In downtown Springville, Utah there's a small Victorian sandstone building that is a hat shop. Inside, you’ll find Chandler Scott using antique equipment to make custom hats that last for generations. We had the opportunity to ask him some questions about how he got into his trade and how he leaves his mark. Read the newest entry in our ongoing blog series of Mark Makers.
1. Can you tell us about yourself? Where you grew up, family life, education, etc…
My name is Chandler Baird Scott, I grew up in the Los Angeles area but have been in Utah longer at this point. I am married to Anne, we are in our 24th year and have two teenage daughters. I studied American Studies at BYU.
2. For those that aren’t yet familiar with Tatton Baird, can you tell us a bit about the history and where the name comes from?
John Charles Tatton started making hats in Salt Lake City, Utah in the 1860’s. He had made bowlers in Lancashire England as a young man and journeyed to Utah via Illinois. The name Tatton Baird really just comes from the first and current steward of our hat making equipment. Baird is my mother’s maiden name and my middle name.
3. How did you become involved in this craft and how long have you been making authentic, one-of-a-kind hats?
The current shop and how we sell hats and to who has changed dramatically over the years. I have been working on hats, designing and building, for 17 years now. I started with my mentor in his shop after I had sold another business and need a real break. I had commissioned hats by him and thought it would just be an interesting way to clear my head and do something with my hands. I apprenticed with him and ran his shop for a year. He was not ready to sell or retire at that point so I started producing hats with him and developing other markets outside of Utah. After taking responsibility for the equipment from my mentor we started building our version of the hat shop that it is today.
4. Who or where did you learn your trade from or are you self-taught?
I am not self-taught because hat making is a true craft. What I mean by that is there are proper techniques and procedures that one must learn from a mentor. There should always be a mentor and apprentice in hat making.
5. Is there a favorite hat in your reserve or material that you really enjoy using? What is a popular type or style?
I have many favorite hats which are all different styles. We prefer to make hats in quality straw hand-picked in Ecuador or Beaver Fur. Those two products have made hats for over 200 years and I feel there is no dispute that they are the finest material to make a hat from. That's why we use them.
One of our most popular styles is our Country Gentleman (pictured below). We make 100s of them a year and I personally enjoy wearing a CG.
6. Anyone famous that you’ve made hats for and if so who?
I don’t know if I have had a most memorable client, but I have made hats for style icons, actors and friends. I would say the people I enjoy making hats for the most are the ones that are as passionate about wearing them as I am.
7. What does a typical day usually look like?
Build hats, prepare for the next day, maintain equipment, then rinse and repeat.
8. You have an active and passionate fan base on social media, especially on Instagram. How often do you post and what type of content typically gets the most attention?
We are still are figuring out social media but it is a very important part of interacting with our customers and future customers. We’ve been doing some marketing on Instagram for just three years now and that may change in the future. Our formula is to simply post what we make and what we can do for our customers. We post one still photo of a hat each day and then a video or pic of someone doing something or just looking really good in a hat. We then take 2 days off from it a week cause there is a real love/hate relationship with social and I try to stay in the love lane. Because social does work and is very productive to interact with our people.
9. When you’re not in the shop what do you enjoy doing for fun? Hobbies, etc…
I love to travel. I used to be a Moto Dealer and we race in the AMA and Supermoto. I really enjoy anything two wheels. I like to hunt and only fish for survival. What I wish I could do more of is amateur bullfighting.
10. What's been one of your favorite travel destinations and why?
My favorite destination is the next place I haven’t been which at the moment is Peru.
Favorite places to visit:
Colombia = South America’s Wild West, emeralds, my mission
Spain = Bullfighting, food
Japan = FOOD, lifestyle pace
11. What advice do you have for someone looking to impact their community and leave their mark?
Never give up. Our business model is just hard work. We do the very best we can at honoring and respecting the ones before us. I impact my community by wearing many hats so do the same with the products you love!
12. Great beard! How long have you been growing it and what’s your secret to maintaining it?
I have not been clean shaven since my oldest daughter was born. The secret to that is simple. I told my wife I wasn’t going to shave and I have stuck with it for 17 years. We sell beard oils in the shop that I use daily.
We’d like to thank Chandler for taking some time to answer our questions and sharing with us how he leaves his mark. Follow Tatton Baird on Instagram @tattonbaird and stop by the shop next time you’re in Springville, Utah.
Do you have a Mark Maker in mind? We’d love to hear about how they’re making an impact in their community. Send us an email at email@example.com.