Wearing a JW Brooks Custom Hat is a signature statement that equates to wearing a Rolex watch in the corporate world. The most recognizable cowboy hat in and out of the arena is a JW Brooks. The hat maker, JW Brooks, personally crafts each piece himself. New customers and repeat buyers can pick from a huge selection of samples or create their own with mixing and matching colors, choosing a brim and crown (the modified RCA, cattleman, buckaroo, etc. ) plus selecting accessories with both embroidery and/or crystals options to embellish.
Cowboys and cowgirls across equine disciplines wear the brand from Al Dunning with (NRCHA) National Reining Cow Horse Association to (WPRA) Women’s Professional Rodeo Association barrel racer Carlee Pierce and PRCA saddle bronc riders Cody and Heith DeMoss. During the National Finals Rodeo when fashion is abundant in Las Vegas, the JW Brooks Custom hat booth is popular at Cowboy Christmas. Over the past five years I’ve had the privilege of wearing several JW hats while conducting media interviews. Once you own a JW Brooks hat you simply refer to your rodeo Rolex as a “JW”. The number one statement heard by shoppers, contestants, queens and rodeo fans is the confirmation that they can recognize a JW hat when they see them.
“There has been a steady decline over the last 50 years with the quality in manufactured hats so we have made it a priority to increase our quality. Customers are very receptive and recognize it, ” explained, JW Brooks over the telephone from his Arkansas office.
Consumers buying a manufactured hat from a box store need to understand the “x”rating system associated with hats doesn’t have any standards or government regulations. Brooks explained, the x rating system was designed pre-turn of the century because of the amount of illiteracy. Instead of describing quality manufactures started using the x coding system. For example 2x flour referenced it was ran through the mill twice, 3x and so forth.
Today hat companies can utilize the x coding system however they desire to market their products. “A 4x manufactured hat in 2014 is very different than a 4x hat made 30 years ago,” explained Books. “Plus a manufactured hat is either oval, round or oval long. There are very few people in the world with an oval head. Having a custom hat built for your specific head shape ensures it fits. One of the nicest things is the fit,” according to Brooks.
Recently, JW Brooks Custom Hats Co. made a big push to create the top of the line and best quality on the market by offering only three grades; 30x comprised of 60% beaver fur, and then two 100% beaver fur products the 100x and their Legacy Line 100x (comprised of only beaver belly fur).
Felting is a process not a material in the custom hat business.
A JW Brooks Custom Hat is an investment. “We are going the opposite decoration of a box store. We are looking at a product that is a heirloom piece and will last you the rest of your life, even being handed down to your children.” JW’s wife, Jody is a hat stylist. “She helps a lot of the women in their decision making process towards a new hat. Our Neon Cowgirl line is very fashion forward, very individualized and unique. Jody shines and helps customers get it unique to them,” stated Brooks.
For more information on which tradeshows and equine events the Brooks team is attending visit their website at www.jwbrooks.com or like them on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/jwbrookscustomhats. Remember to plan ahead a custom hat takes about five months to build.
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