Nathaniel’s Custom Hats in Georgetown, Texas has been one of my favorite stops out of all of the places that we’ve visited on the Backroads and BBQ tour. Cousin Jack Crouch has apprenticed for Nate and took me there to meet Nate.

Cousin Jack Crouch, Chef John O’Neil, and owner Nathaniel Funmaker

While I was there, Nate hand-fitted me with a palm straw cowboy hat. Watching his method and precision inspired me. That hat fits my head like no hat I’ve ever owned – like a sock on my head. Nathaniel Funmaker is hands-down one of the nicest guys I’ve ever met. His craftmanship knows no equal. He makes his hats on vintage equipment using centuries-old, hands-on craftsmanship techniques. 

Nate has been handcrafting hats for nearly twenty years. His skills can be readily seen and felt in the finished product. Nate makes his hats from the highest qualify fur felts, and they are renowned for their durability. Celebrities like Josh Bernstein in “Digging For The Truth” and Will Smith in “Wild, Wild, West” love Nate’s hats, but they are also valued by ranchers and just plain “hat folks”. 

Nathaniel’s is not just any hat shop. Using 60 to 100-year-old equipment and maintaining centuries old techniques, Nate’s fine fur felt hats are renowned and treasured for their quality and timeless style. Nate’s hats are proudly worn by people from all walks of life, including businesspeople, cowboys, ranchers, celebrities and politicians, to name a few.

Born in Wisconsin to the Ho-Chunk tribe, Nate was the 10th of 11 children born to Adam and Doris Funmaker. To his knowledge, Nate is the only Native American Master Hatter.