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Building the Community: Derek Shampine & Dome Headwear Co.

It's been a while, but it feels great to get back into things since the 19 weeks I took off for Student Teaching and to finish my degree. I have finally moved to Nashville and am getting settled in. For the first time in 5 years of doing UPstar. Music, I can focus solely on UPstar. and not worry about school or coaching or anything else. Thank y'all for following along the last few years and excited to see what the future holds!

In all of the years of UPstar. Music, one of my favorite features or segments is definitely the Building the Community Series. UPstar. Music's main focus is giving a platform and providing resources for artists, songwriters, musicians and other creatives in the music industry and helping them to connect and network with the business side of the industry. Everyone wants to keep up with the hottest rising artists and what they have going on. Rarely though do people get to hear about the unsung heroes behind the scenes - those important industry folks who make Country Music go round. I love being able to help these individuals get their stories heard.

Back in August, I sat down with Derek Shampine, who works in sales and does business development for Dome Headwear Co.. He is the heart and soul in Nashville, Tennessee for hooking you up with the cleanest hats in the business. Since day 1, I have used Dome Headwear Co. and will never use another company. UPstar. Music is onto our 9th generation hat and each time Derek has been so gracious and patient to help me get the exact styles, colors and design I'm looking for. The quality is top tier and it's the best stitching I've seen to date. Check out Dome's website (click here) or shoot Derek an email at to get your order started. When I asked Derek what Dome does, he replied by saying "Dome is a custom headwear manufacturer company. So basically we take orders from customers whether it's baseball teams, bars, lifestyle brands, restaurants or anyone really who is looking for headwear/ merchandise. We help get that all set up. Then we work with a manufacturing facility to provide custom hats for each order, instead of doing stock hats and having them embroidered later. Dome hats are personally customized from the fabric where they cut and sew them together. The customer gets a much better product that way - better embroidery, every aspect of the hat is top quality."

Get To Know Derek

"I'm from Upstate New York so I grew up north of Syracuse. I went to college in the Finger Lakes first for Audio Engineering so I was in the music industry. Then I went to Berklee in Boston and then from Berklee I moved to Nashville to be a songwriter actually. I was working in the music industry and I quickly got jobs at record labels from there and I was a tour manager for 10 years, so I was on the road with everyone from David Nail to Joe Nichols and Clay Walker... a bunch of different folks. And then when I was coming off the road was when I got into the hat industry that was all through Ward (Guenther). Whiskey Jam was doing some stuff through Dome at that point and they were looking for someone and that's when Ward mentioned to them "hey I know someone who's trying to get off the road from touring and knows all the musicians and a lot of people in the music industry and that's where I kind of fell into it. So when I came in to do sales I had a lot of people that I knew so it worked out."

Q & A With Derek Shampine

Q: How did you get connected with Dome Headwear Co. ?

A: "Not only did Ward connect me with Dome, but also a guy named Jason Myers, who is a photographer here in town. He's from Florida and knew the owners, as Dome is based in Jacksonville, Florida. Jason knew them and of course, with Ward being in Nashville, both of those guys really helped connect me with Dome and set me up. From there I had some meetings with them and now I'm the sales representative for Nashville."

Q: What are some of the most memorable moments you've had working for Dome Headwear Co.?

A: "When I started working at Dome, we did a series called "The Nashville 100". I wanted to grow the customer base; part of my job is business development so I had to help build the company here in Nashville. We did a project with Jason (Myers) and Dome which highlighted 100 different people or companies that were influential in Nashville and had an impact in the community. We did a headwear concept around that to help promote their story.

Whiskey Jam has played such a major role. I remember when they were doing 36 piece orders. Now they are doing thousands of hats at a time. It is crazy to see how far they have come since I've been working with them. The company does orders with Luke Combs, George Strait and Luke Bryan. It's really wild to see that kinda growth and how much it's blown up the last few years."

Q: What do you do on the day-to-day for Dome Headwear Co.?

A: "I do sales and business development. I put in orders and get them exactly how the customer wants. I'm the middle man to get the order, the design and style they want, how many hats, etc.. The process requires a lot of emails, phone calls and text messages. The other part of the job is finding clients to work with, such as up and coming bands in Nashville, even established bands. Everyday I try to help grow the brand and find new clients to work with. I think we have the grip on the industry as far as headwear goes."

Q: What advice do you have for anyone who's trying to become an entrepreneur and start their own podcast, business, service, etc.?

A: "I've done a lot of different jobs... but my advice would be to just go with it and do the best you can do. Keep going at what you want, find things you like and build on that. No matter what it is, you are going to find things you enjoy and like to do and things you may not like to do. It is important to keep building toward the career you want and everything will work out in the end. The process depends on perseverance for the most part."



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