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    Today's Pioneering Spirit

Making Headway

Laura NoelleThere is a question hanging over the western lifestyle industry and everyone from manufacturers to retailers is hopeful it will have a positive answer. The question is, will the western lifestyle continue to be as popular and relevant with millennials as it is with their parents’ generation?

At least one person under thirty is answering that question in the positive. At twenty-seven,
Laura Noelle Reynolds is going full-steam ahead; building and shaping hats for her generation that have equal parts cowboy and boho chic in her hat line called, “Laura Noelle.”

“I have the advantage of growing up around western things and haute fashion,” she told me on the phone from her studio in Malibu. “My grandfather was in TV and worked on westerns in the 1960s and my grandmother was the picture of Chanel in everything she wore. So I have a background in merge points and seeing how fashion things work together. I like to put a little classic cowboy feel into my hats with a bit of a hippie feel that is working so well in fashion today and is so easily wearable.”

The CadetHer hat making came by way of her father’s friend Ritch Rand, the legendary hat maker from Montana. “Ritch had me do hands-on work in his shop so I could feel the differences of various qualities of materials, so I could create & offer hats at various price points. But today I think I have found the right spot for people who want a nice quality hat at a price they won’t be afraid to wear. Unlike the western hat business, fashion hats are not known for their material quality, but I feel people care and I know it shows when they put one of my hats on. It’s like wine, there’re cheap wines and nice wines. I like nice wine.”

Laura Noelle hats are currently sold through her website, www.wearlauranoelle.com, which has a video showing behind the scenes of a recent photo shoot. She is also designing a line for wholesale next year. Hats are trimmed with natural bands and ribbons and highlighted with her signature, hammered, copper trademark clasp.

“In addition to my hats, I plan to add additional products along the way – shirts and accessories as people my age are always looking for new things to experience,” she continued, “I know I am that way and I love seeing what’s around the corner. Instagram is really helpful to see what’s out there, be seen and reach larger audience,”

“Oh, I have to jump off. A customer is here to pick up her hat and I don’t want her to wait.” Maybe that says it all. This western inspired entrepreneur - who also has a full-time job in the wine industry - is bringing new energy to the headwear business and I just have the feeling she is not alone.

—Bill Cooper

 


 


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Mission Statement

Smoke Signals blows your way from High Noon Western Americana of Los Angeles, California, producers of the High Noon Antique Show & Auction for 25 years (1991-2014). Smoke Signals eMagazine was founded in 2010 from a desire to share thoughts and facts with the High Noon community and look at what is going on in the Western world while feeding our readers with great recipes and giving advertisers a chance to blow their own smoke.

And hopefully we educate along the way.

Linda Kohn Sherwood, Editor


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