, I started going to the small business development center to learn to write a business plan so I could eventually purchase the hat shop. After a lot of hard work, I got a loan to buy Greeley Hat Works.

I’ve always been proud of how I’ve learned to build a good team around me. Asking the hard questions and surrounding myself with a lot of great people has been the main key to my success. Remembering where we came from and remembering our history truly helps drive us towards a successful future.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
I wish I could say it was an easy road. From our first shop out in the barn to a tiny basement studio in town, there are always struggles and challenges besides trying to maintain quality control and great customer service. All businesses seem to have a challenge.

So let’s switch gears a bit and go into the Greeley Hat Works story. Tell us more about the business.
I don’t just make hats. I help my clients create and bring to life their vision of the hat they are wanting to have made and want to wear. Being able to design is one thing, but learning how to listen to your clients to help them interpret their vision is what is really special. I think I am best known for thinking outside of the hatbox. It doesn’t have to just be a cowboy hat or a ladies fashion hat, I just love making hats.

Has luck played a meaningful role in your life and business?
I think all businesses require a bit of luck – good and bad. I was lucky to have a great mentor that gave me an opportunity to learn about the industry and shared her experiences that led me to where I am today.

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Image Credit:
Emily McCartney
David Sands
Careeoke
ND Guerrre

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