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Hand Stories

Roman Robinson
Hat Designer

Mar 27, 2019 by Caye Polanco

Behind every creation and every product you encounter, there is a hand story.

At Keyo, we love hands. Hands not only make us human but they also contain our identity. This week we have an interview from Roman Robinson, a Hat Designer from Oakland, California.

Check out his story below.

Where are you based from?

I’m based in Oakland, California and I design and make fedora hats for my own brand, RJR.

How did you get started?

After I graduated from college I went to France for 2 months on vacation, and I just happened to take a train to Lille. It was there where I got lots of inspiration not only in hat design but in fashion. I was walking off the train and a young man approached me saying that he liked my hat ( Which btw wasn’t mine, it was another companies hat) and I should be modeling my own hats. It was then I decided to come up with a breathable, water resistant fedora hat. I called my friend turned partner who had just started her schooling at the academy of arts and shared my idea and from there birthed the brand RJR.

What do you love most about what you do?

I have two things that I love about this brand. What makes this so unique is that I along with my partner make these hats by hand, it just gives this a whole new meaning knowing that I was able to carefully sew this hat together and put a huge smile on my customers face.

Where do you get your inspiration?

I usually always have music going- and as of late I’ve been lighting candles, it just puts me in a good mood. Once the mood is right I dig right in!

What are some tips for other people to follow your path?

You must crave being successful, you must see yourself being successful, as you are imagining this, keep in mind that one must fail in order to succeed. Failure is another way of exposing your inner character. Always keep your morals strong and stead fast. Most importantly keep God first.

Any favorite books, songs, podcasts, shows?

My favorite book as of today is “ The Purpose Driven Life” By Rick Warren. I listen to Soulection radio by Joe Kay.

What is identity to you?

Culture, simply culture, where do you come from, this to me is identity. Showing where you come from and what your culture represents.

Culture, simply culture, where do you come from, this to me is identity. Showing where you come from and what your culture represents.

Ig: @rjr_121

Shop: rjr121.com

A big thank you to Roman for sharing his story.

At Keyo, we love hearing from creators who are doing exciting and inspirational things. By featuring bi-weekly hand stories, we give them a platform to share their unique story so that they can inspire others to be proud of what they do and who they are.

Want to be featured in our next one? Feel free to contact us!

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