Musician and Franklin resident Huck Johns loves hats. And he loves performing. And he loves all aspects of art. With his new hat company, Huckhats, Johns brings together all of his artistic passions.
“I started Huckhats after creating and wearing my own hats while in LA as a Capitol record recording artist having written songs for many major artists, movies, and TV I was out and about a lot in Los Angeles. I was in LA for the last 20 years from Detroit before relocating to Franklin last year. After a long solo tour, shows with Kidrock and many others, and a final one with Ted Nugent I started attending Art school back in LA at Otis Art and design. During that time I created a lot of hats, and art pieces and spent a lot of time with photography.”
When others saw John’s hats, they would ask for help to create their own hat.
“People kept asking me to create hats for them or shape and style them and I did a lot pro bono or for barter and sold a few but never really thought I would pursue it as a business.
I went back to L.A. in March to be in a feature film and was fortunate to be able to wear one of my Hats! I play ‘Tennessee Harry’ in a feature called the “Road to Tarzetta” staring Jack Mcgee and many others. It’s in production and will be streaming at the end of this year!”
In 2021, a chance encounter at a local Franklin spot spurred Johns to start his own company selling his hats.
“I went into O be Joyful over the winter with a friend wearing one of my hats. As soon as I entered I heard ‘Hey! where did you get that hat!?’ I replied to the gentleman who asked who was wearing an interesting cowboy hat himself, ‘I made it, where’d you get yours?’ He replied ‘I made mine!’ He ended up coming over and sitting down with us and talking, he was an old Texas guy who lived in Franklin. I explained my story and told him that we should start making hats here! He explained that he was close with the Heritage Foundation and had a sausage stand for years at the festival every year,” said Johns.
“I said that’s it! We need to make our hats and sell them there! He was so motivated by my enthusiasm that we both became friends and decided we were finally going to do it for real!
He mostly refurbished his old hats from Texas. I started creating a lot of new hats and aging them along with vintage hats. Together we decided to team up but separately as Buffalobrims and Huckhats.”
Johns featured his hats at this year’s Main Street Festival and hopes to open a brick-and-mortar location in the area. You can shop Huckhates online here. On the site, you will find several unique hats to choose from or you can request a custom hat. Johns offers legacy hats, made from accessories that belonged to a person close to you or a family member that you want to honor. You will also find local products in his hats.
“I get most of my feathers from a local farm that has 25 turkeys and lots of birds and animals. All collected from drops and not killed animals. They save them and give them to me. Deer antlers as well collected here from shedding. Bones and such etc. Things from Local buildings that are being torn down or revived or old barns and houses. Like some hand-forged nails from the Primm barn collected from piles of old torn and discarded wood.”
Johns’ personal choice of hat is the 1800s look, one that is aged and has character. He stated, “With shows like 1883 and Yellowstone it has made my hat style even more popular!”
Visit Huckhats.com for the latest updates.