We had the good fortune of connecting with Trent Johnson and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Trent, what do you attribute your success to?
The most important factor behind my success is knowing what “I” am good at and surrounding my self with talented people that have different strengths. I could “do everything”, but that isn’t the best use of my time. As for our brand becoming successful, listening is key. The two main factors that have gotten us this far are quality and customer service. By listening to our customers, both wholesale and retail, we are able to see upcoming trends in styles, and colors. Because we are a smaller company we are able to shift production, design, and direction quicker.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
My art form is felt. More specifically hat making. I believe what really sets me apart as a creative is the fact that our skills, our quality, and our design. I always get really excited when I have the opportunity to work with an individual, or a retail partner, and help design a style specific for them, or their store. For me, one of the most important things in design and creativity is being a good listener! Trying to get the thoughts, ideas, and passion out of their brain, through a funnel, and into a design is usually very time consuming but incredibly rewarding. The two main points that gotten us where we are today is quality and customer service. It’s never easy, or everybody would do it! But striving to really get to know your client and their interests always help translate into great designs. I learned early on in my career, that I cannot do everything. I’ve always surrounded myself with a great team, and other great creative that helped push the boundaries. On one hand, it’s just a hat….However, to me and hopefully the wearer, it is a functional piece of art. I really want folks from all walks of life that we are a lifestyle brand. I have always had a passion for hats, no matter the style. From western, fedora, fashion, or adventure, I love the creative process and like to think outside of the (hat) box.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Thanks for coming to hang out with me in GREALITY! Let’s start out our day at The Ranch for the best locals breakfast in town. Then we can head over to Centennial Village to take a step back in time and learn about the history of Greeley and Weld County.
Since we are at Island Grove Regional Park, let hit up the Greeley Stampede. Rolling into its 99th year it is a great community event. Great food, concerts, people watching, and of course, RODEO!
Tomorrow let’s hit our historic down town plaza’s for Friday Fest. The restaurants, shopping, galleries, and live music is a blast!
Our Arts District is amazing! Let’s spend some time at Luna’s Tacos & Tequila and then hit The Moxi Theatre for some more live music or a comedy show?
When we head further west in Greeley I’d love to show you all the great parks, bike trails and paths. On our tour of the Poudre River Trail you can see the old red barn where I started as an apprentice while I was going to the University of Northern coloRADo.
I wish you had more time to spend here….The art, food, people, and night life are well worth the trip.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
From my beginning in the hat business I owe much love and appreciation to Susie Orr, my mentor. My parents have alway been super supportive, and usually in the most awkward of ways. From having to rent the lawn mower, and paying rent to live in my own room taught me the value of a dollar. Not knowing that the money I paid them would later help me with my payment to purchase Greeley Hat Works!
My wife Melissa and our three “C’s”, Colton, Camry, and Collins have always supported my crazy ideas and worked in the shop with me. Immediate family support is always a blessing!
A community activist and artist, Armando Silva, and I have a very special connection. Part art, part family, and part community. We strive to make each other better humans and community leaders.
Last but not least is my incredible family/team at Greeley Hat Works. When I bought Greeley Hat Works it was just me working here. It has grown into a great family with over 17 team members! Both my current team, and past team members have alway left me with something more to learn and strive for as a leader and human. Thanks to ALL OF YOU!
Linkedin: Trent Johnson
Facebook: Greeley Hat Works
Youtube: Greeley Hat Works