i. I work as: a hat designer/milliner
ii. I do this creative work because:
I love hats. I love to wear hats. I love to create hats.
iii. Personal qualities that help me in my work are:
I’m interested in design and fashion. In my work, I’m bridging these two elements in my hat designs. I love to work with my hands.
iv. The greatest challenges around doing this work are:
95% of my materials are imported to Canada. That means the initial costs of making a hat are high. The are made of a 100% wool felt, paper or straw or material. Same counts for accessories, which is wool, paper, vintage finds, linen, velvet. All of these materials are well sourced mostly from Europe and the US. I think a lot of people don’t understand what goes into making a quality hat. That means product education is important.
v. Creative childhood hobbies:
I was super crafty as a kid. My mom would take me to these crafting afternoons organized by a nearby church twice a week. I have good memories of that and it really was the highlight of the week. We worked in clay, enamel, wood, hand-sewing projects.
vi. Other creators who inspire you:
I love the work of Vivienne Westwood, Comme des Garcons/Rei Kawakubu, Yohji Jamamoto, Eames.
vii. Training that has helped me succeed in this career:
It’s funny. My formal training is social work. So, sometimes I wonder how I arrived at being a hat designer. I took some valuable millinery classes in Vancouver from two different milliners. Mostly I would say I’m self taught.
viii. A common trap that can hurt people in this career:
Thinking that the fashion industry is an easy one.
ix. Some proud career moments:
I’m very happy when I see a customer wearing one of my hats. Winning an award feels good. I have just won the BC Achievement award 2018 among three other designers for Applied Arts and Design.
x. If you want to work in my field, I suggest that you:
Enrol in FIT NY millinery program or there are several schools in London, UK.
Get out of Vancouver and establish in a larger city. Vancouver is one of the toughest cities to be a maker/creative.
xi. A professional goal I have for the future:
Expand my work further into international markets like Japan and Europe. I’m very fond of collaborations. So I hope something will come my way.
xii. If you want to see my work, go to:
Go shopping at Shiny Fuzzy Muddy and support local. Check out one of the stockists in the city.
Photography – @trevorbrady1
Make-up – @lucyannebothammakeup
Model – Lovisa