By BRIAN SMITH
Sheila Nab has moved her online business into a storefront with the Oct. 11 opening of Nab’s Hatters and Soul Sister Hat Company, 2553 S. Main St., in Weatherford.
Nab has had an interesting career, getting her degree in graphic design before going to work at a Kansas newspaper as advertising manager. Nab has always had an interest in rodeo as well. One evening about 10 years ago at a rodeo in Durant, Okla., she saw a young lady with a hat and became intrigued. She decided with her love of rodeo to go into the hat making business.
She got out of advertising and went to working with cattle on a ranch for a number of years. She said that while she enjoyed the work, it was time to get back to her original art roots. After learning the hat-making trade for guys and girls, which she admits is an ongoing process, she started her online business about 2 1/2 years ago. Nab said things were going well but determined o make better money, however, she determined that having a storefront would have to be in the cards.
During this time, she met up with her neighbor Heather King and the two began the process. Nab said King, who does a lot of the artistic and design work on the hats, is the perfect partner for such a venture.
“She has more artist in her little pinky than I do in my whole body,” Nab said with a laugh. “She’s not nearly as timid as I am. She’s more expressive than I am.”
King readily admits that sometimes she needs to be reigned in. Nab said about three months was spent before the building was found. It’s a perfect setup having a custom hat business directly next door to Walden Feed and Supply.
Nab said she expects many of the storefront customers to be men, whom she has found can be very attached to a good hat.
“We’ve had guys who want to be buried in their hat, that they’ve had for a number of years,” Nab said.
“Cowboys will spend their money on four things: their horse, their boots, their truck and their hat,” King said.She offers hats that are either a beaver blend to completely made of beaver. Custom hats in more than a dozen colors can be made in as little as six to eight weeks right now.
“Some outfitters we know are having a wait time of up to nine months right now,” Nab said. “Since we are new, we can get our hats out quicker. “
A grand opening open house is scheduled for this Saturday, Oct. 26. A number of offers and giveaways are scheduled every 15 minutes throughout the afternoon, including where all hats on the wall will be half-price. A grand prize of a $1,200 custom hat will also be awarded.
The location is open Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. For information on Nab Hatters and the Soul Sister Hat Company, call 940-641-0552 or 817-771-2274.