Lt. Governor Kim Guadagno kicked off her “NJ Tried and True” business tour with a visit to the second-largest western-hat-making company in America – the Serratelli Hat Company in Newark. The tour recognizes New Jersey’s unique family-owned and longstanding businesses.
“I bet many New Jerseyans would be surprised to know that they have had the second-largest cowboy hat manufacturer in the country right here in their own backyard,” said Lt. Governor Guadagno. “The Serratelli family business has withstood the test of time and is proof that New Jersey is a great place to start a company that can be successful and that can be passed on from one generation to the next. The Serratelli family is a great example of all that is good about New Jersey, and they are a fitting start to our NJ Tried and True tour.”
Established in 1878 by Pio Serratelli, the Serratelli Hat Company originated as a raw material supplier for hat makers. Based in Newark, Serratelli purchased an old school house as well as the land to minimize the costs of shipping due to its closeness to the ports.
In 1997, the fourth-generation family-owned business, led by great-grandson Dean Serratelli, renovated the second floor to accommodate a variety of steamers and became a manufacturer of western hats, establishing itself as the country’s second leading manufacturer of cowboy hats. The 20,000-square-foot factory produces up to 500 hats per day. Each custom-made hat combines fine quality materials, superior craftsmanship and a meticulous finishing process that creates the signature Serratelli brand.
“We are thrilled to host Lt. Governor Guadagno at Serratelli Hat Company. Since 1878, Serratelli has been committed to providing the best quality products to the western hat market,” said Dean Serratelli, President of Serratelli Hats. “With a focus on manufacturing here in New Jersey, the Lt. Governor continues to be a valuable partner in helping our business operate in a diverse economy.”
The Serratelli Company has 86 employees nationwide, with 56 employees in its Newark factory who have been with the company for an average of 18 years. The company targets the rodeo industry and distributes directly to more than 100 retailers. Serratelli’s custom, western-style hats are individually inspected for consistent size, shape and color and have garnered the attention of country music celebrities such as Brad Paisley, Garth Brooks and Tim McGraw. Most recently, NASCAR driver and 2013 Sprint Cup Rookie of the Year Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. endorsed Serratelli.
Family-owned businesses comprise 90% of all business enterprises in North America, and 62% of total U.S. employment. Only 30% of family-owned businesses in America will be passing the reigns to the next generation, even though close to 70% would like to keep their business in the family. By the third generation, only 12% of family-owned businesses in the US are typically still viable. By the fourth generation and beyond, only 3% of family-owned businesses continue to exist. “Hats off” to the Serratelli family for being one of the few truly unique fourth-generation businesses in the country.
Businesses considering a move or in need of assistance are encouraged to call New Jersey’s Business Action Center at (866) 534-7789 or visit the State’s Business Portal at www.newjerseybusiness.gov.Related Articles: