BUSINESS has been booming for HMR Heritage after the owners opened their new Graham Street site in Wonthaggi, with customers flocking in to see their exclusive and high-quality brands.

After humble beginnings and initially being inspired to sell Akubra hats after a trip to America, owner Hans Rubens and wife Mary are incredibly proud of how far they’ve come in a short time.

The store stocks the best brands for hats, country apparel and footwear, including Akubra, Ariat, Burke & Wills – oilskin apparel and swags, and Ugg Australia.

Their impressive stock also includes rare collectible items such as coin watches, and Hans couldn’t be happier with how things were progressing.

“This shop is going ballistic,” he said.

“Why? Because we’re in the right place with the right products.

“It has been beyond my expectations. I couldn’t have even designed or dreamt of this.

“The six brands we have are just so powerful… what you have got with this shop is totally unique.

“Every one of those six brands has a massive story behind it.”

Hans said it was a privilege to continue to represent the Akubra brand.

“My wife started a collectible business at the Murray Street Bazaar, and we went to America and bought some American hats back and they sold out in a heartbeat,” he said.

“My wife said, ‘Why don’t you sell Akubra?’

“I made a phone call and long story short, we said we’d like to represent you and they sent out the bigwigs and guess what, we got Akubra.”

Mr Rubens said demand had been skyrocketing for the popular hats, especially with young adults, and he can only stock a limited amount of Akubra products each month.

“This forced me to go and find other brands, such as Ugg, which is the only fair-dinkum Australian ugg boat because it’s tanned in Laverton North,” he said.

With its exclusive brands and incredibly friendly customer service, it’s no wonder HMR Heritage has already had to hire two employees to keep up with demand.

The business offers hat stretching services and has the expertise to help customers choose the right item to suit their style.

They are more than happy to order in stock too.

HMR Heritage is at 142 Graham Street, Wonthaggi. It is open 10am-4pm Monday to Friday, 9am-4pm on Saturday and 10am-3pm on Sunday.

It is open seven days a week to provide tourists and the 3000 farmers in South Gippsland the opportunity to enjoy a personal retail experience for iconic Aussie Clobbers and accessories either as a discretionary or needed item such as farmer’s clothing or footwear, or even locally made kangaroo hide whips and boot jacks.

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