Paul's Hat Works was opened by Napoleon Marquez in 1918. He came to the United States from Peru, having grown up around the Ecuadorian tradition of weaving Panama straw hats. He passed the legacy to his godson Kelley Bowling, who ran the shop with his wife Stephanie for many more years. The third generation to own Paul’s Hat Works was Michael Harris and his wife Judy. Michael became the owner in 1980, but 28 years later he was ready to retire and paint the coasts of California. Michael looked for a successor, sure that only a knight in shining armor could continue the 91-year-old legacy.
Low and behold four young lady residents of the Richmond District rose to the occasion. With a collective history in fashion, textiles, costuming, invention and co-operative business, the four ladies filled the role of knight in shining armor well.
Abbie Dwelle, Wendy Hawkins, Olivia Griffin and Kirsten Hove the shop, the legacy, and the knowledge from Michael Harris in June of 2009. The ladies apprenticed with Michael, learning the craft of making hats, and learning the history of the shop and hats.
At the end of 2014, Olivia Griffin and Wendy Hawkins decided to move on from Paul's Hat Works to pursue other ventures.
Paul's Hat Works remains open and hand-making classic hats on Geary Blvd.
Paul's Hat Works SF
6128 Geary Blvd.
San Francisco, CA, 94121
Wednesday - Sunday
11am - 6pm
Closed for Lunch 2-2:30pm