Katie Lynn Armstrong is a woman who has a mission: to change the world, one quality cowboy hat at a time. Armstrong, the current Public Relations Director for the iconic American Hat Company brand, is certainly a trailblazer and has never been afraid to roll up her sleeves to get the job done, getting her start in the industry interning at Classic Rope and working at Saddle Rags, The Western Store, as well as working for companies such as Teskey’s, NRS, and Cowgirl Magazine.
In the second installment of the Women of the Western Industry series, we will learn more about the powerhouse that is Armstrong, her passion for the hat business, greatest accomplishments, and advice for women who want to make it in the Western Industry.
Q: Walk me through a day in the life working as the Public Relations Director for American Hat Company?
A: There’s typically not a “standard” day. I could be doing anything from answering emails, taking photos, making a video, scheduling posts, designing a graphic, coordinating a photo-shoot, or even driving hellcats on a racetrack with Tuf Cooper and Steve Torrence. You never know what project is going to come up!
A lot of my job is ensuring that all the different trains run on time: making sure graphics get turned into the correct magazine, double-checking that social media posts go out when they’re supposed to and making sure we schedule a photo-shoot far enough in advance to be able to make our catalog and have plenty of content.
Q: What makes you passionate about the hat business?
A: I feel like the cowboy hat is the universally recognizable symbol for our industry. Working for a company like American is a joy. It’s amazing what can happen when you work for the right people and have amazing mentors that truly teach you and take care of you like Keith Mundee and Stan Redding do for me!
Q: What is your greatest achievement to date?
A: My reputation. Hands down. There are some amazing projects I’ve had the opportunity to be a part of such as building our website, designing our product catalog, and putting together different photo-shoots, but hearing industry legends give compliments about my work is what I consider my greatest achievement. I’ve tried to build my name in a certain way so people know that what I do is authentic, high-quality, and labored over with perfection in mind.
Q: Katie, what are several of your favorite American Hat Co. Hats?
A: In no particular order:
- 1000x Silver Belly, 4″ brim, 9-line puffy bow
- 200x Midnight Blue, 4″ brim, glitter puffy bow
- Vintage Rust-colored American fashion hat with leopard trim and bow
Q: For girls interested in working in the Western Industry, what is the best advice you can give them?
A: Talk to everybody! Make an effort to be friendly, appropriately talkative, and pleasant. Seek out conversations at business events and be sure to get to know new people. Shake their hand, look them in the eye, and make an impression. You never know who your next boss, colleague, or valuable networking asset will be.
To keep up with Katie, follow her on Instagram at @thekatielynn.
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