What Makes a Downtown Maker?

Meet Colby Hébert, The Cajun Hatter! Hébert has relocated his New Orleans based hat shop to Downtown Lafayette next to The Wurst Biergarten. Like many Downtown Makers, Hébert finds inspiration in his Cajun roots and shares that with us via his craft!

Check out his available hats or schedule an appointment to make your own custom hat via his website.


Tell us a little bit about yourself and how you got started making things.

I make handmade custom hats inspired by Cajun and Louisiana culture. Including everything from the music to cuisine, to geography and more. I’ve always enjoyed altering my clothing and making things with my hands, and after working in the wardrobe department in the film industry, I was led into the desire to become a designer with my favorite aspect of fashion, which is hats.

What does the term “Maker” mean to you?

I think a maker is anyone who creates something with their hands. It’s very personal and honest in that way.

Who or what inspires you to make?

My custom hats are inspired directly by the individuals that I make them for. My design collections, such as the “Louisiana Icons” are inspired by cultural concepts of South Louisiana.

What’s it like being a Maker in Downtown Lafayette? Is it different from having a business in another Lafayette location?

I love the culture of downtown Lafayette. It has a bit of that same laissez-faire that is exemplified in our work. To add to that, it is perhaps the best expression of an historical Lafayette, and that marries perfectly with the old world feel of what we do.

Why is making important to you?

For me, it is essential that I always create. And making allows me to create a thing that others can get very practical use out of in a very intimate way.

What have you made that you are most proud of?

My children. But I suppose if we’re talking hats, it would be the very first one. Which I still own and wear.

What up-and-coming Maker trends inspire you the most?

I don’t pay much mind to trends, but I’m extremely excited to release our “Shades of the Swamp” collection, where we dye nutria fur felt hats from plants harvested in the Atchafalaya swamp.

What advice can you give someone who is interested in starting their own Maker Business?

To start right away. There are no perfect circumstances.

Tell us something surprising about yourself or your business.

I am also a Traiteur (or Cajun folk healer) and most are unaware that the hats themselves bestow blessings upon the wearer.

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