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Friday, May 26, 2017

Traveling Cowboys: Smithbilt Hats Enhancing Personalities Since 1919 in Calgary, Alberta

Oldish New Beginnings

Smithbilt Hats recently moved to a new location just down the street from their previously located spot. It is a 120 year old reclaimed and repurposed feed store building from a grain elevator that burned down in the sixties.

The former was incorporated into the new with the rebirth of the building thanks to some architectural ingenuity, perseverance from the builders and an appreciation and time-honored commitment to the classical roots of the business.


The new building is breathing fresh air into the century-old hat manufacturing business we’ve come to love and admire. It provides additional space for new additions such as a woman’s millinery line and a multi-function room for small events. 

You can still pick your hat and have it shaped or serviced right there by Brian and his team. Because of the addition of a female touch, you can now also get your personality enhanced by accessories that Holly Allen and her team append to your hat. It adds to the unique experience and definitely improves your appearance.

Smithbilt has a strong commitment and connection with the Calgary Stampede. This year, it will be part of the maker’s hall. For the 150th Canada birthday celebration the Stampede is including this new initiative to help showcase the various maker arts and crafts associated with the Western heritage and culture of the show. It will include famous and new artists in buckle making, saddle making, apparel and more. Smithbilt will showcase hat making and demonstrate its unique hat shaping skills right on the floor of the exhibition. You will be able to walk away with your own hand-shaped Calgary-made Western hat.


Holly made a vital point during our most recent visit to Smithbilt. According to her, in the same way, an accessory completes an outfit, a hat gives a person personality. We were wondering if it is such a powerful contributor to a person’s identity, then surely people should take hat wearing a lot more serious. What you wear on your head and how you wear it tells a big story about you, your history, identity and outlook on life.

We made the discovery that Smithbilt has been giving personality to countless people since 1919. If they can’t help you, then probably, no one can. In our case, we have personality. Our Smithbilt hats are therefore merely enhancing it. That is why we wear ours proudly and with attitude.

Hendrik van Wyk
Enhanced Cowboy

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