Bronco Sue has been making hats for 21 years and has just won True West Magazine’s Best of The West Readers Choice award for Best Western Hat Maker 2017. They are also known for their spot on takes on Deadwood’s Seth Bullock hat and Tombstone‘s Doc Holliday custom hat.
Just like something you would see out of an old western movie, that’s the kind of hats you’ll find at Kenneth and Lu Lyn Bratcher’s Bronco Sue Custom Hats stores in Tularosa and Ruidoso. Named after Bronco Sue, a daring horsewoman who was known to be a deadly shot with a revolver, the store is a place that’s as unique and interesting as its namesake. The hats are personally made and crafted by Kenneth Bratcher, who likes to make his hats one at time, just like it had been done in the early western days.
Bratcher creates his one-of-a-kind hats by using antique machines that were developed in the late 1800s and early 1900s. The newest hat-making machine in his store is 65 years old. The collection of antique hat equipment in the store is no longer manufactured. Bratcher explained that he enjoys using the old machinery because of the quality look it gives his creations.
“Each machine has a purpose.” Bratcher adds. “You can leave steps out if you don’t have the machine and still make a hat, but you make a much nicer hat if you have the proper tools and equipment to do it.” Find out more HERE.