That’s me on a tourism billboard in Montecristi. Even in Montecristi, I’m famous for Montecristi hats.
Actually, I’m not just a Montecristi hat specialist, I’m the Montecristi hat specialist. This is the only business outside Montecristi that is all about Montecristi hats.
I buy hats as if lives depend on it.
The reason there is a business in the first place is to try to buy, then sell, enough Montecristi hats to keep the art alive. It’s not a business as much as a mission, a passion, an obsession. My efforts have been reported by National Geographic, CBS News, and many others.
Braving Ecuadorian jungles to serve you better.
Come with me on the Eyewitness Photo Tour as I personally guide you through the entire, unbelievable Montecristi hat-making process, step by step. Yes, I shot the jillion photos (some were published in National Geographic) and wrote the never-ending text. Someone that passionate about Montecristi hats might be the person you want to make your Montecristi hat.
My hands hand block every hat.
I will block your Montecristi hat myself. I do everything by hand, one hat at a time, the old fashioned way. Expect to wait. A Montecristi hat blocked by me is very different than Montecristi hats blocked by others. Different blocks, different methods, different standards. When all is said and done, many find my hats to be the best value, even though my prices may appear to be higher.
Buying hats 15 years ago. I still buy from the same weavers, still wear the same vest.
When one hat is sold, another will be bought. That’s exactly what I’ve been doing for more than twenty years. Buying as many Montecristi hats as possible is the most essential form of support, the most appreciated applause.
The weaver of this hat is the highest paid weaver in history.
I don’t have an MBA. Not even a business major. I don’t know anything about international business strategies, but I do know I want to buy all the best Montecristi hats. So I worked out a secret plan: I pay higher prices than anyone else. I don’t know if that’s a good business strategy or not. The weavers think it’s brilliant. But they don’t have MBAs either. We might all be wrong. Either way, I get the best hats.
Jorge buying hats.
Once a year, US and EU buyers of Montecristi hats decide to buy for the summer season. Welcome to my rejects. A few times each year, Ecuador-based companies come to Montecristi to buy from the dealers. Welcome to my rejects. My buyers buy every week, all year round. The weavers know we pay the best prices, so we generally get first choice. Every week, all year round.
I make Montecristi hats in more classic Panama hat styles than you can shake a rum swizzle stick at. (Photos to the right) Each can be customized as you wish, with wider or shorter brim, taller or shorter crown, different ribbon colors and widths. Or just leave it to me.
More Montecristis than in Montecristi. A tiny sampling.
Other sellers have a few Montecristi hats. Some have a few dozen. I have a few thousand. Who is most likely to have exactly what you want? (I buy as many Montecristi hats as possible in order to sustain the art. Imagine what would happen if I stop.)
This hat has almost 50 rows of weave per inch, nearly 2500 “weaves” per square inch. It lives in Hollywood now.
I have no choice really. Some of you can’t resist an exquisite watch or vintage sports car. Some savor fine wines, fine cigars, or flawless diamonds. Others prefer hand-made fly fishing rods or classic rifles. For me, it’s hats woven of straw as fine as dental floss, silken to the touch, so light that if you let go they may float away rather than fall. If you want the finest Montecristi hat in the world in your size, I have it. Second finest? Third? Fourth? Fifth? Yes, odds are I have those too. Obsession has its rewards.
Let’s hope that’s an exaggeration. But I do make nice hats. Clients have reported extraordinary reactions.