Hats off to these designers who have taken the bold step of launching Sheffield’s first millinery shop in a generation.
The Hat Stand in the Winter Garden is a pop-up store and the first of its kind since Madame Marie’s on Division Street was open during the 1980s.
The venture is the brainchild of Sheffield milliners Sophie Cooke, Siobhan Nicholson and Amanda Moon – who aim to put ‘hats on the map’.
They all worked at home on their passion for bespoke headgear before joining together as a collaborative force.
Amanda, aged 40, of Stannington, said: “We met through craft and vintage fairs and we just really wanted to put hats on the map.
“Through our research we found there were no permanent milliners in Sheffield but there is hat hire and there are people who do want beautiful hats designed for them.”
Self-taught Sophie, 34, a former police analyst from Hillsborough, added: “We would like to educate people and get them to come in, have a bit of fun and try on some hats.
“People often don’t wear hats apart from at weddings, when they feel it is the right thing to do, but it doesn’t have to be that way.
“Hats can be frivolous, for a purpose or denote you as somebody.
“People might say they don’t wear hats because they don’t have an occasion – I always say make the occasion.”
A fashion show – supported by 30 different businesspeople who provided their services for free – launched the shop and it is also hosting more colourful events over the next two weeks.
The three women all produce different styles, from floral hair accessories to more formal hats, ranging in price from £8 to more than £200.
Guest milliners are also displaying their creations, including a hat by Leeds-based tutor Kate Jones which was nominated for an international award.
In the long term the women hope they could hold annual or biannual events.
Siobhan, who worked in London making hats for royalty with acclaimed milliner Philip Somerville after leaving fashion college, has even made a cupcake hat to tie in with Sheffield Food Festival.
The 46-year-old, of Crookes, said: “That was really something. Making hats because people are interested in them, they want to buy them and I really loved creating them – that’s what I want to get back to.”
A Mad Hatter’s tea party, where guests don their favourite hats for tasty treats, is running at the shop on Saturday from 3pm and costs £10. Workshops on making a mini top hat, flower corsages and fabric gift boxes are also taking place this weekend.
n For more details visit The Hat Stand on Facebook or www.thehatstand.weebly.com