“The most rewarding thing is to watch in the street one of our customers and see how elegant they look while wearing a hat made by Ecuadorian hands.” – Jaime Perez
The American dream of the Ecuadorian immigrant Jaime Perez became a reality on August 7 of 2007, when he was able to establish his own business with the internationally renowned product known as “Panama Hat.”
Jaime Perez migrated to Honolulu in 2006 and from that moment the popularity of the Panama Hats in United States caught his attention. The remembrance of his native country product was revitalized when Jaime visited a luxurious store of stylish products “Newt at the Royal”, a business that sold the most fine hats made in Montecristi (Ecuador). Soon Jaime Perez started with panamahatline.com
When his business finally opened it was received as a garment of style and it expanded more than he expected. Until today, Panama Hat Line sells their hats in all the continents; in countries like United States, Australia, Italy, and Japan are some of their main markets. They have also reached countries like Botswana and South Africa.
“We distribute Panama Hats all around the world. The more hats we sell, the more work the Montecristi and Cuenca weavers will have.”
In 2010, Jaime needed someone of trust to help him meet all the requests, for that he hired Fabrizzio Faggioni as part of his team. One year later Fabrizzio and Jaime became partners and created a new concept with the purpose of improving his product. Soon appears “Straw Garden” a store of hats in Waikiki that were these Ecuadorian entrepreneurs sell hats created with their own designs.
The future plans of Fabrizzio and Jaime is to continue with the tradition of the straw hats, to improve its production and merchandise, while at the same time inserting new designs and styles for this popular garment which is made the same way for a 100 years.
“Panama Hats are a legend, a tradition that has fascinated people throughout history.” (AV)