We had the good fortune of connecting with Enrico Busto and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Enrico, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
The best advice I’ve ever had when I was thinking to build my own business was :”Don’t do it”! I always had the spark and willing to start my own business pretty much for not being in a company that was not mine, that was not running as I want, It doesn’t matter if you are the marketing manager or the CEO, you have always people to report to and the willing to design my own job. Starting a business for me is a perfect combination of madness and preparation mixed with a high pain threshold. So the only way for me was doing something I’m deeply passionate about because you’ll spend days and nights thinking about it. I always had a passion for clothing and hats. I’m a collector. and my mom was a seamstress and made me all bespoke clothing since I was a newborn. She always told me to look at how clothes look from the inside, so you can understand the quality of the craftsmanship. And that was a lifetime exercise I did, even before thinking to start my business. So I studied and practiced in solitude, without talking with anyone about my idea, to have the tools to evaluate opportunities and threats, strengths and weaknesses. Once the rational part of me was satisfied I activated the irrational part, the passion, the heart. That’s the only way to keep going despite the several difficulties. I think there is a time for every business, you just need to push, correct direction, continue to learn and improve, and never never never give up.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I love making with my hands, I love making people feel good and look good. Creating and designing together with my clients is a huge satisfaction and a great way to push my craft in directions that I would never explore just by myself. I finally opened my shop in October, in the middle of the Covid pandemic, with a lot of fears but a lot of enthusiasm. I’m excited to walk into it every day, to be able to visualize the ideas and welcome others in my workspace. I decided to have my workspace inside the shop, totally visible to all, because everything is made there, by hands, there are no tricks, nothing is premade, and the customizations are endless. My mission is to preserve the Italian craftsmanship tradition, being the creator of other people’s ideas, and helping at the same time to find the right balance between the hat shape and design with their fiscal proportions.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
LA is a magic place! I would take them in my 1976 Cadillac Eldorado convertible along Topanga Canyon blvd, Brunch at Cafe 27, quick stop at Hidden Treasure (vintage clothing) and down to Mulholland all the way to the Rock Store just to hang out and see some motorcycles and down to “the snake”, a series of curves very populated on weekend days. I like to have lunch at Moonshads on the PCH and at Malibu Cafe. Must do is surfing at Surfrider, north of the Malibu pier, easy waves and chill vibe. Another area I really like is Melrose, so grab a coffee at Alfred in Melrose place and lunch at Gracias Madre, followed by some shopping and dinner at Mozza. One of my favorite pizza is Antica Pizzeria Da Michele in Hollywood, a beautifully design indoor – outdoor space that revive the memories of Italy and the best host you can find around, my friend Francesco! As a fan of The Doors i would make a stop to see the facade of the original Morrison Hotel (1246 S. Hope St), where Henry Diltz took the iconic photo for The Doors, proceeding to venice beach to the giant Jim Morrison murlaes. On Sunset Blvd the iconic Whisky a gogo, where The Doors were the Whisky’s house band for a vital period. Alta Cienega Motel (1005 La Cienega Blvd, West Hollywood 90069) is a must for “the REAL Doors experience.” Located just south of the Sunset Strip, the Alta Cienega was Morrison’s primary residence from 1968-1970 at this point why not to go towards the desert? Pioneertown is a must see, Pappy and Herriets is a old bar, now bbq and music venue and the spectacular Pioneertown Motel is the place to stay, just few steps form the famous Main Street. Goin to Joshua Tree, probably my favorite park, you have to stay, at least once in a lifetime at the Area 55 Futuro House, a 1960’2 architectural homage to man’s conquering the space. Its a spaceship in the desert with a n unbelivebale aeroplane-style entrance hatch. But make sure to book it at least one year in advance. Another area that I’m obsessed with is Palm Spring and in particular the Old Las Palmas neighborhood where all the best mid-century house take the scene. From the Elvis Honeymoon Hideaway to the houses built for Donna Reed, Kirk Douglas, Katherine Hepburn and many others. A pleasure for the eye, especially if you like desert landscapes and clean design. Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Support is everything, and my biggest fan since the conception was my wife, Crystal. From a technical point of view, the credits go to my mentor Giorgio, the Italian Maestro of hatmaking, his obsession for quality and innovation is always my biggest push and source of knowledge. I have to thanks all the client that gave me trust and support and remind me every day why I started.