When viewing something as seemingly simple as a cycling cap, you might wonder how involved is the process of making it. Asking myself that question, I contacted Walz Caps, a cap company out of Vista, California. I spoke with their wholesale director, Matt Marshall, to get an idea of how this local manufacturer creates their caps and sets themselves apart.
While cycling caps may seem like a simple product, there is a lot of meticulous detail that goes into developing a distinct style and producing a quality cap. All of their hats are hand-cut and sewn in-house. Their recent purchase of another larger local company has enabled them to grow from eight to twenty-seven employees. They’ve moved from a small 1300 sq ft to a 19,000 sq ft. facility, indicating that Walz has some big plans in store.
HOW THEY GET STARTED
Ten years ago, the owner’s aunt used to stitch welders caps for her husband that looked very similar to cycling caps. A friend of hers who was a cyclist saw the caps and asked if she might be able to stitch together one that he could wear while cycling. As her caps became increasingly popular in the cycling community, her nephew noticed that she could hardly keep up making so many of the requested cycling caps. Shortly after, he bought the business and named the company after her last name “Walz.”
RANGE OF PRODUCTS
Of all their available products, the most popular cap is the classic wool. The classic wool is a ProGrade technical cap made of a light technical fabric that wicks away sweat and moisture. They’ve also got several signature collections of caps which showcases some of Walz’s favorite brews, causes and bike shops. They also offer consumers a Build-A-Cap option that allows you to select the cut, color, and material of your very own cap. Outside of cycling they also have a line of running and casual city caps.
One of Matt’s favorite customer stories is from a conversation with two gentlemen at Interbike 2011. When they came over to the Walz booth, one man reached into his pocket and pulled out a very worn, original generation Walz cap and relayed how the cap had been around the world and was still going strong. Matt tried to offer the man a new hat, thinking that the man might want a replacement. But he turned down the offer saying that since it was still holding together, he was going to keep on using it. Matt and Walz pride themselves on making caps that last through the years and hold great memories for the cyclists who wear them.