Today, we take you back into the Gentleman's Code archives, circa 2016, to revisit an interview that we had with Cody Wellema, founder of Wellema Hat Co. 

Join us as we find out what has built this gentleman's passion for hats, and what inspires him with hat making. 

TGC: Thank you for sitting down with me and taking time out for an interview. 

CW: My pleasure! 

TGC: How long have you been interested in hats, and the art of handcrafting hats?

CW: I'd say I've always loved hats. From a kid with little league ball caps to now making the finest quality hats! As far as the actual art of crafting a hat, I'd say only a couple years. I'm still an infant in this craft, growing rapidly & learning everyday!

TGC: What has been your greatest inspiration in hat making, as well as in your style?

CW: There are just too many to list. People are always most inspirational to me. To get to know someone, to hear there story and how I can help them along there way. I also enjoy pulling a alot of inspiration from the early to mid 1900s. 

TGC: What is the most rewarding part of your profession?

CW: To interact with each individual, and make them something that is of the quality & worth that everyone deserves. 

TGC: In your video "The Hatter", you spoke about the turn of the century, and the early 1900's. Is this an era that has a great amount of influence on your personal and professional style?

CW: No doubt about it!

TGC: What is the most important thing to you about the way you craft your hats, and how others feel about your finished product?

CW: The most important thing to me is that my customer is happy. The detail that goes into every step of the creating and how the hat can make a customer feel when wearing it. 

TGC: During the video, there is a clip of you lighting a hat on fire. What is the purpose for this step in hat making?

CW: That is actually something I do not do anymore, as I saw it affecting the felt in a negative way and compromising the quality of the hat. When it was being done thought it was to help any long remaining hairs to be removed from the hat. 

TGC: Over the years, there has been the debate on whether Chivalry and Gentle manliness is dead. Do you think that the gentleman lifestyle is dead, declining, or on a rebound?

CW: Good question. I'd say a little bit of each. There are pockets of each. Younger generations, my generation and so on are growing up and living no where near how people once lived. I think there is a small revival of a sense of class and craft coming back. I'm curious and excited where the next 5-10 years lead. 

TGC: Whether it be style or personality, what is the one key characteristic to you in being a modern gentleman?

CW: To love God, love your family & the people around you. 

TGC: What is the best part of being a hat maker?

CW: Feeling that I'm already retired at a young age. I'm doing what I love with an item that I love. I hope to be doing this for the rest of my life in some way, shape or form. 

TGC: Cody, thank you again for sitting down and letting me interview you for "The Gentleman's Lounge". I appreciate your time, and wish you the best of luck in the future.

CW: I appreciate you and all your efforts! Thank you for your time.