Hats Off to Mill City Made

College sophomore starts his own company.

He graduated from Chanhassen High School in 2016 and now attends Iowa State University, double majoring in management with an entrepreneur track and supply chain management—that only scratches the surface of Matt Hodges’ accomplishments, including launching Mill City Made.

Mill City Made features an assortment of Minnesota-themed hats and visors.  Hodges came up with the idea during second semester of his freshman year in college when he saw many students wearing state pride apparel. “I’d never seen a hat that had state pride on it,” Hodges says. After searching in vain for a Minnesota state hat, he was inspired to create his own.

The name stems from one of Minneapolis’ nicknames, Mill City. Hodges felt the name was appropriate since Minnesota is in the title but not blatantly mentioned, which gives the brand room for growth. Customers love the hats’ quality—there haven’t been any returns, and feedback has been positive.

“Our most popular items are the white Minnesota hat with navy embroidery and the navy Minnesota hat with white embroidery,” Hodges says.

Hodges’ business has reached outside state lines. He’s designed hats for organizations such as Toledo Yoga in Ohio. However, Hodges is looking to expand his own brand beyond hats. “I’d like to do apparel like pocket shirts, designs that are simple but classy.”

Whether it’s the abundance of Minnesota pride or the sight of Minnesota’s distinct shape that starts conversations, Mill City Made hats are gaining popularity. Shoppers can purchase items locally at The General Store of Minnetonka or online. Made with high-quality material at an affordable price, the hats make great holiday gifts. Shipping is just a three-day wait, perfect for prepared or last-minute shoppers.