Ken Tsai, owner of Summit Hats in Houston, TX, recalls how his father got started in the hat business. “Dad had a restaurant with a flea market behind it, and occasionally he’d walk through the market,” Tsai recalls. “A gentleman selling Western products asked if he could get some feather hatbands from Asia, which dad did. But when they arrived the guy didn’t want them, so dad sold them to nearby stores. They were really popular, and dad realized he could make money by selling them as well as the hats. So that’s how it all started.” Today, 40 years later, Summit Hats is a leading wholesaler of Western style and other headgear, selling to fair and rodeo vendors, as well as mom and pops, gas stations, flea market sellers and others.
“We carry more than 200 different product lines,” Tsai says. “Right now our biggest seller is probably the Raffia Straw hat, which comes in a variety of colors and hatbands.” While Tsai prefers not to disclose his wholesale prices to be fair to his customers, he will say that retailers enjoy a more than 100 percent markup on all his products. With a minimum order of only $50, independent retailers can start with a small order to see how well the hats sell. Tsai is also excited about Summit’s latest offering, “Palm (Gus) Hats” with a four-inch brim, which come with a turquoise hatband and binding on the edge, as well as other new styles the company has in the pipeline, which it will unveil shortly.
Summit Hats does offer volume discounts on certain hats, and will also do custom orders for special quantities. “We encourage retailers to call us with their specific requests,” Tsai says. “We’re here to help.”
–Rory J. Thompson
For More Information:
Summit Hats, Inc.
1120 Roberts Street
Houston, TX 77003
Toll Free: 888-741-5987