A love of cowboy hats led Mike Buchanan to open McKinney Hat Company with his nephew, Brad Jolly, in March 2021.

Like Buchanan, Jolly also had a love of cowboy hats and moved from Arkansas to help his uncle open the store.

The backstory

Prior to owning McKinney Hat Company, Buchanan worked as an expert witness for litigation attorneys on the topics of economics and statistics.

He said he has lived in McKinney for 25 years and wanted to be a part of the community, specifically downtown McKinney.

“We didn’t know what that looked like until we really started putting our mind to it,” Buchanan said. “I was like, ‘You know what, I love hats,’ and had an opportunity to bring Stetson and Resistol [hats] to the community.”

Buchanan thought the location was the “perfect place” for a hat store because it had been around for 100 years and already looked like a hat store.

What’s special about it?

One of Buchanan’s best friends—who works for Hatco, a company that produces Stetson and Resistol hats, some of the most popular cowboy hats on the market—helped Buchanan set up the store and left him with about 30 hats to practice shaping, he said.

“We want to make sure customers are getting a hat that fits their personality,” Buchanan said. “I think every hat brings an attitude with it. I’m going to put this hat on and go have fun, or I’m going to put this one on to dress up for a formal event. That’s what we’re trying to bring.”

The store offers several different ways for patrons to customize their hats, which Buchanan said sets McKinney Hat Company apart.

The brims of the hats can be cut to the customer’s preferred length, styled and shaped. The crown can also be shaped to the customer’s preference. Additionally, staff can brand hats with logos or initials, or distress hats to create texture.

Quote of note

“We’re a hat shop,” Jolly said. “It’s not like going into a big box [western wear] store. It’s an experience.”