Fine hand-woven Panama straws from Ecuador, custom hand-formed and finished by Óptimo. Custom-blended beaver, cashmere, hare and rabbit felt hats. Renovating and hand finishing of straw and fur-felt. Óptimo has been the recipient of numerous state, national and international travel and fashion articles.
"I hope you will find my site intuitive and informative. However, unlike most sites you will find no option to buy over the internet. I want to assure the quality of association between you and the correct fit, the type of weave, the grade of straw or the blend of fur-felt, the style of hat, and the desired trimming. I need to discuss your hair color, eye color, skin tone, facial features and use of the hat to fulfill your desired need. In an ideal world all of my customers from around the world could come to Bisbee, and many of them do. But at the very least I need to talk with you personally over the phone from my studio. It's the only way I can ensure that your custom Óptimo Hatworks hat delights you in every conceivable way. Please call me or take advantage of the various buttons on the site that will allow me to call you" -- S. Grant Sergot
"The Original Panama Hat"
Hand woven in Ecuador by the descendants of the Inca, the "Panama Straw" has held the world market in woven hats since the discovery of the New World. Woven from finely selected "Paja Toquilla," a palmetto plant native to just Ecuador, they are supple and the most durable woven hat in the world. Properly cared for, your "Panama" can be handed down as heirloom sculpture. They are graded from one to twenty, in ascending order of quality and cost. The lower grades are "selecto." "Fino" begins at ten. Fourteen earns a "finissamo," and twenty qualifies as a "fino fino." The "fino fino" grade is becoming very rare since there are only a few weavers left that can weave that kind of quality. Our hats are woven totally by hand and finished with a back weave on the brim edge; you will never see one of our "Panamas" sewn with a wire on the brim edge.
"I am committed to signature quality work and am not bound to one stylistic vocabulary. My work is comprised of original designs and custom-personalized fittings to match the character and personality of the wearer." The hatworks is museum-like in its layout so the public can view hat making in the old world style. We are an atelier (salon studio) that is open for educational tours for school groups, friends of the library, etc. We have become a destination for Bisbee and the state of Arizona.
Prices start at $120.00 and depend on the grade of weave, the quality of the straw and the style. We also offer a complete service of straw and fur-felt hat renovation, including cleaning, custom re-blocking and hand finishing.
For official visitor information and concierges services, click the above Discover Bisbee link OR contact:
Ilona F. Smerekanich, Manager
Bisbee Visitor Center, P.O. Box 1642, Bisbee, Arizona 85603
520.432.3554 / 866.2BISBEE / Email: firstname.lastname@example.org