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The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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ConchoUSA: The newest Aggie-run hat company

Photo by Ishika Samant

Founders of ‘Concho hats’ Jackon Scheen and Carter Kuo on Wednesday, April 26, 2023. 

Two Texas A&M students pursued their lifelong dream of working for themselves rather than somebody else with their hat business, ConchoUSA. The small business has experienced massive success, including the fulfillment of a large custom order for a professional baseball player’s BBQ business.

Finance junior Carter Kuo saw the opportunity to produce flat, rope-style hats with the block-T logo, a symbol significant to A&M, after witnessing the lack of the popular style and design in College Station stores. Kuo said he and agricultural economics sophomore Jackson Scheen, his friend and business partner, planned accordingly for the launch but didn’t anticipate how popular their products would become.

“We started talking about [ConchoUSA] over the summer,” Kuo said. “We’d meet in a coffee shop in Austin and plan designs and different aspects of the business. We launched our first line of hats, the block-T and our brand’s hats, in the middle of September. We didn’t know what demand would look like with our first orders but the demand was great. We were surprised with how many people wanted the hats. Then we started working with the licensing department at A&M to start using the trademark and represent the university with our hats.”

Scheen brought a lot of connections and knowledge to ConchoUSA. Working for his father’s start-up prior to the company’s founding, Scheen said he understood the manufacturing side of the hat business and secured two factories overseas to produce their hats. He said that ConchoUSA can provide students with A&M hats they really want to wear.

“Looking around [A&M], we were like, man there aren’t really any good-looking hats,” Scheen said. “No one really wears A&M hats here, especially at our age because they don’t have styles we like to wear. We thought, ‘That’s ridiculous, let’s fix that.’ We started with the block-T and operated without the license for a while but we now have it and are able to make cool-looking A&M hats. We have so much room to work with in terms of styles and materials.”

Along with the production of A&M licensed hats and ConchoUSA branded hats, the company also produces hats made-to-order. The most recent custom order came from Houston Astros third baseman, Alex Bregman, who ordered 1,000 custom hats for his BBQ business, Breggy Bomb, Kuo said.

“We’ve started working with other companies to design them a hat and manufacture them … this past week, we delivered a thousand custom hats to Alex Bregman’s BBQ joint company,” Kuo said. It’s pretty cool because he posted a video of a bunch of his teammates wearing the hats.” 

ConchoUSA is making a name for itself as the business continues to grow in popularity, styles and brand image. The name ConchoUSA itself comes from where the company found its roots, Scheen said.

“That summer when we thought about doing the company we went fishing a good bit … we’d drive out three hours to West Texas and passed a sign that said Concho country,” Scheen said. “Upon passing it one day I said, ‘Hey what about concho? It’s a cool name, let’s go with that.’ We spent a lot of time out there that summer, the Concho River and Concho County, from Texas and we’re Texans, so that’s how it came to be.”

The two Aggies are accomplishing their dreams of being their own boss, Kuo said.

“I’ve always been interested in entrepreneurship and working for myself because I don’t have a desire to be working for someone else,” Kuo said. “In high school, I started a lawn mowing business with a buddy because I’d rather work for myself sweating in the sun than working as a lifeguard for someone else. I’ve always liked the autonomy of doing something myself and creating something. I didn’t necessarily know it would be hats but I’ve always liked doing something myself.”

To learn more about ConchoUSA, visit their website and Instagram.

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