In 1989 I left Portland, Oregon for Southern California in search of the American dream. Before I left my father gave me a straw hat. He had met the manufacturer and thought there might be something to it. I was not convinced. It was a big wide brimmed straw cowboy hat. Honestly, the goofiest looking hat I had ever seen. I threw it in the back of my car. Thanks Dad!
I have always been passionate about Southem California, the lifestyle and beach culture so I finally settled in San Diego. It is sunny almost every day here and it was on one of those days that I retrieved that hat my father gave me before I left Portland. It was now crushed, cracked, torn, stained and dirty but, it had a wide brim. I flipped the brim downward from its cowboy position and wore it to the beach for some shade. My friends teased me for wearing it but they also wanted it. Strangers seemed interested in it too. As life long entrepreneur I thought to myself, hmmmmm, there just might be something to it.
The next day I contacted the manufacturer somewhere south of Mexico City. It was a small family operation and they were open to changing up the style a bit. We sourced some neon (late 80’s fashion) cords for the drawcord and we produced a few hundred pieces. A few weeks later I drove my blue Chrysler station wagon to Tijuana Mexico and handled customs myself. The following weekend I took them to the beach to sell them and they sold. Every last one! The hat soon caught the attention of a San Diego Division Chief Lifeguard who wanted them for his entire staff of beach lifeguards.
The Authentic California Lifeguard Hat became a product and The Peter Grimm Company was born.
The company name Peter Grimm comes from my mother’s side. Grimm, her maiden name and my middle name. The rabbit logo is derived from my Grandmother who affectionately called me Peter Rabbit.
Over the last 30 years I have met a lot of great people and made amazing friends around the world; Mexico City, Shanghai, Saigon and beyond. Many of our customers have shared their stories from rock stars, celebrities, cancer survivors, an 80 year old grocery bagger from Alabama and a potato farmer in Idaho. Who would have thought that people would love their hats so much and their Peter Grimm hat would become such a beloved part of their character, their True Character.
We have been innovators and originators in the industry from the beginning. It all started with the creation of the Authentic California Lifeguard Hat but we have driven many other trends in the headwear industry that have become popular worldwide. Every hat we make is an original, designed by me, here in San Diego.
We make hats for True Characters. Those trendsetters and tastemakers who recognize craftsmanship, style, quality and value. Show your True Character to the world in a Peter Grimm hat and tell us your story.
– Peter Grimm, Founder and CEO
Photo descriptions (from the top):
Peter at a young age always had an affinity for hats and a spirit of adventure
Peter’s first hat delivery vehicle, his trustee Chrysler station wagon
Peter in South America on a hat manufacturing trip
Peter at his first Action Sports trade show
The Original Authentic California Lifeguard Hat hang tag
Peter at Stagecoach Festival
Peter at his Warehouse in San Diego