I’m back with yet another blogpost! This time I’m gonna take you to MonPanama Store in Bangkok. This store is quite famous for its luxurious and chic style Panama hats, hand-woven bags and unique accessories in Bangkok.
I visited MonPanama store a couple of days ago and had a chance to meet the owner of the Brand Anne-Claude. She’s an extremely passionate, inspiring and hard working entrepreneur. It was such a pleasure meeting her and to see her collection of hats, bags and various useful and unique accessories.
Annie is a Swiss expat who has lived and worked in Thailand for many years. She’s always been drawn to Panama hats since she was a small girl. Over the years, her fascination surrounding this legendary and mysterious sunshade kept growing and the rest as they say is history. You can read about Her MonPanama Journey HERE
I truly believe that the vibe of a store can tell you a lot about the brand including its owner and its products. MonPanama store has a very creative and authentic vibe with a range of unique and interesting genuine handmade items. You can see and feel Annie’s love and passion for her products as soon as you enter the showroom. I absolutely love the vibe of the store!
About MonPanama Products
All materials used in making MonPanama products are natural, sustainable, and ethically sourced. Besides Panama hats, the collection comprises sheep wool felt hats handcrafted by Ecuadorian artisans, wicker bags made by Thai artisans and various functional travel hat accessories. Annie has been working with most skilled artisans from around the world using premium quality raw materials to bring forth MonPanama Products!
She collaborates directly with the local craftsmen using natural and sustainable materials which are unique such as grey sedge, water hyacinth and cowhide leather. All accessories are finished by hand and will age beautifully by developing a natural patina over time.
The Panama Hat
Panama hat is made of the toquilla palm, which is renowned for its beauty, durability, and flexibility. During the labour-intensive manufacturing process, all MonPanama hats pass through the hands of over 20 skilled artisans, each specialized in a different skill, including weaving, dyeing, washing, and shaping. Each hat features a stamp of authenticity signifying it has been created in a certified workshop in Ecuador. Due to the natural properties of the toquilla palm and the fact that each hat is individually handwoven, small variations can be expected in the weave, the color and the brim width, all of which combines to create the unique character of each artisan handcrafted hat.
Water Hyacinth Bags
The sturdier and honey-colored bags are made of water hyacinth. The harvesting and transformation of the freshwater hyacinth into bags is a long and labour-intensive process. The plant is extracted from the water, washed, sorted, dried, plaited and eventually the weaving can start which can last from 1-3 days depending on the design. Woven water hyacinth is highly textured, giving it a wonderfully natural feel. To protect and strengthen the exquisite workmanship, the straw is coated with a fine layer of lacquer sprayed onto it during the final stage of the labour-intensive manufacturing process. This lacquer coating makes the bags highly durable with little maintenance required.
Grey Sedge Bags
The lighter and more flexible bags are made of grey sedge, a natural grass from the south of Thailand. Traditionally, this natural grass was woven to be used in various ways throughout the home. Weavers get up early mornings to pick the grey sedge, which is then dried for a few days. Then the stalks are pressed by machine and dyed before woven into specified designs. The bags are embellished with various local materials, such as genuine cowhide leather, gold-plated brass, quality zippers, strong magnets and featuring beautiful soft lining.
Annie mentions that her creative process when developing new products can be messy, in a wonderful kind of way. New designs and materials are constantly being explored combining traditional crafts techniques. Sometimes she starts first with the design idea, and other times the beginning of the creative process starts with a specific raw material. Knowledge and experience have made the design process easier and smoother over time.
Other than these above famous products MonPanama also offers other accessories like hat boxes, magnetic hat holders, hat organizers, portable eyeglass holders, hat fillers, detachable leather straps, eyeglass cases, suitcase hat holders, phone case bags etc.
You can visit following links to know more about MonPanama;
- Production of the Panama Hat
- Working with Female Artisans
- Intangible Cultural Heritage
- Sourcing Guide
- How to Travel with Your Panama Hat
𝗪𝐡𝐲 𝐈 𝐥𝐨𝐯𝐞 𝐌𝐨𝐧𝐏𝐚𝐧𝐚𝐦𝐚?
𝘚𝘭𝘰𝘸 𝘧𝘢𝘴𝘩𝘪𝘰𝘯 𝘣𝘳𝘢𝘯𝘥
𝘞𝘰𝘮𝘢𝘯 𝘰𝘸𝘯𝘦𝘥 𝘉𝘳𝘢𝘯𝘥
𝘏𝘪𝘨𝘩 𝘲𝘶𝘢𝘭𝘪𝘵𝘺 𝘱𝘳𝘰𝘥𝘶𝘤𝘵𝘴
𝘐𝘯𝘯𝘰𝘷𝘢𝘵𝘪𝘷𝘦 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘶𝘯𝘪𝘲𝘶𝘦 𝘢𝘤𝘤𝘦𝘴𝘴𝘰𝘳𝘪𝘦𝘴
𝘐𝘯𝘵𝘳𝘪𝘤𝘢𝘵𝘦 𝘥𝘦𝘴𝘪𝘨𝘯𝘴 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘤𝘳𝘢𝘧𝘵𝘴𝘮𝘢𝘯𝘴𝘩𝘪𝘱
𝘚𝘶𝘱𝘱𝘰𝘳𝘵𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘭𝘰𝘤𝘢𝘭 𝘣𝘶𝘴𝘪𝘯𝘦𝘴𝘴 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘢𝘳𝘵𝘪𝘴𝘢𝘯𝘴
Meet Lauren my New Friend
This bag you see in the picture is Lauren. It’s been handwoven with love using water hyacinth straws and bamboos. It has gorgeous golden MonPanama tag which makes it even more gorgeous. The weave is highly textured and feels so natural. I love the color, the intricate designs and the detailed craftmanship of this bag. This lacquer coated bag is super durable and needs very low maintenance. It comes with a dustbag.
Just look at the details and the design of this bag. You can see how much time, effort, love, and thought have gone into creating this beauty. This bag is perfect for summer vacations! You can take her to the beach or park or wherever you wanna take her. No matter where you take her she will make you look classy and gorgeous for sure!
Do you know how much time, efforts and labour it takes to create bags like Lauren?
I bet you don’t. I didn’t know either but now I know. Annie has written her whole story about how she met a local artisan family and how they started working together to create unique water hyacinth products. You can read about her story and whole step by step process of creating water hyacinth bags HERE.
In conclusion, Mon Panama is a perfect place to shop for sustainable products like Panama hats, vintage style hat boxes, high quality hand woven bags and unique accessories in Bangkok. One of the reasons I love this brand is that they are helping a lot local artisans and businesses to earn their livelihood. To know more about Monpanama, you can log on to their website www.monpanama.com or visit their social media pages!
I hope this post was helpful to you!
PS: Have you ever shopped from MonPanama?
If you have then share your your experience below!
Lot’s Love V