Judy Crawford’s Tsasdi Hats
By Enjoy Magazine
Story by Jason Burkleo
Photos by Taryn Burkleo
TO PREPARE FOR WINTER, Mount Shasta locals pull the soft hemmed edges of their winter caps down over their ears. As they do this, the hypnotic rhythm of crashing waves and the sensation of sun-kissed skin couldn’t seem further away. But for Judy Crawford, a well-made hat and warm southern California beaches have a lot in common.
Crawford is the owner and seamstress for Tsasdi, a Mount Shasta company that creates high-quality winter headwear. Even though she lives and works in the North State, her artistic talent began in San Diego. When Crawford was 7 years old, she started designing and sewing dresses for her Barbie dolls. By the time she was a teenager, she was creating dresses for herself, and it wasn’t long before she was carrying these custom-made sun dresses in tightly packaged bundles in a backpack. At 18, accompanied by her dog Sunny, Crawford would ride her bike to the boardwalk in Mission Beach and sell her creations to the local merchants. She called her new business Sandpiper. She would imagine, sketch, design and then create her dresses in her kitchen.
Crawford loved the beach, but longed to bring her growing family to a place where the people were as warm as the sun. So in 1993, she moved to Mount Shasta and quickly realized that, especially in the winter months, her sundresses were not in high demand. Her ability to see a local need and then fill it is part of what makes Tsasdi creations so popular. Tsasdi (pronounced Shazdi) is a local Native American word meaning “three.” And, depending on who you ask, it can refer to the “the three colors of the mountain” or the “triple-towering mountain” that we all know as Mount Shasta. This name is fitting, as each hat is inspired by and designed around a specific part of the mountain, including Bunny Flats, Casaval Long Drop and Thumb Rock Drop Down. From local backcountry skiers to winter shoppers, Crawford says she “has a hat for everybody.” With a custom mountainscape stitching and the quality American-made fabric, each hat is a work of art.
Crawford loves her family and she loves her community. With a bright smile and dancing eyes, she says, “I love to see my hats on people.” She makes them “because it’s fun and it makes me happy.” Crawford is an artist and her medium is people – her hats are merely her brushes. In a world where mass production is the norm, Tsasdi hats stand out, and not just because of their vibrant colors or quality craftsmanship. They are special because each one is infused with the perfect mixture of California sun and Mount Shasta love. That is why they are so warm. •
The Fifth Season: 300 N. Mt. Shasta Blvd.,
Mount Shasta • (530) 926-3606
Mt. Shasta Ski Park: 4500 Ski Park Highway, McCloud
Shasta Base Camp: 308 S. Mt. Shasta Blvd., Mountt Shasta • (530) 926-2359