Hathenbruck all about American heritage
Ryan Summerlin February 1, 2013
A rustic, practical sensibility lines the walls of Hathenbruck, the newest men’s clothing boutique in Park City. The heavy woolen coats, the leather boots made to be uniquely distressed by its owner, even the antique knives scavenged from secondhand stores in Montana, all cry notes of classic American style in a new, or perhaps more appropriately, a long-forgotten kind of voice.
Park City local Caleb Flowers started the business after several stints in retail stores throughout Park City and Salt Lake City, his first solo venture encapsuled in less than 400 square feet of space. The walls are draped in refurbished metal roofing, in stripped away bark and exposed hardware some elements pulled out from the Utah Recycling Center. In a pair of vintage-style jeans and simple, striped shirt, his personality seems to fit effortlessly into the store he carefully executed, clearly at home as he chats with curious customers.
"I have a soft spot for Park City," Flowers said. "It’s the community, the locals and those that come in every season. I saw the way people supported the local businesses."
"I liked the community, the feel," he added.
The business opened officially in December, only days before Christmas. Though he had an idea of how to get the ball rolling, how to stock and select products, he said starting on his own was harder than he originally anticipated. But he quickly added that it was working out, that getting the interaction with the crowds passing through his doors was easily his favorite part.
When asked what set his store apart, what made the lines of menswear he carried unique, he quickly walked up and grabbed a simple-looking, workman boot.
"They originally made this boot in the early 1900s using stacked leather, the same way they make it today," Flowers said. "It used to have a wooden heel though, not anymore. So the company, Wolverine, went into the archives and said let’s remake this boot but not change anything we don’t have to. It’s all handmade, a guy in Rockford, Michigan uses a sewing machine to put it all together."
"As you wear the boot, as it patinas, you’ll see creases getting lighter but the edges staying dark," he said, carefully looking over the new leather. "It just takes on this different look. Overtime, it becomes more beautiful than when you bought it on the shelf I want to educate customers on how something is built, why it’s built, where it is built."
Products like the Wolverine boots are all around the store, American-made and with a hint of story. Next, he pointed to another product, a Filmore Alaskan Guide Shirt. The flannel shirt was made by the century-old, Seattle-based company for those traveling for the Klondike Gold Rush in Alaska in 1897, the final stop for those in search of supplies.
"It has a story," he said. "I love that."
It’s all about quality, about the relationship with the company that made the product, Flowers said, that people are starting to care as much about the story behind the product as the product itself.
"Some of these products, they feel frozen in time," Flowers said. "I like to do the sleuthing, to find the right pair of sunglasses or t-shirt."
"The idea is to have brands that resonate for everyone. Whether West Coast, East Coast or Park City, there is something here," he added. " It’s being familiar and uncommon."
136 Heber Ave., Suite 106
Monday through Sunday
10 a.m. to 8 p.m.