After completing a Fine Art degree in Birmingham, I moved to London. I worked for English Heritage then the civil service, but always retained a keen interest in all things creative, doing courses in stained glass production, then life drawing.
As a full time mother I set up Vintagehart, a small vintage boutique, based in Crystal Palace, South London with my friend Annette. Vintagehart sold hand-picked vintage ladies clothing and accessories, the boutique was in business for over eight years. We made the ‘TIME OUT: Top 100 London shops’ in our second year.
I’ve always been a hat wearer, but the beautiful range of vintage hats and headpieces I was selling, inspired me to do a millinery adult education course. I fell in love instantly. Here was something that could combine my love of fashion and clothes, with colour, craft and sculptural shape. I was hooked!
I began private tuition with my teacher and mentor Sue Dewhurst at her own millinery studio, before setting out on my own. I now sell my hats through the studio/shop in Crystal Palace and as private commissions for weddings, race meetings and occasionally costume for TV and theatre.
When people hear that I'm a milliner, they often say, ‘Oh, I‘ve never suited hats’. This frustrates me. Anybody and everybody can look fantastic wearing a hat. It’s just a case of finding the right one, a hat that will do them justice, completing their look.
I've learned a lot about what does and doesn't suit certain face shapes over the years. Matching colour, skin tones and hair types with the correct styles, shapes and materials is a rewarding part of the job. Vintage hats and headpieces from the 1930s to the 1980s still inspire my hats today as I mix traditional and contemporary looks.
It's my aim to make affordable timeless everyday hats that add to your own personal style and make every day a special occasion.