Name: Adi Bertacchi
Title: Owner and hat lover
Organization/Business: Cappelleria Bertacchi
What do you do and how did you get here?
I am the owner of Cappelleria Bertacchi Hat Shop here on Abbott Street in Gastown. The tradition of Italian hat crafting goes back 4 generations in my family. I am an artisan who’s passionate about carrying on the tradition of hand making and designing our hats. The work involved goes beyond being a millner, who would design just a few unique pieces and is above the work of mass-producing within a factory environment. We design around 500 different hats that are each made in small quantities in Italy. How we got here is an interesting story. Around 2013, we thought about expanding further into Europe. One day a gentleman from Calgary stepped into our store in Siena. He asked if this was the only location and if we planned on opening another store. We told him about some possible places to expand within Europe and he said: “Why not Canada?”and we thought: “Why not!” Eventually, we settled on BC and of course, Gastown. I moved here in May 2014 and opened the shop in March 2015.
If you had 15 minutes only, in Gastown, how would you spend it?
I would go for a drink at the most iconic place in Gastown: Pourhouse. I love this place with its rich dark interior and soulful vibe.
What do you love about the neighbourhood?
The bricks. Everything in Vancouver is steel and glass. Gastown is different. Sure, there are a few neighbourhoods with some older buildings made of brick but the feeling is not there like it is in Gastown.
What’s your most memorable happy moment or experience in Gastown?
For me, it’s everyday. I love serving people here in the neighbourhood – locals, tourists and anyone who comes in the door. I receive great joy from being an ambassador of a brand that I am very proud of and being able to share this with others in such a wonderful place as Gastown.
What’s your philosophy for a good life?
Do what you love. That’s it. Life is short and you don’t know what’s going to happen next. I always try to think of what I have done – Do I like it? Is it what was expected of me and am I happy doing it? Live the moment, because this moment isn’t going to happen twice. The future doesn’t exist. Live for today!