Hunter's Hatters in Lexington has been helping women select a hat for the Kentucky Derby for 29 years.
The store’s owner Lucille Jackson said she doesn’t just like dressing women for the Derby, she loves it. When it comes to finding the perfect Derby hat, Jackson said, “The bigger, the better.”
After nearly three decades of helping accessorize women before they head to Churchill Downs, Jackson said this Derby season will be her last.
“This has been exciting,” Jackson said. “And to see women with my hats on is a thrill.”
Linda Tharpe read about Jackson’s hat shop for many years, but lived on the east coast and was not able to every visit Hunter’s Hatters.
On Friday, Tharpe and her sister visited Jackson before she closed her shop for the Derby.
“I at least wanted to come in one time,” Thapre said.
Jackson said in the past few years she sells about half as many hats as she used to sell. She even considered not opening up this year.
“I just started itching to do it,” she said. “And I was missing something had been such a powerful part of me.”
While Jackson has dressed thousands of women for the Derby, she said she’s never been to the Derby herself. She said if she did go to the Derby, she would be watching the hats, not the horses.