I make hats in Stockport’s Old Town in the UK. This is the perfect place as Stockport was the centre of hat production throughout the 19th century and into the 20th. And its also home to UK’s only hat museum, Hat Works.
I graduated in 2004 with a 1st class honours degree in Contemporary Craft from Manchester Metropolitan University. On this course I discovered my love of museum display and have continued to work in museums and galleries ever since.
As a curator for Stockport Museums, I display lots of hats at Hat Works Museum and I work with milliners on projects like Making Headway and HATstock. When I started to work with the hatting collection, I wanted to understand it from a maker’s perspective – my millinery journey started with my first course in September 2014 – I’ve been hooked ever since.
You could say I have hat making in my blood. My mum’s granny had a hat shop in Bushmills, Northern Ireland. I like to think that I have somehow inherited this interest from this mysterious woman. I’ve always loved looking at old photographs where elegant women peer out from under stylish cloches. This has fueled my current collection which I’ve blocked using vintage blocks to create hats for everyday wear. I want to breathe new life into these classic shapes, updating them for a whole new generation of hat-wearers.