Aghaa’ Hat Co. helping El Pasoans personalize their style with custom, handcrafted hats
If you are looking for the perfect hat, custom-made to match your style, look no further than Aghaa’ Hat Co., located in Central El Paso.
Named after the Navajo word for wool or animal fur, Aghaa’ Hat Co. was started in 2016 by El Paso native, Cindy Gutierrez-Krapp. After learning basic millinery techniques in New York City, where she lived for 20 years, Cindy was inspired to return to her birthplace and embrace her native roots.
So, she took what she learned and began creating custom hats in her hometown made of rabbit fur felt and repurposed vintage beaver fur felts, as well as beaded and leather hat bands, jewelry and accessories.
“I feel like moving back to El Paso opened up the floodgates of creativity for me,” said Cindy Gutierrez-Krapp, owner of Aghaa’ Hat Co.
Since making her first open-crown dome hat, now listed as the classic “Sierra Blanca” style at aghaahatco.com, Cindy has honed her skills of hand-creasing hats. Her process begins by sourcing 100% rabbit fur felt or repurposed beaver fur felt hats and shaping them into an open crown using vintage wooden hat blocks. Next, she flattens the brim and steams the top of the hat to mold them into the desired shape. Then, she sews in the sweatband and hand-printed lining. Afterward, she styles each hat with a unique, bead-weaved, peyote-stitched or leather-braided hat band.
Cindy’s mission is to make high-quality, affordable hats for people of all ages and all styles.
“I want people to be able to buy a high-quality hat,” she said. “If you buy different hat bands, you can switch out the outfit of your hat and make it last a lifetime.”
You can find Cindy and Aghaa’ Hat Co. inside Cult Studios, located at 615 Montana Ave., which provides open studios for local creatives, including contemporary jeweler Jess Tolbert and painter Ivan Calderon. Cult Studios also includes a shop, featuring unique, handcrafted works by local El Paso artists, writers, jewelry designers and other creatives. Cult Studios regularly hosts “Meet the Artist” events and creative workshops, including bead weaving, knitting,\ and pottery workshops.
“I’m proud to showcase so many talented artists here,” Cindy said. “I feel like it’s important for us to get to know the talented creators in El Paso, and we offer a space for those artists to share their work.”
Featured creatives at Cult Studios include artists Christin Apodaca and Los Dos, NI EN MORE botanically dyed garments, authors Rubí Orozco Santos and Gris Muñoz, performance artists Xingaderas, Silver Spur Designs vintage and contemporary turquoise jewelry, Healing Earth Oils natural soaps, Claudia Ley jewelry, Milintica Glass Works, Becca Vasquez weaving, and Dina Perlasca handmade ceramics.