Made in the Valley: Nicholson & Company custom hats

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Custom hat maker Keryn Nicholson, of Nicholson & Co, is steaming and distressing her latest hat made by hand right here in the Valley. (KFSN)

Custom hat maker Keryn Nicholson, of Nicholson & Co, is steaming and distressing her latest hat made by hand right here in the Valley.

"I love it. Before it's something that it's all mine. I get to create with my hands, and I get to work with clients to make something memorable."

Nicholson is the next generation of hat makers. She got started after having a hard time finding a hat that fit and started her search.

"I didn't know of anybody in the Valley at all doing it. I started talking to people in Clovis, and they said they either moved away or nobody's doing it anymore. So I figured why not. So couldn't find anything and figured out why not make one, and started from there."

Nicholson was inspired by her father and watched countless YouTube videos to hone her craft. Her skills have developed along the way.

Nicholson makes a wide variety of styles and shapes, everything from your traditional western to modern day bohemian.

Social media has helped Nicholson connect with customers, and concerts like Coachella have spurred younger people to get into the hat craze. She believes custom hats allow you to share your story.

"It's something that's really personable from the color to the shape of the brim, to the pieces you want in your hat. Some people will want a feather that they found on a hike with their dad in the hike. It makes it different and personable."

Some hats are made with rabbit or beaver felt. Prices start at about $350, and the hats take about an eight-step process to make from start to finish. Nicholson says it's a labor of love.

"It's a neat sort of process and art form in a way, because not that many people do it anymore and I hope more people start to do it."

A lost art that's now being reborn in the Valley.
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