Tag Archives: South Africa

A Wide Brimmed Idea ..

It was 18 months ago now, that almost silently, I released the “Cruise Broome,” the first hat of my custom designed commercial hat range, and since that April, 2017 backyard unveil, this next chapter of my hats by Felicity story has excitedly grown.  

I’ve always been completely passionate about the hat, particularly the cowboy hat.  … I create them, collect them, wear them and like many of you, just plain love them.  “One can never have too many hats” you’ll hear me say … as I hang another hat on the rack.

After releasing the ‘Flic Pinch’ palm leaf hat on the runway of NYFW, I created one for myself to wear in my stall at the Courthouse markets, Broome. 

Customers wanted my hat, but when I told them the price of the bespoke creation they turned straight for the mango smoothie line.  Don’t get me wrong, there are people who know and respect the hat and understand the price and will pay; but I want everyone to wear hats!  So, a few years ago, I started researching the price point that the general population was prepared to pay for a wide brimmed hat that protected them from the sun and of course, looked good.  The resultant price made it unachievable for me to personally create the hat, so I set about designing a hat that someone else could produce for me; a hat that I felt confident people would feel great in, they’d wear with pride, wear often and grow the SunSmart message; a hat that had my touch, fit them perfectly and was affordable.  Designing it turned out to be the easiest part – the challenge was finding someone to make the hats who understood me and what I was aiming to achieve; who respected my touches and would create the hat to my own standard.  Many sketches, prototypes and sleepless nights later, I finally secured the supplier for my first Hats by Felicity custom designed commercial range of hats.  

There’s moments in life that are significant chapters of our yarn and let me tell you the arrival of my first box of hats designed by me, was certainly one.  

Marketing was next; getting this baby out there.  I passively launched during the Shinju artist open house trail early 2017.  People came to view my millinery, and were led through my gate and up to the studio shed by a line of ‘Cruise Broome’ hats.  The reaction (to both) was great.  The Cruise Broome hats walked out the gate, and … they looked GREAT.

I then included the hats in my Sunday market stall, where I’m able to showcase the finer details of the hat, taking time to measure customers heads, use the internal drawstring to size perfectly and shape the brim according to individual’s comfort zone and sense of style.  

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I subtly included the hats in my millinery exhibitions and events big and small across the country, from the North West tip of the Kimberley, through the Pilbara, Gasgoyne and into Perth, across to Balmain, Sydney and country NSW; I even left a hat in South Africa.  This Milliner on the Move has spent every opportunity to be on the road and promote this collection to all.  

I met with retailers throughout WA and and I’m extremely proud to say that from the northwest tip of the state down to the wheatbelt you can now purchase my custom designed hat, in fact, you even have a choice, with four more hat designs since launched with this Hats by Felicity range.  

 

The next step, knowing demand existed, was getting myself to a position that enabled the purchase of my first large order from my supplier, and I couldn’t be prouder to have taken this big small business step … just …  last … week!  So, it’s game on and make some room in the shed because the hats are on their way.  

Outlets where you can purchase the hat range in WA include Cygnet Bay Pearl Farm, Broome Visitor Centre, Eco Beach Wilderness Retreat, Port Hedland Visitor Centre and Botanicalia Gallery in York.  The plan of course, is to stock Australia wide so I still have some work to do.  But in the meantime, you can also purchase via my online store www.hatsbyfelicity.com.au and if you’re in Broome, at the Courthouse markets or from my studio by appointment.  

If you’d like to be a stockist please contact me on hatsbyfelicity@bigpond.com.

This is my moment to thank you, who, had faith in this project and dream of mine to develop a SunSmart hat that fits, is affordable and looks good.  You must feel great in your hat.  Be it bespoke millinery or a wide brimmed sun hat, those who know me know it is my biggest belief that putting on your hat must instantly make you feel great.… it’s not just about the hat!  

A huge shout of thanks to you who tag me wearing your hats out and about – globally even!   This not only makes my day, but makes this, my hat product, credible and very real.  

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I’ll be in touch again closer to the festive season but in the meantime, keep an eye out for a little yarn on ABC Landline and the U.K. BBC Julia Bradbury TV Series, for a snippet of feathers and fun.  The fabulous hosts of both shows each own a ‘Cruise Kimberley’ hat, so who know’s, the hat might even make a celebrity guest appearance. 

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I know it’s been a while between updates, it’s been a pretty hectic time for us all; but we have to keep these goals going and be in it for the long haul.  So, thank you.  I hope this finds you happy, healthy and well.

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Stay committed to your dream … you can make it happen.

x flic 

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South Africa – The Designer’s Muse

When the invitation arrived for my cousins wedding in South Africa I instantly got that excited feeling that we all get for soon-to-be weds, and overseas adventures, and even though a South African trip was not written into the financial plan, I’m a huge believer in the power of the positive. We do everything we can do to make things happen and when they are meant to be, they happen; so against most odds, this Milliner has just been on the Move to South Africa.

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The feat is never easy coordinating family and friends from around the world to the one place, let alone when the destination is in severe and declared drought and even without a President for a day, but despite these challenges and sadly, more, Simon and Becky brought us all together for the most beautiful celebration of marriage; an intimate affair with the size of crowd that fits everyone on the dance floor.

And Africa was indeed the perfect destination, filled with adventure, rhythm, colour and fun; and as long as you are aware of your surroundings and confident in your stride, you can breathe the air of a frontier land; not that dissimilar to the Kimberley. The animals of course, are completely different! The African animals are something else, they are so huge and elegant; scary but not; I was like a kid let out of their seat belt on safari. Bouncing from one side of the mini bus to the other, which is perfectly OK when you are the only passenger on the tour (winner)! And the jungle put on a show. My guide was concerned if the animals would be out because the weather was clouding over and starting to sprinkle rain, however, I just knew they would be there and simply thought it would be brilliant if it rained on Africa. I’d arrived into the country from record rainfall and a flooded Broome, I would have loved to have brought the rain to drought stricken South Africa, but they were in fact after a tad more than the 4mls that fell when I was there.

I grew up in drought country with the one minute showers, so the water saving requests of the Cape were familiar, however, to be in a city of around 3.8 million with the taps turned off was confronting. Most washrooms had no water and instead offered mostly empty bottles of sanitiser. Tap water was reluctantly or not offered at all in restaurants and the park lawns were brown, waterfalls turned off, and bottled water disappeared off the shelves as quick as it was stacked.

Lucky there was lots of wine! Yes, along with the animals, South Africa boasts many a magnificent drop, so with the country’s best interest in mind, we shifted the fluid intake to wine.
And getting out into the wine country was stunning. The sheer beauty of the countryside was awesome with majestic mountain ranges smoothing into the perfect grape lines of vineyards.

I was wrapped in inspiration from morning till night throughout the whole South African adventure. The flora, the animals, even the drought filled me with inspiration, not to mention the romance of a garden wedding in a winery estate, and the happiness that is family and friends brought together; the safari too, I was so inspired by the animals, their colours, their sounds, even their stance, the way the elephant crossed her back legs; I was blown away how such an enormous animal could appear so stylish; and the graceful giraffes… with every animal and bird and flower the smile grew bigger. I sketched, photographed and recorded – I couldn’t stop – everything around me fuelled the creativity – and while there may have been little water, South Africa fed this milliner with inspiration to create; … which is handy given I have a Sydney exhibition in a little over a week!

And then there was the highlight of spending time with Cape Town Milliner Jacqueline Kolbe of JK Millinery.  Jackie and I spent hours comparing stories, creations, highlights and challenges.  We bounced ideas, inspiration and future plans.  I love meeting fellow milliners who share the passion of our art and can’t thank Jackie enough for the catchup.

I could sit and talk about South Africa for hours, instead I’m going to head back to the studio and my self imposed millinery lockdown to create this collection. And as I prepare the next design, I take a moment to acknowledge the beauty of Africa and the importance of travel and of the gathering of family and friends; and most importantly, I want to shout out a huge “thank you” to Simon and Becky.

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If you are in or near Sydney on Friday 16th March and would like to come along to the Exhibition, I would be thrilled to have you there. Details are on the Facebook Event page “Get a Feather in your Hat – Broome to Balmain” and don’t forget to click the RSVP so we know you’re coming along.

Broome to Balmain Exhibition

And if you would like an insight into the inspiration that creates the collection, with the greatest pleasure I invite you to subscribe to my YouTube Channel “Milliner on the Move”, where I am about to unveil the first video that will take you a step before the creation, even before the preparation of the feathers; I am going to show you the inspiration as I see it from my very own eyes, starting with South Africa.

Milliner on the Move YouTube channel

 

Keep smiling and chat again soon. x flic