Recently, Bernard Grossman, ex-President of Betmar Hats of New York, and I were having brunch and looking out over La Jolla Cove in southern California. I told Bernie that I had always been impressed with the Betmar line and that I was unaware of any millinery company that was older than Betmar. Literally, a tear came to his eye when I asked him for information about the company's history so that I could use it as an introduction to Betmar at our HAT BRANDS PAGE. He and I agreed that in the hubbub of the daily grind, the importance of a business's history often gets ignored when in fact that very history contributes greatly to what the customer ultimately sees and gets.
Bernie sent this to us within a couple days of his return to NYC:
"It was the depth of the Great Depression... the year was 1933... hat business was flourishing in spite of the difficult economic times. The top salespeople in the business were Elizabeth and Murray Marks. Although successful on the sales end, they were in need of a strong factory. They sought a skilled manufacturer and found M. Grossman & Son, an old-line cap maker with roots dating back to 1911. BETMAR was born! The name chosen was taken from 'Betty Marks' who was the first designer. Within six months Betmar blossomed at key department stores around the country. Betty Marks continued making great designs into the 1950s. Her protege, Miss Arleen, carried the name and reputation forward for many years. Betmar is sold today in more than 15 countries.
Ps. The 'M' was Meyer Grossman, my grandfather, and the 'Son' was my father, Max."
I want to add that the millinery (women's) side of the hat business is very capricious. In our 27+ years of hat selling, we have seen dozens of millinery companies come and go. The fact that Betmar has been around so long, three generations in the same family, speaks volumes about their products, customer service, and the like. Enjoy this collection.