Óptimo Hatworks, Bisbee, AZ

Discussion in 'Hats' started by tealseal, Dec 29, 2012.

  1. tealseal

    tealseal A-List Customer

    Messages:
    380
    Location:
    Tucson, AZ
    I'd like to share with the Lounge my newest custom head-wear from Óptimo Hatworks in Bisbee, AZ.
    This beauty is a 100% un-dyed beaver felt with a 1" copper ribbon and a 3" brim.
    Grant Sergot, the hatmaker, is very knowledgeable and was a pleasure to work with on this project. After the 19th century conformateur process was completed, he and I discussed the vision for about three hours in his store. The wait was a long 6 months, but I'm very happy with the result.
    Yes, his felts are a bit spendy, but very much worth it; the pouncing is exquisite. It's my daily wearer, as it matches almost any wardrobe color, and he has many blocks and flanging techniques to choose from.

    Here's the angle shot:
    [​IMG]

    From the front:
    [​IMG]

    Left side. Grant can do almost any imaginable ribbon treatment, but I rather like his half-Windsor knot for the time being:
    [​IMG]

    Inside:
    [​IMG]

    Close-up of liner:
    [​IMG]

    And a close-up of the sweatband:
    [​IMG]

    Note the thread of leather coming out of the sweatband. That's the, for lack of better words, "tether cord" that Grant puts on. It's a strip of leather with two small safety pins on either end that can be used for securing it to your clothing during wind or attaching it to an airplane tray-table or car dry-cleaning hanger. I've used it for all three purposes and it works great! As a previous poster mentioned, the safety pins may seem tacky, but they're very useful and un-feelable and un-seeable when not in use.

    I should also mention that he re-blocked and re-flanged my Cervo that had brim issues and the result is fantastic.

    Cheers for now and happy new year!
    -TS
     
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2012
  2. randooch

    randooch I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    4,868
    Location:
    Ukiah, California
    Wow, tealseal, that's great! Thanks for sharing. I like that jaunty ribbon.

    When I lived in Bisbee, he only did straws.
     
  3. scooter

    scooter Practically Family

    Messages:
    903
    Location:
    Arizona
    I've been in Grant's store, and I agree he does some very nice work. I did however, decide to hold off and later realized I could get a very fine hat for much less money. Having said that, he is a very nice man, does great work, and is very knowledgeable. He was very patient and allowed me to step into the back and observe a good deal of the hat making process. He kinda baited the hook for me, and this forum set the hook!
     
  4. barrowjh

    barrowjh One Too Many

    Messages:
    1,398
    Location:
    Maryville Tennessee
    That is the 1st hat I've seen from Optimo/Bisbee (as opposed to Graham Thompson's outfit in Chicago, unrelated), though there may have been some posted here before, but I did not see any until now. I have never heard anything but praise for their work; Mike Moore of Buckaroo Hatters and Greg Fiske (VP & GM, Winchester Hat Corp.) speak very well of Optimo's work. I think Optimo obtains most is not all of their felt hat blanks from the Winchester felting operation, and has occasionally invested in a custom fur blend 'several steps up' from just pure beaver. One of my hopes is to visit there someday.
     
  5. Chepstow

    Chepstow I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    5,406
    Location:
    Germany/ Remscheid
    TS, fantastic work, I really like that style!
     
  6. The Wiser Hatter

    The Wiser Hatter I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    4,764
    Location:
    Louisville, Ky
    [​IMG]
     
  7. tealseal

    tealseal A-List Customer

    Messages:
    380
    Location:
    Tucson, AZ
    Thanks randooch! It really is super, and is the only hat that I've received compliments on so quickly; three different people within a span of four hours!

    I agree with you 100% scooter. Grant was incredibly patient; as I mentioned, we spoke in his store for three hours about style of crown, brim width, flange, etc., only to have me change my mind once or twice in between ordering and receipt. He seems to value the Process of creating the perfect hat, which was quite fun. This certainly wasn't my first hat, and it took a lot of consideration before pulling the trigger. Yes, there are other hats out there for less money (I have quite a few), but there are also hats for more (think Optimo 1000). It was a lot of saving, and it was a splurge, but I am really getting a kick out of this one.

    I meant to ask where he got his felts when I picked the hat up, but he was having a busy day and I didn't want to take much of his time. I will add that one of the reasons I went for this one was the fact that I have not seen any hats from Óptimo Hatworks on the Lounge, and I wanted to grab something new.
    I also understand the confusion between the two custom hatmakers: There is Graham's outfit, Optimo, in Chicago and Grant's outfit Óptimo (note accent) Hatworks in Bisbee. I hope to have one from each one day (halfway there! :D )
    If you can make it down I highly recommend it. His panama work looks great too, but straw just isn't for me.

    Thank you!
     
  8. bowlerman

    bowlerman I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    6,046
    Location:
    South Dakota
    I love it, tealseal. Been eyeing his website for years. Some of those hats really have caught my eye. Hope it dried out ok!

    Sent from my KFTT using Tapatalk 2
     
  9. DesertDan

    DesertDan One Too Many

    Messages:
    1,573
    Location:
    Arizona
    Wow, sorry I missed this thread first time around.
    Congrats on the Optimo Tealseal it looks fantastic!
    I have heard of the shop in Bisbee but have never had the opprotunity to visit.
     
  10. ManofKent

    ManofKent My Mail is Forwarded Here

    Messages:
    3,039
    Location:
    United Kingdom
    Looks good, and a bit different which is what I'd want from a custom hat
     
  11. tealseal

    tealseal A-List Customer

    Messages:
    380
    Location:
    Tucson, AZ
    It dried out like a champion. Just threw it on one of those plastic hat stands, no hat jack needed, and no shrinkage.

    I would encourage a visit if you're ever down Bisbee's way.

    Exactly! Thank you very much for the kind word.

    -TS
     

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