My name is Derek Welborn, I live in Austin Texas and I’m a hat maker.
In 2020 I was diagnosed with a severe case of alopecia - an autoimmune disease that causes your hair to fall out. That year I found myself in a pretty dark place as I wrestled with my identity. Ultimately, out of desperation and embarrassment, I started wearing hats. Then one day, I was sitting at my house looking at the hat that I had been wearing everyday for a year, and the question came to me… “Could I make these?”
I love creating. What I love most about hat making is taking something in such a raw form and turning it into something beautiful. My inspiration comes from living in Texas. I love the western cowboy, vintage americana, southwestern style. Each hat is crafted and sewn by hand. One of the things I love to do is pick cool vintage pieces for every hat. This way each hat is unique and connects with the person I’m making it for. The shapes, distressing, and trinkets I add to each hat are thoughtfully chosen.
For me this is about more than just making hats. It’s about redemption. It’s about making beauty from ashes. Ultimately, that’s where the name “Saints” comes from. A saint isn’t someone who is good, but someone who has experienced the goodness of God. And I’ve experienced that goodness firsthand. I am thankful for my journey, because it brought me here. Now… Let’s ride.