David is now the happy owner of Flint Custom Hatters (www.flinthat.com) in Lubbock, Texas, but before he took up the trade, he was an Agricultural teacher at Hamlin, Independent School District.
And although he’s changed hats, so to speak, David still values himself and his work based on how well he has taught others. He feels God has blessed him with his employees, especially one young man, Michael Prewitt, who has worked with David for four years.
“I like to judge how well I can make a hat by how well I can teach others, and Michael has become a great hatter,” David says.
David first started out making custom boots when he was still a teacher. He soon expanded his shop to include hatmaking, as he’s always had a fascination with cowboy hats. “My dad, whom I admire greatly, always wore a cowboy hat when we were doing something special. I have worn cowboy hats all my life,” he says.
It’s not surprising that the proud father of six also wants to pass on the passion for the West his father awakened in him as well as his hatmaking craft to his loved ones. But, he admits, his children are rather busy learning other subjects in school.
In the meantime, he teaches his employees as much as he can. One of the greatest lessons he teaches his workers is not just how to form fit the hat, but also how to treat the customers. “Custom hats are one of those things that people just seem to be attracted to. The thing I try to remember and tell the guys that work for me is to treat people like you want to be treated. Service is the most important thing, and, unfortunately, it seems to be a unique thing these days,” he says.
We’re glad David still wears his teacher’s hat.