There's something unique about Luckenbach, Texas. This Texas hill country town is known for its laid back style and true cowboy ways. The town motto rings true-"Everybody's somebody in Luckenbach"-especially when your name is Tony Wilson.
Tony Wilson owns and operates Snail Creek Hat Company in the heart of Luckenbach. He is a great friend to SunBody Hats, our number one customer, and we'd love to share his story with all of you.
The History Of Snail Creek Hat Co.
Tony Wilson's interest in hats started at a young age and, by the time he was a junior in high school, he traded his first hat. (A green felt fedora in exchange for a silverbelly with a gus crease-his favorite crease to this day!) Tony's fascination with hats grew over the years and he soon discovered Luckenbach-a sleepy little town that would some day change his life forever.
Tony used to hitchhike or walk a long way from the small town he called home (Boerne) to Luckenbach, about 30 miles total. He became quite the regular, spending time with Luckenbach greats such as Hondo Crouch, a rancher and folklorist. An ad in the paper offering "town — pop. 3 — for sale" led Hondo to buy Luckenbach for $30,000 in 1970. Tony even wrote a column for his high school paper retelling Hondo's adventures and sharing news about the sleepy town. He also became involved in reenactments of the fur trade era and developed an eye for antiques. His retail endeavors led him to an annual booth at the Kerrville Folk Festival and other events in Luckenbach.
Tony, his wife, Cassey and her mother, Donna, traveled down to Guatemala on the prowl for antique glass beads. What they wound up finding would soon become synonymous with the name "Tony Wilson." Tony found 5" brim palm hats, a rareity in the states. Most hats back then were shorter brimmed. He trusted his instinct and purchased the entire supply. The hats were a huge hit and sold out at his next event!
Tony then secured Pueblo To People as his manufacturer and importer before they quit operating in 1997. At that time, Jimmy Pryor started a for-profit offspring, SunBody Hats. Jimmy and Tony already had a working relationship so Tony began buying the hats from SunBody. He soon helped SunBody popularize the 5" brim hats as well as the palm leaf ball cap and top hat.
After a few years of traveling around the United States selling hats and hatbands, Luckenbach offered Tony a brick and mortar shop at the banks of Snail Creek. This was the birth of Snail Creek Hat Company.
For over 10 years now, Tony Wilson has been selling hats, hatbands and accessories in his cozy and charming shop in Luckenbach alongside his wife, Cassey, and friend, Boo Dale.
Tony purchases mostly unshaped Guatemalan hats, which he shapes and trims with his own custom styling. He has become quite skilled in his trade and folks travel from far and wide, not just to buy a hat, but to take in the personalized care and experience that Tony offers.
Tony also supplies us with all of our beer bottle caps that go on the Last Call and Last Call Light! Tony also hand-makes our Old West leather hatbands, seen on some of our most popular hats, including the Oak Elko.
If you find yourself deep in the heart of Texas, be sure to make a pit stop at Snail Creek Hat Company, shake Tony's hand and have a look around.