Member Josh Dowden in Uniform with American Flag

Josh Dowden


The Hat Pros

Josh Dowden is a small business owner, but unlike most small business owners, he has also been serving on active duty in the U.S. Navy for the last 25 years. Josh joined the Navy in 1991, becoming an Explosive Ordnance Disposal Technician (bomb tech), and traveling the world. In 2002, while stationed on shore duty, Josh decided to start his own small embroidery business in his free time, sewing hats and shirts for guys in his unit.

For the next 5 or 6 years, Josh continued with the business as a hobby to earn some additional cash. In 2007, he decided to put a couple of his items online, and the business took off. Josh realized that there was a market for selling the garments themselves without the embellishments. Eventually the business evolved into doing just headwear and blank hats. By 2008, the business had grown to the point where, as an active duty service member, Josh couldn't handle the business on his own anymore. Since then, Josh has hired 6 employees and growth has continued to skyrocket. Josh loves owning his own small business!

“I love the freedom of owning my own business. You get to own every decision good or bad. The latitude and freedom to pursue a dream is great. There is no ceiling on it. I can work hard and grow and smile at the final product.”

Josh is also a new member of the Small Merchant Advocacy Delegation, joining a community of small business owners from all over the world advocating for the protection and promotion of small-business-friendly policies.