I have been wanting to go to The Hat Works Museum in Stockport for years. HATstock made it happen for me. However, I am going to need another day to go up and see the Museum properly.
This was a high density day. Early train ride from London, new city and venue, 6 talks, each lasting 30 minutes, exhibits from milliners with varied styles and materials, a market place of lovely millinery supplies and a beautiful museum. Concluded with a quick search for a sandwich and a 3 hour journey back home. Only for hats or a sick child can I endure that dense and lengthy of a schedule.
Presentations were informative and entertaining, which is a very good combination. Here is a highlight of the talks I attended.
Nick Parkin of Parkin Fabrics
The History and Production of Sinamay movie
Here is a trailer of the movie, but the whole movie is only available through a Parkin Fabrics presentation.
Nick also passed around various samples of sinamay materials. A very light weight and soft fabric used for making wedding garments for the very hot Philippine environment. Unlike the much stiffer sinamay we use for hats.
Then the tighter weave and panning of sinamay which makes what we call pinokpok which is also used for hats.
Sophie Cooke, Amanda Moon, and Siobhan Nicholson
The Hat Stand
Journeys into Millinery
Sophie did a great write up of their talk and Hatstock. I can even prove I was there. This is me in the front row wearing a black cap with Harris Tweed trim and my Hat Case at my feet. If you want to read the whole Hatty Heaven blog article.
Here are a few links for The Hat Stand Sheffield and the specific millinery sites for Sophie Cooke’s Imogen’s Imagination, Siobhan Nicholson Millinery’s Etsy shop, and Amanda Moon Headwear.
Bink of Pearls & Swine
Social Media and Selling Online
Bink is as bubbly to talk with as she is in appearance. I have seen the Pearls and Swine brand in my social media sites, but I cannot tell which one: Twitter, Instagram or Facebook. With a name like Pearls and Swine I didn’t forget.
Her social media advice was great. Although a bit vague on specific actionable steps which I would have liked, her messages were powerful and clear.
- Be active on social media it is much cheaper and reaches further than a brick and mortar shop.
- Make it fun for readers.
- Be genuine, creative and different.
- Build excitement and anticipation in your promotions.
Bink has marketing mojo in more than just social media. When I visited her millinery exhibit, she gave me a little goodie bag with her card, as well as cards of other people. She too is leveraging relationships with other vendors, less formal than The Hat Stand ladies, but still valuable. Look at all these little treasures in the pink and white striped goodie bag.
Bink has several lines of hats and headwear. Pearls and Swine and Temptress of Waikiki
Battersby Hats of Stockport
Rupert told stories told through narration of old photographs that had been lost for generations in various family homes. The pictures had all the costume and glamour of a BBC period drama. Rupert’s sense of humor and story telling was amusing. It was riveting to see these very old pictures and hear stories. Some challenges, some victories, and the elegance of a wealthy family long ago.
Battersby Hats of Stockport, An Illustrated History, by Rupert Battersby.
The Hat factory which has evolved over the years. The large water tower on the left was built after the hat works burnt twice. However once the water tower was built they never had a fire. I suppose the water tower indirectly did the job.
Georgina Abbott and Becky Weaver
LHW goes Regional
I’ve known Georgina and Becky, the founders of London Hat Week since the first London Hat Week several years ago. I always enjoy talking with them. They were at HATstock to promote the idea of building regional hat events. If the energy and excitement of HATstock is any indication, it is a great idea. Personally I would love to visit more regional events. Georgina Abbott owns Atelier Millinery and Becky Weaver is the editor of HATalk.
Here I am pictured with Bronwen (the coordinator of HATstock) on the left, Becky & Georgia in the center, and me to the right.
A Woman’s Hat is Close to Her Heart
I loved Sharon’s presentation. It was a mix of slide show and commentary on hats and the creation of identity. How a hat can change your mood as well as your persona. She touched on the idea of a milliner as a technical crafts person and having the artistic vision to generate a transformation of the wearer.
Sharon is very knowledgeable about hats and history and her diverse career path is fascinating. From lawyer to milliner, to Leeds College of Art tutor to exhibit curator. I would like to spend more time with Sharon and attend more of her talks.
I love getting together with milliners. They are a diverse and interesting mix of people with marvelous stories and skills with a common interest in hats. I came home exhausted but my hatting cup was full.
Thank you all for a great day.