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$5,791 pledged of $15,000 goal
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All or nothing. This project will only be funded if it reaches its goal by .

By Jon Akers
$5,791 pledged of $15,000 goal
backers

All or nothing. This project will only be funded if it reaches its goal by .

About

I believe quality products made by real people with real passions can become more than the sum of their parts. My goal is for people to feel a connection with me through the hats I make them. I want them to see my love for hats with their eyes and feel the quality of my products in their hands and on their heads. More importantly, I want them to feel joy and pride through my work.

Today's hats aren't made they way they used to be. Hand crafted, made to measure hats have become a luxury of the past.

The large scale industrialization of the hat industry has squeezed out custom hat makers. My desire is to bring that luxury back.

On my journey of hat making, I have acquired a small amount of hatters tools that allow me to make hats in a very limited amount of sizes. 

My personal collection of crown and brim blocks
My personal collection of crown and brim blocks

I am looking to greatly expand my hat making capabilites with this Kickstarter. I will use over half of the funds raised to purchase 27 crown blocks in different sizes and styles, 18 brim flanges, 9 banding blocks, raw materials such as felt, ribbon, sweatbands and fabric. The other half will be spent on various tools that will help me achieve the same quality of product I currently produce but in a much faster time. Some of these tools include a table top crown spinner. This machine would turn the block with a motor allowing me to sand and iron the hats in a more efficient fashion. Currently, I am turning my hats by hand which takes several hours, this table top crown spinner could cut my finish time almost in half. I also need a professional steam iron to help set the felt on the crown and brim blocks. The clothes iron and old seven pound SAD iron I use are cumbersome and inefficient.  One of the tools I look forward to purchasing the most is a hot foil stamping machine. This tool would allow me to emboss my leather sweatbands with gold lettering be this for my logs or personalized messages. 

Future placement of our skyline logo
Future placement of our skyline logo

The hot foil stamping machine will also allow me to stamp, in gold, our signature skyline logo in the crown liners I make.  While this simple machine will do nothing to improve the overall quality of my hats, it will greatly elevate its style. 

For this campaign, I will offer a series of rewards ranging from small items such as stickers or key fobs to larger items such as rabbit or beaver fur hats. Most reward items will be limited to this kickstarter campaign only. They are the Kansas City Hatters logo stickers, key fob, t-shirt, long sleeve shirt, full zip hoodie and limited edition Gambler Hat. 

Lets take a look at our pledge rewards and the choices you will have within them. The lowest reward for this campaign is our circle and skyline logos as stickers. Both stickers are clear and will look great on just about anything you place them on.

Our campaign stickers
Our campaign stickers

The Kansas City Hatters key fobs are made in-house out of genuine leather with a custom die I had made specifically for this reward. 

Key fob with custom cut die
Key fob with custom cut die

Our T-shirts and long sleeve shirts are made of a soft, high-quality cotton with screen printed logos. They will be available in sizes small through extra large and the colors light grey, white, dark blue and black. These shirts do run a bit small and shrink a little in the wash. I would advise ordering one size up from what you usually wear.

Campaign T-shirt in white
Campaign T-shirt in white

 

Campaign t-shirt in dark blue (front view)
Campaign t-shirt in dark blue (front view)

 

Campaign long sleeve shirt in dark blue (back view)
Campaign long sleeve shirt in dark blue (back view)

Another pledge reward we are proud to offer is a full zip hoodie made from high-grade cotton with our skyline logo over the heart and stylized hat on the lower right sleeve. The hoodie is available in sizes small through extra large and the colors dark grey, dark blue and black.

Campaign full zip hoodie in dark grey
Campaign full zip hoodie in dark grey

The rabbit and beaver fur hats for this campaign will be offered in seven of the most poplar colors. Those being black, midnight blue, dark moss, grey, pecan, whiskey and sand.

Campaign felt colors listed left to right: Black, midnight blue, dark  moss, grey, pecan, whiskey and sand
Campaign felt colors listed left to right: Black, midnight blue, dark moss, grey, pecan, whiskey and sand

The crown style offered in this campaign will come with one of the four featured styles pictured below.

Hats from left to right: Open crown, tear drop, center dent and diamond
Hats from left to right: Open crown, tear drop, center dent and diamond

These shapes give you a variety of flexibly with your style choice. The diamond crown is my personal favorite and harkens back to the hats of the 30's. Both the center dent and tear drop crowns give you a look that works just as well with dress as it does casual wear. The open crown is possibly the most versatile shape, it can be worn as is or be shaped by you for a personal touch.

You will also have the choice of black, chocolate brown, wine, champagne or classic white for your crown liner. The fabric I will use for this is a thick, luxurious bridal satin. It drapes nicely and has a beautiful natural sheen.

Crown liner colors for this campaign
Crown liner colors for this campaign

The last exclusive reward for this campaign is The Gambler fedora. This hat is a copy of my daily wear and is made from 50X beaver and rabbit blended western weight fur felt.  

The Gambler fedora with last remaining yards of ribbon
The Gambler fedora with last remaining yards of ribbon

A 4" diamond crown and 2 1/2" brim with 3/8" curl make this hat perfect for both dress and casual wear.  The ribbon used for this hat is special, it is vintage 1930's ribbon from France and the last 15 yards left of it in the world are in my possession.  I will be keeping 5 yards of this ribbon for my own personal use but the remaining 10 yards will be used to make five limited edition hats for this campaign.

This hat is the only one I will be offering with a brim binding. I sew the brim bindings on by hand, a meticulous process which takes me an average of five hours per hat. 

Close up of The Gamblers hand sewn brim binding
Close up of The Gamblers hand sewn brim binding

Another unique feature of The Gambler is the hidden stitches I place into the kick bow. With no discernible stitching, the bow looks like it is resting on the side of the hat holding the distressed mini playing cards up by luck. 

The Gambler hat comes with hidden stitches in the kick bow
The Gambler hat comes with hidden stitches in the kick bow

Finally, the backside of each sweatband will come numbered 1 through 5 with a personalized handwritten message.   

Thank you so much for your support in making my dream a reality.

 

Risks and challenges

Starting a business is always a scary and exciting experience. I am using this kickstarter as a bench mark to help me decide if this is something I would be able to pursue full time. I feel blessed to have found something that brings me so much joy and truly believe it will bring joy to others as well.

If this campaign is successful, I will need to hire an accountant and lawyer to help me set up the legal and accounting side of my business. I am an artisan and know my craft well, bringing others around me to help bridge the knowledge gaps I have in those areas is the best thing to do.

There is a possibility that my company could grow faster than I will be able to keep up. That is probably the best worst case scenario. If that does happen I will be looking to get a second set of hands to help out around the shop.

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  1. Make a pledge without a reward

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    Pledge $1 or more About $1.00

    High Five

    Thank you for your support of my passion.

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    Pledge $5 or more About $5

    Circle Logo Sticker

    Show your support for Kansas City Hatters with our 3.5" circle logo clear sticker.

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    Skyline Logo Sticker

    Show your support for Kansas City Hatters with our 4" skyline logo clear sticker.

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    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    Key Fob

    Our in house, custom made key fob with Kansas City Hatters circle logo.

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    Pledge $12 or more About $12

    T-shirt

    A high quality cotton T-shirt with Kansas City Hatters circle logo screen printed in black over the heart. This reward will be offered in sizes S-XL. These shirts run a little small, I would recommend getting the next size up from what you normally wear.

    Shirt Colors:
    - Athletic Grey
    - Blue
    - White
    - Black

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    Pledge $18 or more About $18

    Long Sleeve Shirt

    A high quality cotton long sleeve shirt with our circle logo on the front and skyline logo on the back. This reward will be offered is sizes S-XL. These shirts run a little small, I would recommend getting the next size up from what you normally wear.

    Shirt Colors:
    - Athletic Grey
    - Blue
    - White
    - Black

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    Pledge $20 or more About $20

    T-shirt + Key Fob

    Get any one of our t-shirts in athletic grey, white, black or blue (S-XL) and one of our custom made Kansas City Hatters key fobs. These shirts run a little small, I would recommend getting the next size up from what you normally wear.

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    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    Long Sleeve Shirt + Key Fob

    Get any one of our long sleeved shirts in athletic grey, white, black or blue (S-XL) and one of our custom made Kansas City Hatters key fobs.These shirts run a little small, I would recommend getting the next size up from what you normally wear.

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    Pledge $45 or more About $45

    Full Zip Hoodie

    Get a full zip hoodie with our skyline logo over the left breast and small, stylized hat on lower right sleeve. This reward will be offered In sizes S-XL and fits true to size.

    Hoodie Colors:
    - Dark Grey
    - Blue
    - Black

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    Pledge $80 or more About $80

    I want it all

    This reward comes with all our Kansas City Hatters merchandise. It includes:
    - Both logo stickers
    - One key fob
    - One t-shirt (S-XL) in grey, blue, black or white
    - One long sleeve shirt (S-XL) in grey, blue, black or white
    - One full zip hoodie (S-XL) in grey, blue or black

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    Pledge $200 or more About $200

    Early Bird - Rabbit Fur Hat

    This reward is limited to the first 10 people who pledge this reward. It comes with one, 100% rabbit fur hat in one of seven colors, four different crown styles, six ribbon colors and up to 4 inch brim. Available in sizes 6 7/8 - 7 7/8.

    Felt Colors:
    - Black
    - Midnight Blue
    - Dark Moss
    - Grey
    - Pecan
    - Whiskey
    - Sand

    Ribbon Colors:
    - Brown
    - Black
    - Green
    - Silver
    - Blue
    - Plum

    Crown Liner:
    - Black
    - Wine
    - Champagne
    - Brown
    - White

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    Pledge $220 or more About $220

    Rabbit Fur Hat

    This reward comes with one, 100% rabbit fur hat in one of seven colors, four different crown styles, six ribbon colors and up to 4" brim. Available in sizes 6 7/8 - 7 7/8.

    Felt Colors:
    - Black
    - Midnight Blue
    - Dark Moss
    - Grey
    - Pecan
    - Whiskey
    - Sand

    Ribbon Colors:
    - Brown
    - Black
    - Green
    - Silver
    - Blue
    - Plum

    Crown Liner:
    - Black
    - Wine
    - Champagne
    - Brown
    - White

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    Pledge $320 or more About $320

    Early Bird - Beaver Fur Hat

    This reward is limited to the first 10 people who pledge this reward. It comes with one, 100% beaver fur hat in one of seven colors, four different crown styles, six ribbon colors and up to 4" brim. Available in sizes 6 7/8 - 7 7/8.

    Felt Colors:
    - Black
    - Midnight Blue
    - Dark Moss
    - Grey
    - Pecan
    - Whiskey
    - Sand

    Ribbon Colors:
    - Brown
    - Black
    - Green
    - Silver
    - Blue
    - Plum

    Crown Liner:
    - Black
    - Wine
    - Champagne
    - Brown
    - White

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  15. Select this reward

    Pledge $350 or more About $350

    Beaver Fur Hat

    This reward comes with one, 100% beaver fur hat in one of seven colors, four different crown styles, six ribbon colors and up to 4" brim. Available in sizes 6 7/8 - 7 7/8.

    Felt Colors:
    - Black
    - Midnight Blue
    - Dark Moss
    - Grey
    - Pecan
    - Whiskey
    - Sand

    Ribbon Colors:
    - Brown
    - Black
    - Green
    - Silver
    - Blue
    - Plum

    Crown Liner:
    - Black
    - Wine
    - Champagne
    - Brown
    - White

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    2 backers
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  16. Select this reward

    Pledge $450 or more About $450

    The Gambler - Beaver Fur Hat

    This hat is limited edition. It is a copy of my daily wear hat in 50X beaver and rabbit blended fur felt. I use vintage 1930's French ribbon from my personal collection. I only have 15 yards of this ribbon left and I am using 10 yards to create a kickstarter available only hat. It comes complete with hidden stitches in the bow and a hand sewn brim binding.

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    Limited (2 left of 5) 3 backers
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