Take the top to bottom concept and apply it to fashion, and you’ll get these two shops, owned by local creatives, dedicated to helping you build a solid style foundation and to creating your look’s crowning glory.
Taj Hat Co.
While Bryn Cuzick has always been a hat-wearer, she didn’t realize that hats could come with specific, custom detailing. While shopping in Malibu, California, she visited a marketplace that featured a variety of hatmakers; when she got home, she fell down what she calls “a YouTube black hole spiral” researching how to make them herself.
Cuzick, who’s based in Walton, opened the online retailer Taj Hat Co. in December. Most of her hats are new, some are refurbished, and others use vintage pieces to make something one of a kind—think updated scarves, bandanas, leather belts, brooches, keys, or even postage stamps. “Antique stores and thrift stores are where I find most of my materials for bands and the detailing,” she says. “There’s a fun story to every hat.” Making one hat takes Cuzick six to eight hours, she says, depending on the amount of detail, and they retail for $250–$450 on the Taj website.
Finding the right hat is about knowing what looks good on your face shape, she says. Shorter, round faces pair well with hats with a taller crown, the raised part of the hat that fits over the wearer’s head. Shorter crowns, then, are more flattering on those with longer, oval faces. “If there’s a hat that looks good on your face and looks made for you,” says Cuzick, “other people will always think it’s cool.”
Sole by Style
When Jacob Cain opened online shop Sole By Style in 2016, his goal was to make high-end sneakers a little more affordable by offering both new and resale shoes. A new pair that costs over $1,000 can run for $500 or $600 preowned, he says.
Before older sneakers are ready to sell, Cain puts each one through a cleaning process and an authenticity check. “Knockoffs are a problem,” he says. “There are a lot of counterfeits and fakes out there. I could probably put the same shoe in front of you, one real and one fake, and it would be hard for the average person to be able to tell which one’s which.” A major difference is in overall quality, he says, because if a sneaker lacks in quality it also lacks in comfort and durability.
Cain and his business partner, Mitchell Wolfe, opened a Covington storefront in 2018 to provide customers a personal experience. Employees are knowledgeable, and customers can browse the store’s inventory via iPad. “Our store is definitely unique,” he says. “It’s a sneaker community.”