A Good Hat is Hard to Find, Unless You're in SoWal
September 28, 2012 by Whitney Rowan
A good hat is hard to find. I’ve always had trouble finding a hat that fits just right. Look no further than Gaelle Le Goff’s new venture Haute Handcrafted Accessories. Gaelle is bringing her Ecuadorian heritage to SoWal with her amazing collection of Panamanian hats. I know that sounds confusing…let me explain.
Authentic Panama hats are made from toquilla straw which is native to Ecuador and cannot be woven by machine; therefore, each is hand woven and unique. Their name reflects their point of international sale rather than their place of domestic origin; hence "Panama hats."
Gaelle’s aha moment came to her two winters ago while visiting family in Ecuador. She seized the opportunity and now finds herself in high demand for these stylish accessories.
Her collection of hats includes the classic Panama, one-of-a-kind fedoras, western style, finer-woven garden hats and wide brimmed beach hats. Gaelle hand selects all textiles and dyes for each style of hat, and prices start at $90.
Her collection has expanded beyond hats to include hand-woven scarves and tagua nut rings. The scarves are made by the Otavalo Indians who have been weaving them for centuries in Quito, Ecuador. The tagua nut is a natural, sustainable material and each ring is hand-carved and dyed. The scarves start at $38 and the rings are $20.
You can find Gaelle’s amazing hats at La Vie Est Belle in Seaside and A. Wickey Studio Gallery in Rosemary Beach. She plans to expand her company online within the next few years.