Cate Havstad, owner of Havstad Hat Company, makes custom hats steeped in tradition with accents of modern-day flair.


Photo: Amanda Leigh Smith


Photo: Amanda Leigh Smith


Photo: Amanda Leigh Smith


Photo: Stephen Smith


Photo: Heaven McArthur


Photo: Heaven McArthur

On most days you’ll find Cate Havstad in her Airstream workshop in Bend, Oregon, doing what she loves—making hats. If you ask how she describes her chosen profession, she will joyfully tell you she is a hatmaker.

“Each hat is a custom, one-of-a-kind hat,” says Cate. “I start with raw materials like beaver felt and use the same hat-making process and traditions as those used in the late 1800s.” Her approach honors the techniques of the past while integrating her own flair into her designs.

Havstad Hat Company from Aaron Lee Photography on Vimeo.

“I design each hat to suit the person I am designing for, which hopefully becomes a reflection of that person. They are designed to be investment pieces that will last a lifetime,” adds Cate. “I also encourage people to add something of sentimental value that can be woven into or added to the hat such as horse hair, a vintage silver brooch, or a special quote to be inscribed on the interior leather sweatband.”

Her Hues of the High Desert, a plant-dyed collection has a special seasonality to it and reflects the soft-desert palette. “I refer to this as hat terroir,” explains Cate. Typically associated with wine, terroir refers to the land something is produced on, which imparts qualities that give it its distinct characteristics.

“Designing a hat becomes a satisfying and gratifying gift to me. I enjoy making something for people who inspire me,” muses Cate. “Ultimately, I consider each hat a beautiful and functional piece of art.”

Cate now offers private and group build-your-own custom hat workshops. To learn more visit: