Findlay Hats Australia
From the States to the land Down Under
I originally came across the Findlay Hats brand when I was looking for unique wearable products that took the standard and elevated it to the next level. The idea of stampede laces and hidden pockets had me from the get go.
I had managed several businesses at this point and was beginning my own. So, I reached out to Findlay Hats to set up a distribution agreement. After some discussion it was agreed, I would have exclusive rights to bring Findlay Hats to Australia and I would offer the same customer service and guarantee free shipping to all Australian and New Zealand customers for any items I had in stock. Jimmy (the Findlay Hats Founder) spearheaded the effort and everything was locked in place late 2018.
We started just like the USA. In a garage.
Two months after the beginning, I snapped my leg clean in two after dropping in off a skate park ramp. The timing wasn't great, as I had booked in a pop up shop in Melbourne city and I only had three weeks to mend. Not only that, but there were packages to send out. Everyone who had ordered were very understanding.
As the weeks went by, I pushed myself as hard as I could and managed to set up the display on crutches and manned it on a seat (sometimes a wheelchair) for the following two months. Thankfully I had some mates and family members that pitched in!
The best part about the whole experience was that it proved that Australians were pretty hungry for Findlay Hats too. A lot had sold. It was time to move on to stage two. Visiting the Findlay HQ in Portland, Oregon, USA.
The Trip and Teething Issues
Flights were booked and the plane was caught. Meeting the team and seeing production worked and being a part of the Findlay Friday streams was only second to seeing snow that wasn't on a mountain.
Good times were had by all. Jimmy even made time to give me a tour of the entire Oregon coast. Clam chowder isn't as deadly as it sounds. I would even eat it again. All around, one of my favourite trips I have ever taken!
While I was there, the name Findlay Hats Australia was born. Even though we would work very closely with Findlay Hats, Findlay Hats Australia would be a seperate business who would operate as the Australian and New Zealand Distributor for Findlay Hats.
On return, there were significant supply and production bottle necks. The speed of manufacturing was not fast enough to allow Findlay Hats Australia to keep the same products as were sold in the States in stock. Then, as COVID set in, it was only managing to keep up supply with their own customers. In Australia, we were losing sales and our offering was becoming stale.
There had to be a way to get around this road block! Late 2020 we started to find the answer.
Where we are now
We are continuing to ship hats all over Australia (and some to the Findlay Force all over the world) out of our garage. However, rather than trying to stock everything that Findlay Hats HQ have, we will be bringing in completely different and exclusive items (as well as some shared lines) every month. Keep an eye open for these!
Maybe one day, as the Findlay Force in Australia grows, we will starting production here... But that is yet to be seen.
David Stephenson - Findlay Hats Australia
Never lose your hat again with our patented stampede laces. Style them or use them. Up to you!
Use our custom sublimated pockets for stashing cash or anything else you don't want to keep in your pockets.
We stand behind the quality of our hats.