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Denver cowboy hat maker adds new flare to family's tradition

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Posted at 12:41 PM, Jan 11, 2024
and last updated 2024-01-11 17:08:38-05

DENVER — The cowboy lifestyle is back at the 2024 National Western Stock Show. But a young hat maker is turning heads with his signature style.

Parker Thomas comes from a long line of hat-makers. His grandfather shaped hats in Texas for 65 years, and his dad owns The Cow Lot in Brighton.

"[My dad] came to me and was like, 'Come shape hats with me at the rodeo,'" Orms said. "I fell in love with it, watching him shape the first hat at the National Western Stock Show."

Parker has now become the up-and-coming name in hat wear with his unique blend of traditional and trendsetting methods.

"I probably just made the coolest hat ever for Deandre Jordan, the world champion Denver Nuggets player," Orms said. "He wanted a wolf claw in the hat. So, I always say, 'Yeah I can do it!' Then, I got to figure out how to do it."

Orms has made hats for wives of Broncos and Nuggets players, Hollywood stars and other celebrities.

"I don't know if it gets any better than this, but I made a hat for Reba McEntire!" Orms said. "It was the ultimate. I made a TikTok video, and they were saying this is your arrived moment."

TV shows like "Yellowstone" have helped with the resurgence of the Western culture, he said. And he does pop-up events at dude ranches, weddings and other shows around the country.

But he also just recently found a home for his business behind Havenin the Cherry Creek North district. He sets appointments for customers to come in.

"I'll have them choose the color they want," Orms said. "Then I'll find their hat size. So, a little dip in the front of the hat is called the 'Howdy, Ma'am'. People that come up and say they want a cattleman's crown, wide front, relaxed taco, you kind of can tell they know what they're talking about. Or there are people that just say, 'I want a hat like Indiana Jones.' The customers I meet are always so cool, and they have a cool backstory."

He can add custom designs like bands, feathers, cards, pins, stitching and branding to the hats.

"You can cut the brim down as short as you want, and then shape the crown into all these styles," Orms said. "I've put a buffalo in a hat. I've put a horse into a hat. I've put some skulls, all kinds of shapes."

He makes about 10,000 hats a year, each with their own unique flare. But in less than an hour, he said you can have your statement piece.

"A customer's personality comes out with their hat," Orms said. "So, designing it the way that they want is really cool from the start to finish."

Denver cowboy hat maker adds new flair to family's tradition

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