When a cattle wrangler reaches to pick up their cowboy hat before a long day on the range, the last place they might expect it to have been produced would be Newark. And yet, that’s just where the Serratelli Hat Company does it.

The business was founded in 1878 when the Serratelli brothers discovered a method of recycling the debris from slicing the brim of fur-felt hats to evenly round them. Today, the Serratellis are one of only a handful of companies in the world equipped to make the highest quality beaver-felt hats authentic cowboys love.

But while owner Dean Serratelli is an expert at making western headwear, running a business in New Jersey can be just as challenging. Serratelli explained that he joined NJBIA in 2000 to find help, taking advantage of networking opportunities, seminars and valuable information. 

“[The benefit of being an NJBIA member is] knowing that at any point in time I can utilize any of their resources from healthcare to shipping discounts, discounts that are provided through various sorts of vendors and also legal counsel, if I needed that, as well,” Serratelli said. “It just seems like it’s a nice resource and I would highly recommend it. There’s just no downside—it’s a ‘gotta have.’ ”