Learn from this Made in America, multi-generational family business about sustainability, freedom, and survival.

American Hat Makers, Head’n Home, have a business model I love, and values second to none. Their story is inspiring and energetic, and they’ve made a lot of right moves to place their business in a place of sustainability and I had to share all of this goodness with you. I had an opportunity to talk with Garth Watrous, a 2nd generation business owner, took an interest, at a very young age, in the business his father built, and the passion in his voice is proof that he isn’t just a lucky inheritor. He plays an integral role and is deeply invested in Head N’ Home, and if you’ve seen their hats, you’ll know why.

Multi-Generational Businesses

Garth’s dad, who started this business in the 70’s with a few leather tools, and a passion to create, started it all from the trunk of his car. From then until now, these hats have taken on a life of their own. They are stunning, flawless, and handmade in America… in Freedom, California to be exact.

Culture, Systems, People, Sales

In order for this model to work, there has to be total clarity in the systems, the product, and you have to be ready to sell, sell, and sell some more. Without sales, this model will never work, because the sales allow everything else to exist.

Culture: A place where life is lived to it’s fullest, love is abundant, and creativity is the lifeblood pulsing throughout.

Systems: To move from gut or intuition to systems so the business is sustainable on its own, potentiality is at it’s highest point, and errors are minimized, is a phase of ‘growing up’. Mature businesses operate from systems.

People: Even if only 10% of your people aren’t the right people, that’s enough to tank a business, especially a small family owned business. When looking at the people aspect, removing any personal attachment, and focusing solely on what’s best for the company is the best way only have top notch people on your team. Toxicity is contagious, and that type of energy touches everything it comes in contact with. This is so important.

Every product has the attention and love and detail to be the best product in that moment. Every single hat, every single time.

Only 30% of all family-owned businesses survive into the second generation. Not thrive, survive. The 2 main reasons this happens:

  1. Business skills, knowledge, and work ethic are not passed down.
  2. Attention to, and love of the product isn’t transferred.

This is why Head N’ Home is such an inspiring business. Their family, multi-generational at this point, is dedicated to that quality and attention to detail, and they work hard at it. Not only that, they have found their niche, and they are focusing on those products that make their brand consistent and identifiable. Could a business get it any more right?!


Read the original INC article published on July 3, 2017.

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