Today I am excited to spotlight on Dolls Mad Hattery, a bespoke Millinery company who specialise in bespoke custom fascinators, bridal headpieces & cocktail hats with a vintage edge.
I hand over to Amy Weaver to tell you all about her blossoming Business…
Who are you, and what do you do?
“I am Amy and I own and design for Doll’s Mad Hattery, which is a bespoke millinery service based in the Midlands.”
“I work from my tiny home studio, surrounded by hat boxes and all of my equipment to create fascinators, cocktail hats and bridal headpieces.”
“I sell a small number of one-off ready to wear pieces, but much of my work involves creating custom ordered bridal pieces.”
“I use a combination of vintage and new materials and I’m always on the lookout for gorgeous decorations to use in my hat-making.”
“I can’t pass an antique shop without having a quick look and my friends and family often bring me gifts of vintage brooches and jars of buttons so that they can be reloved.”
When and why did you start your Company?
“My millinery journey began with my mum who as a creative force has taught hundreds of people how to do soft furnishings and upholstery among other things.”
“When I was younger she taught me all sorts of crafty skills, such as bobbin lace, tatting, dress making, weaving…the list is endless although does not include knitting, however hard she has tried, I will always end up with the wrong number of stitches!”
“We love a crafty day out and so a couple of years ago she took me on a millinery course.”
“There was a promise of cake and craft, which generally gets me involved. I fell in love instantly.”
“I started making hats around two years ago, as a creative hobby.”
“I work full-time as well, sitting at a computer and commuting to London, so I need a creative outlet!”
“I used to be a Drama teacher, so I’ve always loved costume design and fashions of different eras.”
“I made a fascinator for a friend to wear at the races in Stratford Upon Avon in 2014 and she loved it.”
“I went along too and was nominated for best hat for my creation.”
“More friends asked me to create pieces for them to attend weddings and urged me to start up my own business. So, in January 2015, Doll’s Mad Hattery was born.”
“The name comes from my partner’s name for me, ‘Doll’ and my love of Alice in Wonderland.”
“Apparently I am a Mad Hatter! I receive emails addressed ‘To Doll’ from customers, which always makes me smile.”
What inspires you?
“I’m inspired by lots of things but mostly by the materials that I work with.”
“A vintage brooch, piece of lace or collection of buttons can spark off a design for me.”
“My samples happen organically, with an idea in my mind and then some pinning together of pieces until I’m
happy with the design.”
“If I’ve had an idea of a piece to make for a while, I end up dreaming about it until I have the time to create it!”
“Most of the custom orders I receive are based on pictures of my samples, where customers ask for a design but with different colours/materials, bigger/smaller.”
“I always produce a sketch for customers to ensure I’ve captured their ideas before I begin making.”
“Other suppliers often ask me to be part of photo shoots and commission pieces especially, so then my designs are based around mood boards or discussions or sometimes little doodles that they send to me.”
“This part of my job is really fun and challenging as it often pushes me out of my comfort zones.”
“I was recently asked to make headpieces for an Ice Queen photo shoot. I spent around eight and a half hours wiring acrylic icicles and tiny silver leaves to create the perfect crown for the photo shoot!”
“It’s always really exciting to see the final edits and all of my hard work paying off.”
Do trends influence your work?
“I’m inspired by fashions of different eras and period dramas and films.”
“Personally, I prefer to dress in fifties and early sixties styles.”
“I’m a fan of Mad Men, so can often be found having a ‘Joan day’ in a wiggle dress or a ‘Betty day’ in a circle dress.”
“I look at the hats first and I’m always desperate to know how they’re made.”
“For bridal pieces, my inspiration often comes from the 1920s and 1930s, from Downton to the Great Gatsby as these are just such elegant and beautiful styles.”
“I’m a member of lots of hat groups online, both vintage and modern, but I prefer looking at the older hats as it’s just so interesting to see how they were constructed and how they’ve stood the test of time.”
“Bridal trends definitely influence my work as I’m driven by what customers request.”
“So far this year, my floral Birdcage Veil is proving to be the most popular, with brides requesting different styles and colours of hand-made flowers and veils with pearls or diamantes.
What is your greatest achievement?
“My dad often sends me clippings from newspapers of celebrities wearing hats and writes on them “She should be wearing your hats, you should contact her manager”!”
“He is determined that one day Paloma Faith and Caro Emerald will wear my headpieces!”
“Inspired by his optimism I contacted The Tootsie Rollers last year to see if they would be interested in wearing some of my designs. I have often admired their style and music of course!”
“I didn’t think I would hear back, but they sent me a really lovely message saying they loved my work and would be thrilled to wear some headpieces for their performance at Ascot.”
“I created them some small hair accessories to match their outfits as time was quite short, but we’ve been discussing more headpieces for Royal Ascot this year so watch this space!”
“My dad was right, if you don’t ask, you’ll never know, but don’t tell him that!”
“I’ve also been featured in several wedding blogs and online magazines and most recently in print in Brides Magazine.”
“I’m always really flattered when people like my work. An image of my icicle crown was shared on Faerie Magazine’s Facebook page recently and received nearly 5000 likes.”
“It definitely made it worthwhile running around the woods in the middle of winter throwing fake snow!”
What do you see as the future of your Company?
“I’d love to be sold through more bridal shops and to one day have my own shop. ”
“Most of all, I love being creative and making pieces for people’s special occasions, so making hats full-time would be a dream come true.”
Thank you so much to Amy for sharing her stunning Millinery with us on the Blog.
Whether you’re going to a party, looking for something for bridesmaids or you’re the bride wanting a bespoke alternative look, Dolls Mad Hattery has an eclectic range of styles.
From the wildly extravagent and bold to delicate and pretty Amy has ready to wear hats or can create a bespoke piece to perfectly finish off your outfit.
To Contact Dolls Mad Hattery