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Copyright 2013 Rocky Mountain Rider. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Reproduction of any editorial material, artwork and photos is strictly forbidden without express written permission of the publisher. For information about reprint rights, please contact the editor; editor@rockymountainrider.com.

 

Jaxonbilt Hats Expands Internationally

 

March 2013 issue  

      Master Hatter Roy Jackson, owner of Jaxonbilt Hat Company in Salmon, Idaho, has long been a custom hat maker whose high-quality hats are sought after by cowboys and cowgirls across the U.S. and as far away as Germany. He specializes in hats for Western movies, cowboy-action shooting, and historical reenactments.

      Jackson has now been joined by Queensland , Australia , hat-maker Bernice “Ben” Coombs, who will be marketing her ready-made hat line to Australian stockmen, drovers, jackaroos and jillaroos (cowboys and cowgirls). She currently has a four-month waiting list for hat buyers in Australia .

      “Australians like a wider-brimmed hat with a slightly different shape than Americans,” says Coombs.  

 

Bernice Coombs building a hat. Roy Jackson and Bernice Coombs.

 

      Coombs first contacted Jackson when she was seeking a top U.S. hat maker to apprentice under. She and Roy hit if off professionally. She spent a six-week apprenticeship with him and then returned to Australia to learn the hat-marketing business.

      Coombs recently returned to live in Idaho with her husband and 9-year-old daughter. The decision to return for at least two years was made in part after analyzing Australian shipping costs and hat-buying practices.

      Ironically, it costs more than twice as much to mail a hat from one Australian state to another than to mail one from the U.S. to Australia; and Aussies prefer to buy off-the-shelf rather than to order custom-made. Coombs decided that it made sense to relocate to Idaho to launch her ready-made Australian line.

      “Roy and I are very different personalities, but we work well together. Roy is a deliberate, careful and precise traditional hat maker. I go a hundred miles an hour and dream up new ways to artistically embellish hats.  

 

Personalized, hand painted hat.

      “I do a lot of individualizing to my hats — freehand burning, inlays, metallic stitching, painting, embedding sparkles into the felt, and changing felt colors in different areas of a hat. Recently I made a hat for a young rodeo cowboy with the ace of spades burnt in and flames painted on rolling dice.”

      Jackson and Coombs have plans to relocate the store to larger quarters in Salmon to accommodate her joining the business.

      “It’s almost like a fairy tale — moving to the U.S. and making cowboy hats,” says Coombs.

      For more information contact Jaxonbilt Hat Company at 208-756-6444, find Jaxonbilt on Facebook or visit www.jaxonbilthats.com.

 

 

Copyright 2013 Rocky Mountain Rider. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Reproduction of any editorial material, artwork and photos is strictly forbidden without express written permission of the publisher. For information about reprint rights, please contact the editor; editor@rockymountainrider.com.

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