Standard Hat Works, in Waco, has outfitted everyone from ranchers and the Lonesome Dove cast to country acts like Aaron Watson, Midland, and Charley Crockett. Founded in Waco in 1909 by Hungarian immigrant William Gross, Standard had several owners over the years (and had to close once for a brief period) before being sold in 2013 to Waco native Cameron Morris, a construction project manager who was ready for a career change. Now he spends his days in his five-thousand-square-foot shop on North New Road customizing hats with different fur felts (rabbit, mink, beaver), colors, and brim shapes. He makes between five hundred and six hundred hats a year. Says Morris: “Usually people come to Waco to see the [Magnolia Market] Silos, but when somebody comes in and says they drove six hundred miles just to get fitted for a hat, it’s a pretty good feeling.” Standard Hat Works is open 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Thursday-Friday and 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday; it’s closed for production the rest of the week. 1304 North New Road, Waco, 254-754-4287.
This article originally appeared in the November issue of Texas Monthly with the headline “Local Custom.” Subscribe today.