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Peter Grimm Hats

Peter Grimm Hats


Peter Grimm Neidermeyer started making hats so his friends would stop getting sunburned. Well sort of. The hat revelation hit him one day while sitting on a Southern Californian beach, surrounded by sun burnt friends. Always the entrepreneur since his college days in Oregon when he ordered hundreds of canvas sandals from Italy only to find he had ordered them far too small for the big footed Oregonians, the determined Grimm decided to try his hand at business again and headed south to Mexico to see what he could find.

PHOENIX
This is where the hat business found Peter Grimm. It was 1989; he was 26. Grimm returned to the states with an old station wagon full of wide brimmed straw hats. He gave the hats to his sore and burnt friends and went to the nearby beach shops to sell himself: We're all wearing these hats put them in your stores. His simple plan worked and the “wide brimmed hat was a hit.

A hit so big that Grimm 's first major customers were cities and counties who would buy the hats in bulk for their lifeguards. It's now the industry term for lifeguard hat, it's like aspirin, it's generic, every hat company in the world knows it, says Grimm.

His trips to Tijuana became regular events, and when Grimm ran into trouble with customs he'd hand over a twenty and be back in business a business that was now booming-- Grimm had started giving the hats touches of his own.

Grimm 's two roommates who shared a house with him in Pacific Beach decided to quit their jobs and work full time for him. Their jobs consisted of going out to find different fabrics and coming back to trim them into something fun. That's why Peter Grimm 's strategy was so embraced. That 's why his strategy felt so right something so simple, “We take a hat and do something different to it.

16 years after the formation of his company, Grimm 's original motto continues to work effectively as his business has grown to its present-day enormity. Going from a tiny apartment in PB to a 43,000 square foot warehouse in San Marcos is a huge deal. Nowadays, everyone wears Grimm 's hats from Eva Longoria, to Vanilla Ice, to Bono from U2 who is reported to love his hats so much that he books an extra seat in first class when he flies so as not to scrunch them.

You know you 're a leader when all the other hat companies are following,” says Grimm. For example, when Trucker hats were selling like hotcakes and lacked a certain, necessary style, Grimm simply took a generic Grimm trucker hat and walked outside, rubbed it on the cement and whacked it on the forklift chain. He then took it to the trade show and watched it become a hit a hit for everyone, laughs Grimm, except for the girls who worked for me who hated it because they would continuously break their nails.

People like the hats that look real and distressed the hat for years look, he says. And Peter Grimm knows what people like.

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