Mairi Brunning Millinery – Hats, fascinators, headpieces & Veils for Weddings

Today I am delighted to spotlight on Mairi Brunning Millinery who hand makes hats, fascinators, headpieces, veils and pretty hair jewellery for Weddings and occasions.

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I hand you over to Mairi to tell you all about her Business…

Who are you, and what do you do?

“Hello, I’m Mairi from Mairi Brunning Millinery.”

“I create bespoke headwear for brides and the rest of the bridal party; anything from fascinators and hats to hair jewellery, headpieces, birdcage and tulle veils.”

“No two items are ever the same, and I’m used being asked to create brand new styles, which keeps things fresh and exciting, or tweaking previous designs to each individual customer’s preferences.”

“My business focuses on each customer’s design being uniquely made for them. I also provide Fascinator Making Hen Parties, which is a really fun (and inclusive!) way to bring all the girls together ahead of the big day!”

When and why did you start your Company?

“Starting my business was a gradual process.”

“After completing my English Literature degree and my husband and I marrying, we moved from Aberdeen to Edinburgh, where alongside my normal job I attended courses in millinery, pattern cutting and fashion wear.”

“I loved it all so much that I spent much of my spare time working away on designs for myself and refining the skills I had learned.”

“Soon friends and family were asking me to create them bespoke headwear, and it grew from there by word of mouth.”

“A couple of years later, my husband and I moved to a house in West Lothian, which we have been gradually renovating.”

“The commuting time to Edinburgh alongside the increasing demand for my Millinery designs soon dictated that I resign from my normal job and open a design studio in my home!”

“I’ve been running the business for several years now and I just love it!”

What inspires you?

“Mainly a mixture of couture and vintage styles.”

“I love the designs Edith Head created for film stars, and especially the work she did with Hitchcock, but conversely I equally adore flicking through the pages of Vogue or looking through Pinterest for up and coming trends.”

“Living in the countryside, the natural shape and form of nature definitely inspires me too!”

“I regularly go for walks and runs in the countryside with my dog Holly by my side, as well as spending some of my free time gardening, so I think even on a subconscious level, the beauty of the natural world seeps into each of my creations.”

“I also adore couture beading and embroidery work!”

“My parents have travelled a lot and I grew up surrounded by garments, jewellery and items of home decor and furniture that were from the Middle East and Asia, all mixed in amongst items from UK high street stores.”

“This inspiration from the Middle East and Asia influences my love of colour, beautiful fabrics and finer details – such as detailed beading, embroidery and beautiful jewelled brooches.”

“It has also informed my love for hand made products; many of these items that I grew up around were exquisitely created by hand using traditional methods by highly skilled people, and I find that very inspiring.”

“I come from a family of self starters, so this has definitely inspired me to run my own business, to perfect a range of skills and to thrive on any challenges this brings my way.”

“My Great Granny ran a successful tweed and tweed garment making business on the Isle of Skye (even selling tweed to King and Queen!), whilst the rest of the family made money through the family croft.”

“My Aunt now runs a B&B at the same property.”

“On my Dad’s side, my Grandad ran his own café, and my Dad and my Uncle have ran their own businesses in more recent years.”

“Even my Mum and brother work in business.”

Do trends influence your work?

“I love following trends to an extent, but I tend to tweak it to something that fits in with my own design aesthetic.”

“For example, the recent trend for flower crowns, brow bands and demi halos has been wonderful and there are so many looks that you can achieve with these such as Bohemian or a 1920’s Gatsby feel.”

“When commissioned by a bride to create items such as this, I suggest incorporating items such as heirloom jewellery to make it extra special.”

“When a bride incorporates, for example, a brooch or pearls from her Granny or Great Granny, into her unique, bespoke design, it elevates it from something trend influenced to something that will stand the test of time and be handed down through generations.”

“Of course, even traditional, less trend-led designs benefit from the inclusion of special heirloom items too.”

“I’m also always on the look out for trends and new ideas for beading and embroidery.”

“Many couture houses lead the way with innovative beading and embroidery design work, and because of the skill involved, it is often timeless, beautiful and artisanal, making it ideal for inspiring my own bridal work.”

What is your greatest achievement?

“When I look back on the year we married (2007) and how far we have come as a couple, working on the house renovation to literally build a home together and to imagine it how it was when we first moved in with render falling off, barely any central heating and no kitchen, as well as building a business from scratch and learning many valuable skills, both in terms of business acumen and sewing and design know how, I am astonished and cannot help but appreciate the work that has gone into it and how much has been achieved.”

“We could have easily given up when the challenges became particularly difficult but our tenacity and belief in what we are doing has allowed us so many exciting opportunities, to learn an awful lot of great life skills, and to meet lots of wonderful people!”

“I think it’s great that I am equally skilled at using a sewing needle or hat block as I am a hammer, tile cutter or other DIY implement!”

What do you see as the future of your Company?

“I love being commissioned to create bespoke pieces, and although this already makes up the bulk of my business, it would be great for this to continue to flourish as it has done so far.”

“I’ve also started an Etsy shop, which is a great platform for me to sell sample pieces, vintage jewellery, winter wear (I make cosy cloche hats, headwraps and scarves), a few couture items as well as excess collections of materials (I’m currently adding vintage sewing patterns!).”

“I hope to develop this over the next year so that it plays a greater role in my business and adds convenience for customers who don’t have time to commission a bespoke piece.”

“The Fascinator Making Hen Parties have proven to be a huge success, so I expect them to grow in popularity!”

“It’s great being able to share the fun of fascinator making, and it’s something anyone can do with a bit of guidance and access to the correct materials!”

 

“Working as a bridal accessories designer for several years now has given me a real passion for the industry, especially as it has led me to meet so many wonderful people and have such amazing experiences!”

This led me to being involved in a recent woodland photoshoot.”

“We shot on location at Polkemmet Country Park in West Lothian, Scotland.”

“Examples of my couture headpieces, veils, bridal belts, and vintage jewellery are featured in this shoot.”

“I also sourced the wedding dress used in the shoot, which was a second hand garment, originally from Monsoon.”

Kirsty Stroma Bain, an Edinburgh based photographer, specialising in wedding, portrait, lifestyle, newborn and fashion photography photographed the beautiful images.”

“She loves to shoot on location, often using nature as a backdrop.”

“Our model and MUA was Claire Marie – Glasgow. Claire, who is originally from Shetland, is now establishing herself as a popular model and musician in central Scotland.”

“Claire is often featured in bohemian, gothic and vintage style photoshoots and commerical projects. She recently became a finalist in the Scottish Pinup awards 2016.”

“Meigan Hepburn provided hair styling at the shoot. Meigan runs Hunky Dory Hair Design based in Crieff in Perthshire, Scotland.”

“Hunky Dory hair design provides a truly bespoke and personal styling service to clients both in the salon and on location.”

“We wanted to achieve a bohemian, whimsical feel with woodland scenery and a focus on bridal accessories which worked really well.”

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Thank you so much to Mairi for sharing her beautiful work…

 

To Contact Mairi Brunning Millinery

Website: http://www.mairibrunning.co.uk/

Etsy Shop: https://www.etsy.com/people/mairibrunning

Email: mairibrunning@yahoo.co.uk

Phone: 077 2521 7526

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Shoot Credits

Photography: Kirsty Stroma Photography

Millinery: Mairi Brunning Millinery

Hair: Meigan Hepburn – Hunky Dory 

Model & Make Up: Claire Marie

More about ALISON TINLIN

UK Wedding Blogger with an eclectic style based in Glasgow

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