Chris Plavidal

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Virginia Montgomery Sells Hats With Heart

The domestic violence survivor turned personal trauma into the Tiger House Hat Shop.

“You know, a long time ago, everyone used to wear hats,” says Virginia Montgomery, owner of Tiger House Hat Shop in the Grow DeSoto Market Place. “Hats used to be about prestige and power, and history is just repeating itself. I like when people come and say, ‘I’ve never worn a hat, but I’m ready.’ ”

It took a lot of pain for Montgomery’s crowning achievement to come to fruition. Years ago, she moved with her then husband to Austin, where she had a job working for General Motors in the legal department. But the abusive relationship eventually caused her to leave everything and return to Dallas. “I had to start all over again,” she says. “That was the depressing part.”

The domestic violence survivor eventually remarried, gaining not only a partner but also a No. 1 fan who encouraged her to start her own business, selling snapback hats in front of his barbershop. The business grew as she received requests for a broader range of toppers. “The guys would show me a certain hat they liked, and I’d search for it,” she says. “And then I wanted to do more.”

Tiger House Hat Shop now serves both men and women, from those searching for just the right vacation hat to those looking for the cherry to top their Sunday look. “I’ve been in customer service all my life, so I’m finally doing something I want to do,” Montgomery says. “I can be who I want to be and love on people the way I want to.”

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