Dedicated hat wearers never tire of the smiles and comments that come from wearing a great hat. I had always admired hats on others but didn’t give much thought to wearing them myself until I purchased my first handmade hat at the 2004 Ann Arbor Art Fair. Wearing it that day convinced me that I’d stumbled on to something special when at least 30 complete strangers said they loved the hat. And the number of smiles I received was off the charts. You can’t help but feel good at the end of the day with that kind of response.
Buying that first great handmade hat changed my life. I rushed home and made a few hats on my own but soon realized that I wanted to learn more. I discovered Donald Wasson, an experienced milliner and instructor, (finding such a person in Northeast Ohio was a stroke of luck) and have taken numerous courses from him. I have also completed two workshops with Chicago’s Eia Radosavljevic. I’ve been producing mostly one-of-a-kind hats out of straw, sinamay, wool felt, handmade felt, fabric and all sorts of fun vintage and handmade trimmings ever since.
I market my hats through the finer Northeast Ohio art festivals, shows and boutiques and see clients by appointment in my millinery studio and showroom in Akron, Ohio. These venues put my hats in front of people who appreciate their artistry even more than their functionality.
My style combines sophistication with whimsy. Techniques include hand blocking and sewing; sewn fabric soft hats; and hand knitted and felted wool hats that sport great textures and colors. Most of my hats are designed to be worn any time – a special occasion is not the only occasion to wear them. A great hat elevates a dress, outfit or coat from something perfectly nice to something really sensational. And I never tire of hearing, “What a great hat!”