Maxwell Hat Company

by Terry Watson | March 8th, 2012
Travis Linsay

Travis Lindsay (Photo by Howard Gaither)

Travis Lindsay grew up around his grandmother and ladies of the church. He recalls how his great grandmother would take him along as she traveled to Wool Worth in downtown Greensboro to buy stockings for Sunday morning service. During their walk along Elm Street she would talk about Montaldo’s and how they would sometimes sale church hats. He was amazed at all of the various styles and assortments of hats for ladies. He didn’t know it then, but his fascination would evolve into a full fledged business. Today, he proudly admits that he loves to dress the women of churches.

Lindsay is a native of Greensboro, N.C. He graduated from Ben L. Smith High School. He is the son of Robert Borders and Faye Lindsay. He is married to Jacinta Turner Lindsay, the daughter of Bishop Claude Turner of Calvary Hill Church in Winston Salem, N.C. and Carolyn Turner Stowe. They have one son, Maxwell Lindsay. He is currently pursuing a degree in Music Education/History Education from Guilford College in Greensboro.

Lindsay has attended St. James Baptist Church and New Zion Missionary Baptist Church, both in Greensboro. On Sunday mornings at church he says he saw what he called “battleships from the balcony”. “Grandmother would tell me to come down but I enjoyed sitting and looking from the balcony at all of the different shapes and colors of hats,” says Lindsay.

Lindsay says he was inspired later in life to start his own business after one of the former mothers of the church passed away. She would always wear hats and a connection was developed from his passion for ladies hats and a vision to start a business. Things really began to move as the economy began to fade. When he lost his job as an Industrial Worker, Lindsay didn’t wait for something to happen, he took action.

Lindsay says that he could still hear his grandmother say “sell your hats son, sale your hats”. Even after her passing in 1992, he says it feels like she has been with him every step of the way. So with careful thought and planning he started opened his own hat shop, Maxwell’s Hat Shop, named after his son.

Mrs. Josephine Harris played a very significant part in Lindsay’s life as well. She was the owner of Angie’s Hats for over 50 years. He says he appreciates her for always pushing him to the next level and encouraging him to letting no one stop him. He says he also appreciates all of the ladies that have always supported him as he transitioned between business names. He says that with God’s blessing he hopes to make the company a success and to bring the company to its fullest potential.

Maxwell Hat Company does not only dress women but seeks to inspire them with a sense of status. He feels that women should always wear hats because it gives them a sense of pride, respect and a new level of confidence. He says “We’re set a side from others because we want to cater to women and let them know we are a company that proudly stands firm on quality.

During 2005 Lindsay was labeled “The Hat King” by the author of the book Crowns. The book featured women from different churches that wore church hats. Lindsay says authors Craig Marberry and Michael Cunningham were very surprised that he knew how to work the stage with a sophisticated combination of hats. “I worked with over 200 hundred hats on the stage and was very unique in my own way to know where every one of them belonged,” Lindsay says.

Maxwell Hat Company is the first African American owned company in the city to carry church hats. “You may see a woman with a hat on, but it makes a difference when she knows how to wear it,” he says. That is Hattitude. “Hattitude is a word that comes to mind when you feel down, but once you put your hat on it changes your entire atmosphere,” he says.

Lindsay believes the attitudes of women change when they know they are looking wonderful. He also believes that it is the mothers of the church and the First Lady’s that set the tone in the cathedral for women apparel. “There is a way to come before the King and that way is like a lady with a hat or covering” Lindsay states. He says he believes that this shop will inspire women to maintain a sense of “Hattitude”. “Women are our Queens and that is what they should look like, with their crowns,” he says. The motto of his company is “And Ye Shall Receive A Queen”.

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