It is a great honor to write this first PANTROPIC blog on New Year’s Day 2012. “New Years” is for new beginnings, and this blog is just that. As one of the original founders of PANTROPIC, I’m very proud to report that this New Years 2012 ushers in PANTROPIC’s 4th decade of hat-making. This Spring Collection, which is the best we’ve ever offered, is our 30th Spring/Summer line. It’s unbelievable to me that we’ve been producing these amazing accessories for 30 years now. If on New Year’s Day 1982 you would have told me that we’d still be creating wonderful products in 2012, 30 years later, I’m certain I would not have believed you!
One day I’ll blog a detailed overview of how PANTROPIC “the business” got started, to inspire young artists and world travelers to fulfill their dreams. But for now, suffice it to say that one thing led to another, and we sold our first packable Panama hat thirty years ago. We discovered right away that outdoor enthusiasts, a new and growing consumer base, was eager to find packable, breathable and natural hats, providing great sun protection. These folks needed products to wear outdoors, and there we were to meet that need! And here we are still, selling many thousands of hats each year, while maintaining the very best craftsmanship and attention to detail, which can be seen in every item we sell.
Thirty years ago PANTROPIC (and the world) was a far cry from what it is today. PANTROPIC had just started as a company. Germany was still divided into East and West, and the Soviet Union was still in-tact. US manufacturing was very strong and imports from China had not yet saturated the US marketplace. Technology as we know it today had not yet come knocking at our door, and there were no emails or even fax machines to make business dealings easy and more efficient. Probably most noteworthy about that period in time is that so many Americans were focused on living the American dream. For many it was perceived as a great time of prosperity. The Vietnam War had come to an end, and the country had begun to heal. People everywhere were getting outside more, hiking and back-packing and learning to love the great outdoors. It was the perfect time to market a new and innovative product to outdoor enthusiasts, and for PANTROPIC, a new business in 1982, the sky was the limit. That time was filled with great excitement and hopes for the future.
Thirty years have now passed. While the road has not always been smooth (and sometimes even pretty bumpy), the feeling of excitement and hopes for the future still burns strong, and we are delighted to begin another decade of high-quality hat-making and personal service to retailers world-wide.
This New Year’s Day blog will soon go live on our new updated PANTROPIC website. Making regular blog entries, as well as publishing photos of folks who use our product around the globe, is going to be such fun! As we say on our home page, PANTROPIC’s hats are only as wonderful as those who wear them, so we are delighted that PANTROPIC still offers the very best in headwear and accessories, 30 years later. So from Sebastopol California to PANTROPIC enthusiasts everywhere, we wish you a Happy New Year!