I am a Milliner and have a studio and retail hat shop in The Hope Mills building, in the Germantown district of Louisville. In my studio I create hats for both professional theatre companies and fashion. Interestingly, Hope Mills is a historical woolen mill building where wool was worsted to make hoods for hats during the early 1900’s.
My passion for hats all started in college where I studied theatre and specialized in costume design. I honed my craft through internships with professional theaters. During one internship, I learned millinery at the Santa Fe Opera, where I worked under Sharon King, one of the milliners for the Titanic. I was also taught by Tim Dial who wrote the book, “Basic Millinery for the Stage.”
Millinery has been something I have always been passionate about. Along with this passion, I also have a sense of adventure and so, followed a handsome ship wright to Newport, Rhode Island, where I continued to pursue my love of hats working out of my apartment and consigning with a local high end boutique. While I loved the boat community, my relationship ended and I realized something was missing. My dream was left behind. The support I needed to pursue my real passion was back in my home town. To pursue my dream, I needed a productive space in a town that supports my craft. With Louisville’s long tradition of wearing hats to sporting events, including the Kentucky Derby and the Oaks, Louisville is the right place for me and finding the Hope Mills building in Louisville, allows me to continue to grow and follow my dream.
Whether it’s for the stage or for your own life’s drama, my hats range from exuberant to classical. I have been a milliner for over twenty two years. My work has been seen locally and nationally. Locally I have worked for Actors Theatre of Louisville, the Louisville Ballet, and the Cincinnati Play House in the Park. Nationally, I had the opportunity to work with the Tony Award Winner Catherine Zuber, building hats for the Metropolitan Opera’s Production of “The Barber of Seville.” Just recently I also built headpieces for Glimmer Glass ‘s production of “Candid”
I believe hats create a sense of mystery that our culture still craves. We adorn ourselves to attract attention, and to make a statement about who we are. What better way to make that statement but with a hat, custom made especially for the individual or the occasion. This display of fashion is what drives me to design comfortable, well made hats for men and women in theatre as well as for fashionable wear.