Hello and welcome to my Millinery blog. Here I’m going to invite you in to my hat world, I will share hat style advice, Millinery tips and designer's insight.
But first a little bit about me...
I’ve enjoyed all things dressing up since as early as I can remember. Creating costumes with my best friend Kerry from as young as 5. Although this brought me great joy It wasn't what I went straight into when I left school.
I’ve had a variety of jobs, ranging from teaching community theatre to teenagers, working at homeless shelters, working for St Paul’s African and Caribbean carnival. I was working with young people, delivering and facilitating community projects in Bristol when I was talking on at a young person to make sure they had something creative in their lives, when that very young person asked me: 'what are you doing that's creative in your life?' I replied this is not about me, it’s about you. But that night I started to think, what was I doing with my life?
At the time I had made myself a rain coat out of a floral plastic table cloth and you couldn’t get a nice women’s rain coat. So I decided to quit my job, buy a load of table cloth and start making raincoats! I made the first one with my mum and best friend Kerry. It took a week and finally when I tried it on, they gasped as it looked beautiful, but I couldn’t move in it! I burst into tears, what had I done? I had left my job, my career for this? My mum replied don’t worry darling, we will just make something else - like what?! I cried - hats, she answered! And that was the start of my Millinery journey.
Three courses and an apprenticeship later, I started to find my feet. After living in London for 6 years, I left to return to Devon. At first I worked from home in my bedroom of my shared house. I remember my first commission, I spent hours making the front room look like a studio. I was soooo nervous! I made big red hat with blue feathers, the customer loved it.
I soon moved into a studio that I shared with Sarah Treble, check her out - sarahtreble.com), she’s an amazing wedding dress designer. It was fab sharing a studio together, brilliant for business but far more important than that it’s was brilliant creativity as we shared ideas, discussed designs and became great friends.
But sadly I couldn’t stay there as there was no room for me to hand dye fabrics. Then out of the blue my little shop - 34 New Bridge Street, Exeter was available to rent. In November I will have been there for 4 years! I can’t quite believe that I have been there for 4 years, pottering in the back making and creating hats.