When COVID first hit and things were shutting down, Kai Lassen was looking for new ways to fill her days. A love of hats drove her to online millinery classes and countless hours spent watching YouTube tutorials on hat making. She began making straw and felt hats for herself, then for her friends, and ultimately her creations made it to Etsy and local retailers like Palm Harbor Boutique in Jupiter, which gave her street cred, name recognition, and a growing fan base (and landed her on the cover of Jupiter Magazine in March 2022). “I was very happy and blessed that it happened to blow up in my own hometown in Florida,” says Lassen, who opened her eponymous Jupiter showroom in February 2022.
Building on that success, Lassen is now launching Good Shade Only, a line of trucker hats, hoodies, and sweats that captures her beach bum persona and laid-back nature. “Whether out on the boat, fishing at the sandbar, surfing, or playing volleyball, I always have a trucker hat on,” says the former model, who spent time in California, New York, and Europe working with brands like Abercrombie & Fitch, Guess, Lacoste, and L’Oreal. “As soon as I get home after running around doing the things I need to do, I immediately change into a hoodie or sweatpants. That’s always been my vibe.”
For Lassen, the name Good Shade Only delivers on two levels. When it comes to the trucker hats, it highlights the skin-protective nature of the items, but it also speaks to the positivity that Lassen aims to foster through her designs. Her pieces feature fun and uplifting catchphrases like “Don’t be shady” and “Spread sunshine,” as well as hometown pride in the form of simply “Jupiter.”
Her hometown has been the source of much comfort, she says, especially as she went through a tough breakup last year. Friends and acquaintances showered her with encouraging notes and small gifts to let her know she was supported—and that support has been just as strong when it comes to her professional endeavors.
“I don’t think I’ve ever been in a community like Jupiter where you have so many people who come together and care and want to see you do better,” she says. “This new line is about being positive and giving all of that back. You never know what someone is going through. Don’t be throwing shade—spread that sunshine instead.”
Visit kailassen.com to view new product drops or schedule an appointment at Lassen’s Jupiter showroom.