Art Life 2002
The Art of Millinery
S. Grant Sergot
At one time, every city had a milliner. People wore hats and the milliner was an important shop on Main Street. Today, the tradition is nearly a lost art. In Bisbee, a town that keeps alive an Old World charm, Óptimo Custom Hatworks provides fine-quality, hand-woven Panama hats from Ecuador, custom blended beaver, cashmere, hare and rabbit felt hats, custom service and hand finishing.
S. Grant Sergot started shaping hats in 1972 and established Óptimo hatworks in Bisbee in 1983. His philosophy: "I want to assure the quality of association between you and the correct fit, the type of weave, the grade of straw or the blend of fur-felt, the style of hat and the desired trimming." His shop does not just sell hats; it provides personalized service as well as renovation. Grant says that before you can have a hat made to order, "I need to talk with you personally, even if over the phone, to let you know what is available. I need to discuss your hair color, eye color, skin tone, facial features and the type of hat to fulfill your desired need."
His shop has received notice in many travel magazines and newspapers because of its novelty, and its location in Bisbee, a small community dedicated to preserving the arts and flavors of a bygone era.