There is so much to be said about a hat that is made with a level of quality reminiscent of days when your hat was a required piece of attire to remain of a certain social stature. The saying “they don’t make them like they used to” does not apply when it comes to hats made under the Biltmore brand. They make them just like they used to. We at Hats in the Belfry are honored to have been a supporter of the Biltmore Hats even through their recent financial struggles and couldn’t be more pleased that THEY ARE BACK!
Biltmore Hats was founded in 1917 and moved to Guelph, Canada in 1919. In the 1950’s they employed over 350 people producing hats with hand sewn details and a quality that made them one of the most popular brands of the time. Sadly, in recent years Biltmore fell on financial troubles and were in search of additional investors. Biltmore’s owner, Eric Lynes, was adamant that they were going to keep Biltmore producing from their facility in Guelph, they were not going to file for bankruptcy and they would continue to produce quality hats for their loyal customers.
The doors did close in 2010 and the twenty remaining employees were laid off.
“It was a dark period and there’s always light at the end of the tunnel. We kept believing we were going to open this place again and we weren’t going to be pushed around or file for bankruptcy.” said Lynes. And open again, they did. Seven months after closing, the American company Dorfman Pacific agreed to purchase the company, keep Lynes on to manage the business and keep production in Guelph. Sixteen employees that were laid off were back to work and the demand for iconic Biltmore hats was on the rise.
It is an amazing thing to see a company stand their ground and just know in the bottom of their hearts that what they are creating is meaningful. This is such a great story of never giving up and working towards a future with the same ideals that made them successful in the past. Welcome back, Biltmore hats!
“Biltmore is a legacy brand to us. There are so few brands out there anymore that still make hats the same way they did 50 years ago. Biltmore is one of them, and we are so happy to carry their line again“ -Ryan Seth owner of Hats in the Belfry and President of The Headwear Association.