THA Retailer of the Year Award

2016 THA Retailer of the Year

The Panama Hat Company

The Panama Hat Company has been in business since 1985 in St. Augustine, Florida, the nation’s oldest city. Located in the historic district of St. Augustine on a pedestrian only street, the retail location is housed in a building that dates back to 1764.


Panama Hat Company was founded by Consuelo Soria Lippi and her husband Chuck Lippi. A native of Ecuador, Consuelo met Chuck over thirty years ago while working in the Peace Corps. They were stationed in a small rural Andean village where many of the men and women spent their free time in the evenings weaving Panama Hats. They shared a deep appreciation for the artisans and handcrafts of her homeland, and founded The Panama Hat Company.

Their son, Tony Lippi brings new skills to the company. In addition to his extensive knowledge of the hat trade, Tony has spent time in Ecuador with hat artisans and has learned how to hand block Montecristi Panama Hats. Tony is an apprentice of DC-based third generation hatter, Vince Corvelli. Panama Hat Company houses a workshop on the third floor, where Tony can re-block hats on-site. “I want to keep the art of hat making alive,” he says.

The Panama Hat Company is known for its finely woven, hand-made Panama Hats. The selection is vast, from regular weaves, up to very hard-to-find Panama Hats in “fino-fino extra fino” and “super fino” weaves. The store also carries 100+ different hat styles and stocks an inventory of more than 1,000 hats on-site.

“We have a diverse clientele including tourists from all over the world,” said Tony Lippi. “And the hats we carry are just as eclectic. Right now our most popular styles include authentic Panama hats, wide brimmed fedoras, golf-friendly Gamblers, sun protection styles from Wallaroo, and stylish stingy brims for our musician clientele. During Bike Week, the handmade leather hats from Steampunk Hatter are our best-seller.”

“We have seen the flood gates open over the past few years, and more people than ever are wearing hats.”

Congratulations to The Panama Hat Company, the THA 2016 Retailer of the Year.

THA Retailer of the Year Award – Past Recipients

2015 Cassel Goorin, “Goorin Hats”
2014 John McKernan, “Chapel Hats”
2013 Elliot and Susan Shushan, “Shushan’s”
2012 Jessen Fitzpatrick and Andria Rapagnola, “Salmagundi For Ladies & Gents”
2011 Bernie Utz, “Utz Hats”
2010 Martin Mann, “Hats Plus”
2009 Sam H. Meyer, “Meyer the Hatter”
2008 Ernest DelMonico, “DelMonico Hatter”
2007 Bob Goodman, “Just Hats II”
2006 Corrie Oranje, “Hat Guys”
2005 Sheila Hudson, Sheplers Inc.
2004 Alvin Lansky, “Mister Hats”
2003 Sonny Legum, “Stark & Legum”
2002 Arnold Rubin, “Arnold Hatters”
2001 Paul Wasserman, “Henry the Hatter”
2000 Fred Belinsky, “Village Hat Shop”
1999 Stanley Goldstein, “Bencraft”