The Architect’s Wife has always been focused internally on showcasing our showroom space and the artists, creators, or makers within it. But given the current circumstances, we’re learning to shift our focus and connect with people in new ways. More importantly, we want to shine a light on craftspeople and the creativity they contribute to our community. In this “Stoop Stories” series, The Architect’s Wife visits friends and makers to share how they’re staying in/spired.
Let us introduce you Courtney Green—the artist and visionary behind The Montana Territory Hat Company here in Bozeman, Montana. Her passion and talent shines through in each of her creations—classic designs, quality construction, and thoughtful details—each built to last and be passed on for generations. The hats she crafts each reflect the spirit of the West and are truly works of functional art with a soul, and we're excited to share her story with you today!
Tell us what you do. How did you fall into your craft?
I make hand-made cowboy hats in Bozeman, Montana. I grew up riding horses and drawing. When I was little you could always find me hiding away with my sketch book, my fingers often grey from shading with charcoal pencils, or in the barn spending time with my horses. After college I worked in the fashion industry as a designer and buyer. I loved it, but I always knew I belonged in the Mountains. When I finally made the move to Montana, I wanted to create something that pulled from my background in fashion and design, and my love for art and the American West. I wanted to commit to something that was rooted in and inspired by Montana. i love product that feels like art. Slow, deliberate, intentional. Product that will last a lifetime and accumulate stories along the way.
Can you tell us about your creative process?
The hat making process itself is pretty consistent once I start. There is an order of operations that you go through to take this piece of felt and gradually turn it into a hat. My creative process is happening all of the time. I can be in the middle of a sentence with someone and all of the sudden stop because I have an image in my head that I have to write down or sketch before it goes away. I have scraps of visual ideas everywhere. I am such an observer. I take inspiration from literally everywhere. I am often lost in thought looking at something that seemingly has nothing to do with what I am working on, but something about it grabbed my attention. A color, a font, a line, a word, a photograph. The best thing about being an artist, maker, and photographer is the way you see things. It forces you to slow down and notice. You see things as they are, but you also see envision them as they could be. Part of a story that is always building and evolving in your head. It could be anything.
What have you been up to during these quarantine pandemic times?
I am grateful every second to be in Montana. I do not think I would have stayed sane had I been stuck in a city. I need space and nature. Being isolated from the normal distractions was kind of amazing actually. I suppose the coolest part about the quarantine was the element of time. For me, it pushed me into one of the most creative phases of my life.
What character trait of yours do you think has been the most responsible for your success so far?
What's something you've been working on that you're excited about?
I always have things in the works. I am really excited about some of the artistic inspired hats that represent true personalization. I have some ideas that will incorporate the history of the west through art depicted on a hat. Rich in history, design, and meaning, while staying simple and wearable. I am so into the hats that hold an artistic element but have a "if you know, you know" quality to the design. Understated, elegant, cool. Stay tuned!
What's something one might not know about you?
I'll never tell...
Where do you find inspiration?
I am an observer. I find inspiration and story literally everywhere. I am endlessly inspired by this landscape and the people and personalities that have shaped the culture of the West. I love art museums, I love high end fashion design and the artistry, courage, and storytelling that is built into a seasonal show and collection. I love photography and the composition, color, and emotive quality of an incredible image. I find inspiration in architecture, interior design, a great book. Inspiration is everywhere.. Anything built with an intention towards quality and eye for good taste.
Anything else you'd like to share?