CAVE CREEK, AZ (3TV/CBS 5)-- The hat over the door reads "The Hatter Is In." Step inside of Watson’s Hat Shop any time of day, and you will feel as though a time machine has enveloped you, placing you back in the late 1800’s. Brim molds, beaver felts, hats to the ceiling and the sound of the hat steamer "shushing" with billows of steam out into the air, the low guttural clatter of the Singer Sewing machines from the 1800’s will grab your attention.
An amazing G-Scale model train hangs from the ceiling, one of Watson’s favorites. Eric Watson often talks to you about what type of felt to choose for a hat that will last you a lifetime and be passed through generations, to a description on his antique machinery that is strategically placed around the shop. Eric and his wife Emily Watson are a true team.
Emily Watson traded in her pilot’s wings to help Eric Watson manage the business while also learning the hat making processes from him. They keep each other grounded and focused on their daily business goals and production. Emily Watson has now brought to the shop, a whole new line of ladies’ hats, "The Lady Watson Collection" which features unique embellishments, jewels, feathers, and even touches of hand-embroidery.
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Eric Watson is one of those rare "Old Souls" whose gestures, slow cadence of speech and depth of knowledge and talents have taken him from the level of youngest master hat maker in the country to Master Hatmaker. So, even though Eric Watson has a dual degree from two different colleges, one in International Studies and Diplomacy & Peace and one in Aviation Technology with a specialty in professional piloting and holds his commercial Multi Engine pilots license – its hat making that makes his dreams soar. Custom hats start at around $500.