Our Story

Owner Stephanie discovered the Ecuadorian-made “Panama” hats while on a trip to the beautiful Colonial city of Cuenca, Ecuador. Upon visiting some weaving association workshops, Stephanie knew that she had found something incredibly special in these hats that combine artisanship, history, fashion and sustainability.  Should she open a store?  There were already three other hat stores in Key West – but these hats were different!  At lunch that day with favorite taxista Wilson, the decision was made to name the store “La Rubia” meaning “The Blonde” in Spanish.  Stephanie went home to Key West, quit her job and the rest is history.  Today, Stephanie is one of very few Panama hat experts in the U.S. and is positioning her brand “La Rubia Fine Hats” as a leader in fair trade, sustainable fashion.

In addition to the hats, Stephanie purchases many other unique, fair-trade items that fit La Rubia’s theme of handcrafted and sustainable beauty.  She takes pride in bringing you the best selection of Panama hats around – at the best prices.  She is passionate and grateful that she can help to perpetuate the art of hand weaving hats in Ecuador.