Knowing Your Neighbors: Walk About Real Leather Hats

These hats are more than just a fashion staple

HAYWARD, Wis.- At an outdoor oasis like the Lumberjack World Championships, it’s important to remember to protect yourself from the sun, and Dane Heckendorn is here to make sure you do just that.

Heckendorn was a featured vendor at this year’s “Olympics of the Forest,” there to sell his various styles of hats, including real kangaroo leather hats.

Originally from Germany, Heckendorn doesn’t recall seeing anything like these hats in his home town. When he befriended a group of Australians visiting Texas in 1991, a vision was created that he couldn’t put to rest. Almost overnight, Heckendorn’s hats became a fashion sensation, despite being sold out of the trunk of his mustang convertible.

To Heckendorn, selling hats is something a little more personal than just an article of clothing worn on someone’s head. After losing several friends to skin cancer, he found that these hats could save someone’s life.

“This is not just a fashion. Even though I’m a designer, I am wanting them to realize that the sun is very detrimental and it can damage an awful lot, and it can cost whole lot more money than just to purchase a hat and prevent all that from happening.”

Heckendorn is very particular about the festivals he chooses to sell at, but has found himself traveling all over the world selling his hats. Crowds flock to the Walk About Real Leather Tent and never walk away unsatisfied since Heckendorn won’t let a customer leave until they’ve found a hate with the perfect look and fit.

Walk About Real Leather Hats is continuing its tour all throughout the United States and is not sure of the next time they’ll find themselves in the Northland.

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