Bang Bang Hats + Cowgirl Yoga

Happy summer 2024! I’m continuing to share this space with women who have been an integral part of Cowgirl Yoga, to feature what they have to say and what they do. This month’s spotlight is on Kricia Storms, the founder of Bozeman’s Bang Bang Hats. She will be joining our Dude Ranch Cowgirl Yoga retreat this September at the 9 Quarter Circle Ranch, to offer her unique hat experience to our cowgirl yoginis. Read on to find out how hat making keeps her present.


You live like this, sheltered, in a delicate world, and you believe you are living. Then you read a book…or take a trip… and you discover that you are not living, you are hibernating. The symptoms of hibernating are easily detectable: first, restlessness. The second symptom, absence of pleasure… And then some shock treatment takes place, a person, a book, a song, and it awakens them and saves them from death. Some never awaken.

—Anais Nin

That’s exactly what happened to me, though my shock treatment came from an unexpected place—a custom hat shop in Austin, TX, in 2022.

Before that, I was hibernating, trying to recover from a series of events that seemed to bury me deeper into my hole. Four days after moving to Montana in 2019, I slipped on the ice and broke my femur. Just as I was fully recovered and ready to start exploring, the pandemic struck. Two years later, as all the regulations started to lift, I learned I would need another hip surgery, which meant months of recovery. After the sudden loss of my cat, I searched for the meaning in these events, which only sent me into a downward spiral. 

I booked a trip to Austin the day I was released from my crutches. While limping down South Congress, I came across a hat shop. To my surprise it wasn’t your ordinary hat shop. They shaped hats. I realized at the time I had never actually thought about how a hat was made, but when I saw the hat shapers softening the felt with steam and using their hands to shape the brims and crowns, I became mesmerized. After I left, I couldn’t stop thinking about it. I started researching hat making and soon found myself searching for courses. They were rare and often just brief workshops, but I wanted more—I wanted to master the craft.

During a trip to Florence, Italy, I discovered a 3-month hat-making course. After some planning, I put my life on hold and signed up. This was the beginning of my awakening. I began to feel alive again. For the first time in my life, I took a risk and bet on myself. I dove into uncertainty, letting everything either stay or fall away, trusting that what remained was meant for me. The art of hat making opened the door to reconnect with myself: my passion, my creativity, and the indescribable feeling you get from working with your hands. Making hats forced me to stay present. Whenever my mind wandered, I found myself making mistakes—a pattern that haunted me throughout the entire hat making process. Making hats taught me to slow down, stay focused, and embrace patience. It showed me that, much like life, most things are fixable and there isn’t just one way to achieve a desired result. It taught me not to dismiss a creation just because it didn’t turn out the way I hoped. Instead, it offered valuable lessons about myself and my skills.

Over a year later, with hundreds of hats under my belt, I now own Bang Bang, a custom hat shop in Bozeman, Montana. Hat making has connected me with people nationwide, and I enjoy hearing their stories and designing hats that reflect their unique personality and style. Bang Bang isn’t just a catchy name; it’s about creating a unique, custom hat experience that fosters connection, creativity, and empowers individuals to feel bold, confident, and to live a life uncommon. When we embrace uncertainty and the courage to face ourselves, it awakens us and sets us on a path to living fully. Bang Bang’s mission is to craft hats that are not only heirlooms cherished by future generations, but also hats that reconnect you with yourself and embrace your life’s journey. Bang Bang!

Me in my custom Bang Bang hat, which came with me to Argentina.