When they started out, the Belinsky’s did not have much knowledge on hats or which hats to sell. However, they tracked the Urban Cowboy movie trend and reached out to hat sellers in LA for advice. Since their opening, San Diegans embraced Village Hat Shop and Seaport Village flourished into a hub of squares rich with old Mexican and old San Diegan vibes.
Village Hat Shop did not just stay in Seaport Village though. Now, Village Hat Shop has three locations in San Diego – including Pacific Beach – and another in Long Beach. Moreover, it has garnered a wide online customer base.
In 1997, Fred and Tina Belinsky took a risk; they chose to expand into online sales, which was still in its infancy, and now villagehatshop.com has hundreds of hats in its digital catalog. And recently, Tina and her son Zach Belinsky have opened a new Village Hat Shop in Pacific Beach, which sits snugly on the corner of Cass Street and Garnet Avenue.
When asked about her favorite feature of hats, Tina Belinsky replied, “How much history they have, what meaning they have, the purpose they serve. We’re not just hat sellers, we’re passionate about hats. They can change your personality, they can provide warmth, they can create an entire character.”
True to her words, if you visit villagehatshop.com, there are multiple sections of the website devoted to information about hats; hat slang, hat terminology, hat history, hat anatomy, and much more.
“This is and always has been a local, family-owned business.” said Zach Belinsky of his proudest accomplishment with Village Hat Shop. “It is set up to serve the community and the sales come as a result, as opposed to the other way around. The idea is to have knowledgeable staff, services such as steaming and stretching your hat, a wide array of choices, to have value to the community.”
The reason why Village Hat Shop chose to expand to Pacific Beach was passionately explained by Zach Belinsky. “When Seaport Village first opened, my father wanted a store that served the community. Pacific Beach will always be a place for both families and tourists because there is a great community here.
“At the same time it’s a great place where everyone wants to be. It brings back my father’s original vision,” he said.
Village Hat Shop’s Pacific Beach location is having a grand opening celebration on April 28, from 5 p.m. to closing. Everyone is invited to stop by the new store to browse the hats, try the selfie station, and enjoy the atmosphere.
Village Hat Shop
What: Grand opening 5 p.m. April 28
Where: 979 Garnet Ave.
Info: villagehatshop.com, 858-291-8355.