Living My Dream

I was recently contacted about partnering with the Ohio Lottery and their InspiredOH campaign to share the story of What a Great Hat. I’m lucky to be an inspired Ohioan and to have the opportunity to talk about my business and creative process.

Please click here to watch my two-minute video and feel free to share your inspired stories on the InspiredOH website.



Custom Hat For Preakness

Custom Race Wear – Preakness

It all started with a skirt. A really great skirt that’s perfect for a horse race. My customer wanted a hat to go with it that had a touch of whimsy and a lot of impact.

The biggest challenge was to dye the parasisal straw to coordinate with the pretty pear green in the skirt. Through trial and error, I was able to come up with a color that worked great. From there it was a matter of pulling in the other colors of the skirt, including a terra cotta riding pant on the women featured on the skirt. Fortunately, I had a ribbon that was woven with terra cotta one way and green the other for a perfect complement. Dotted netting, black, white and green feathers, a custom made silk and striped band and dotted ribbon finishes the look.

An added bonus: the hat looks great worn as intended with the embellishment on the right as well as turning it around and wearing the embellishment on the left. Such a fun and colorful ensemble!

What a Great Hat to Participate in the Great Hat Exhibition in London March 22 – 28, 2018


I’m pleased to announce that my fascinator has been selected to be included in The Great Hat Exhibition in London at the end of March. It joins more than 300 hats and fascinators from 37 countries.

My piece was inspired by volcanoes, swirling hot lava and fire. It has a sinamay base and is topped with sinamay and feather “flames,” and swirls of crinoline.

If you’re in London March 22 – 28, stop in and see this fabulous exhibition and be sure to take pictures for me since I won’t be there in person.

The exhibition is a part of London Hat Week. The Great Hat Exhibition 2018 organizer is X Terrace Fashion Platform.  Tickets are available through the X Terrace website. 


Check Out My New Website!

Alice and queen reduced

Hi Everyone,

I have been working diligently on a new website that gives me more flexibility and allows me to procrastinate without putting other people up against my last minute deadlines :o)

Here’s a link to the new site. The URL is the same –

I would sincerely like to hear any comments you may have, negative or positive. I will be adding items to the online store daily so rest assured that there’s much more to come on that front. But otherwise the site is more or less finished with the exception of some minor tweaks.

I value your input!



Photo Credit: Black Box Photography; Hats: What a Great Hat!; Makeup and Hair: Beauty Therapy; Flowers: The Budding Tree




Make a Fascinator Workshop

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Anyone can learn to make a fascinator!

Join me at the What a Great Hat studio in Fairlawn, Ohio on Saturday, February 6, 2016 or Saturday, February 7, 2016 from 10 am – 2 pm and learn to make a fascinator that’s perfect for Valentine’s Day or any special occasion. You’ll learn how to make petals that cover a circular straw base, a feather bundle and gathered netting to create a whimsical and unique headpiece.

All materials and instruction are included in the fee of $85 per person. Preregistration and payment are required before attending. Basic sewing skills are helpful but not required.

If you would like to attend, please contact me at or 330-592-2295. Preregistration and payment are required.


In-Studio Perspectives

It took me all week, but I finally got on a roll last Friday. I just ordered these straw hoods and love the black and tan weave. They’re fun to block and so I went to town using my hat blocks and also some free-form sculpting. These are still in progress so you can’t really tell what they’ll end up looking like but stay tuned to my Facebook page (click here to “like” What a Great Hat if you haven’t already!) to see the results. A sneak peek at one of the cloches is found below. Fun, fun, fun.

Straw hats in progress by What a Great Hat

Straw hats in progress by What a Great Hat

Straw cloche with rolled band by What a Great Hat

Straw cloche with rolled band by What a Great Hat




In-Studio Perspectives

I’m often asked where my ideas and inspiration come from. Here’s a simple example. These pretty flowers are on my windowsill at home (I often keep flowers there). Thoughts and memories of nature are with me always.

Isn’t it interesting how this fascinator looks related to the flowers? This wasn’t something I did intentionally; in fact, the fascinator was made before the flowers even arrived. Interesting!

Wouldn’t this be pretty for a non-traditional bridal headpiece? Maybe I should add a birdcage veil….