If you’ve gone to a wax museum in Los Angeles, San Francisco or Las Vegas, there’s a good chance you saw a cowboy hat that was made in Richmond.
Golden Gate Western Wear, a central stop for head-to-toe Western wear, especially with its custom-made cowboy hats, has had a long history in the Bay Area. Bill Knudsen became owner of the shop at 12153 San Pablo Ave. in Richmond in 2000, purchasing the store from the Green family. The store has been there since 1947.
The shop’s cowboy hats have been used in movies and are requested worldwide.
Knudsen graciously invited the Richmond Standard into his store as well and showed us the process by which he makes his hats. He says his favorite part about working in Richmond is the climate.
“This is one of the best micro-climates anywhere,” he said.
Story, video and photos by Mike “Raccoon Eyes” Kinney