Troy University graduate Tajh Crutch and his business partner, Archie Clay III, are gaining nationwide recognition for their successful luxury hat company WEAR BRIMS.
Crutch graduated from TROY in December 2014 with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration.
Although he was born in Melbourne, Florida, Crutch calls Enterprise, Alabama, and Queens, New York, his home.
“I was a military brat, so we moved around a lot,” Crutch said. “Those are the only two places that feel like home to me.”
Crutch has always had a “passion for fashion,” but wasn’t too sure when he would start designing his own.
When Crutch started wearing fedoras in 2012, it sparked his interest in luxury hats.
“I used to get them from the store I used to work at in Troy called Step-in-Style,” Crutch said. “At that time, I thought about making custom hats and selling them, but I always talked myself out of it because I didn’t think people were ready to add fedoras to their style.”
Now Crutch and his co-founder design statement pieces such as fedora hats, baseball caps and hoodies.
Crutch says the name WEAR BRIMS came from his family when he was constantly being told to take his hat off in the house.
“My grandfather, William F. Jones, was referring to my fitted cap, but he called it a brim,” Crutch said. “When my business partner Archie and I were thinking about names, I just jokingly said, ‘Brims.’”
Crutch says he and his partner started the company because they could never find the right style or color of hats that they wanted to wear, so they decided to just create it themselves instead.
“We also realized there was an absence of Black designers in the luxury hat market,” Crutch said. “We did not just want to make hats.
“We wanted to take an accessory that is usually viewed as traditional and elegant and make it casual, chic and cool.”
The designers find inspiration in day-to-day life and in the individual styles of different people, but Crutch says that he also finds inspiration from his family and friends.
“I always pull ideas from them based on our conversations,” Crutch said. “I always run my different Brim samples by them first before mass-producing them to the world.”
Along with his successful luxury hat company, Crutch also balances a corporate job.
“I work in corporate America as well as being CEO of my own company,” Crutch said. “Most of my days consist of morning meetings for work and afternoon meetings for Brims.
“I work out of my Brims office mostly because my corporate IT job is remote. I work very hard because I know we are building something special. A little secret that people don’t know is that I’m up to 3 to 4 a.m. designing and trying to create the next best Brim for our company.”
Crutch says his biggest accomplishment is getting to make his family and friends proud, and taking them on his journey as he builds his company.
WEAR BRIMS is also being recognized nationwide.
“Another accomplishment is being recognized by Beyoncé, being on her website and creating custom pieces for her as well as being recognized by other celebrities that reach out to buy our product,” Crutch said.
WEAR BRIMS will be available March 1 on Nordstrom websites and in stores in New York, New Jersey and Atlanta, and Crutch said it is the first Black-owned hat company to be released by Nordstrom.