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Ground Floor
Will Conner started clocking his way toward hat making proficiency as a kid in his dad’s factory in Byron Bay, Australia. In 2014, the surfer/musician created the Conner Hats brand. Will Conner grew up in Byron Bay and came to St. Augustine, Florida at age 18 to study business administration at Flagler College. In one class the professor asked, “What would be a good business idea?” Will’s reply was, “to sell Australian hats.” The whole class, including the professor, laughed at the idea, either because Australian hats were a surprising choice, or because of Will’s thick Aussie accent. Either way, it was just enough of a challenge for Will to try to prove them wrong. After his first semester, Will decided he’d take a chance and learn business in the real world. Will’s father, Bill Conner started BC Hats® in 1969 and was the first in Australia to make a leather hat with a shapeable brim. His original style, ‘The Stockman’, has inspired many imitations around the world. Today, BC Hats and Conner Hats can be found in stores worldwide, and online. Will still calls Byron Bay home and takes great pride in selling his dad’s original Australian-made hats alongside styles from the Conner Hats brand. He travels between St. Augustine and Byron Bay and credits his parents Bill and Marion with showing him that even if you start with just an idea, as long as you are happy on your path and never give up, there is no limit to what you can achieve.