At Imogen’s Imagination I’m always pleased to collaborate on projects and events with other outstanding milliners and designer-makers from Sheffield and the rest of the UK. From showcase events to talks on hat design and bespoke millinery, together with pop up shops and craft fairs, collaborations are always great fun and an opportunity to share my passion for bespoke hat design with others.
It’s always fantastic to meet up with and collaborate with others, including the Sheffield Sellers at Etsy Made Local events. And getting featured in hat industry magazines… that’s wonderful.
For information on my collaborations click on the posts below. Please do get in touch if you’d like to collaborate with me on a project or event.
The event was to be a celebration of hat making in the North and we were incredibly honoured to have been invited to not only take part in the showcase, but to give a talk about how we, as individuals, got into millinery and how we got together to become The Hat Stand.
We have been booked by a number of womens groups to deliver this talk in the run up to this year’s pop-up shop, but this was the first time we were going to deliver it in public (not my dining room!). We had the usual normal nerves about public speaking, but then who doesn’t?
Then we found out about who some of the other speakers were and there were some pretty illustrious people in the hatty world. I’m actually playing this down, as I’m still slightly overwhelmed that we were invited to be on the same bill! The other speakers included the organiser of London Hat Week Georgina Abbott; long term supporter of Hat Stand and editor of HATalk Magazine Becky Weaver; and my former tutor from Leeds College of Art, Sharon Bainbridge, a nationally renowned tutor and curator of hat exhibitions.
Yeah, slight quickening of heart rate…until I found out that spaces for our talk had sold out. I’ll be honest, then I just felt a bit sick!
As well as our talk, we had been offered the opportunity to display some of our work as part of the Millinery Showcase at the event. Cue a frantic discussion about how to create a slick and professional display as new details about the space emerged. We genuinely had an entire two hour meeting devoted to photo frames. The style, the size, the cost and how quickly we could source them. This was a whole new world for us, we know the pop-up shop so well now we can just rock up and set-up! This proved to be a useful example for our talk when discussing how collaboration, co-operation and compromise works between the three of us!
The extended chat was worth while though and we were really pleased with our final display.
The next task was actually delivering our talk. We knew what we wanted to say…we just needed to do it! Despite all our natural nerves, I was so proud of us all for how well we worked together to offer an insight into our girl gang. We backed each other up, prompted important points, but equally gave each other time to say what we needed to say. Kinda just like we always do at meetings!
Our audience were lovely and friendly, they laughed in the right places, gave a tremendous applause and even came to compliment us on our delivery afterwards. Needless to say, this reaction has helped buoy our confidence to deliver this talk in the future, just as well as we are booked for another two sessions on this topic!
Once this scary bit of the day was out of the way, we were free to enjoy the other goodies on offer at HATstock. We were able to enjoy the other talks, chat with the other millinery showcase participants, do a bit of supplies shopping and meet the huge numbers of hat enthusiasts who came from all over the country.
However, the total icing on my cake that day was selling a hat that I had specifically chosen to bring to HATstock.
I actually made the base shape of the hat a year ago when I attended an open blocking session at the museum (You can read my blog about it here). This was when I first met Bronwen, the brains behind HATstock, so it seemed very fitting to bring the finished piece. Despite completing the design last year, on Friday morning I decided it was missing a little something. Nothing like a last minute design change to help with increased stress levels. But I’m so glad I added the gold painted edging to the petals on the hat, it really did make all the difference, and it’s new owner certainly though so too!
I also chose to wear a rather special hat myself (I would have been totally under dressed without one!) and that too had a Hat Work link too.
It was another of the pieces that I had blocked at the same session last year, but that had remained completely unfinished until the Friday before HATstock! I really didn’t think any of this through.
We had a simply fantastic day at HATstock and we have to offer our gratitude and huge thanks to the amazing Bronwen and all the Hat Works staff who worked so, so hard to make the event happen. We were so honoured to be invited to take part and it was such a privilege to be involved in such a brilliantly organised event.
Hats off folks, you nailed it! Thank you so much from The Hat Stand
In June The Hat Stand pop-up shop will re-open at the Winter Garden. But before our grand opening we have a few events planned for the coming months.
First on our list is HATstock on Saturday 25th March at Stockport Hat Museum.
If you like hats, you will love this place! It is a hatter’s heaven.
The event is a celebration of hat making in the North and we are incredibly honoured to have been invited to not only take part in the showcase, but to give a talk about how we, as individuals, got into millinery and how we got together to become The Hat Stand.
We wouldn’t expect you to visit this event just because we are there, so we need to tell you how much MORE is going to be happening on the day! There will be showcases from 11 Northern milliners, each with a unique style and approach to hat making, 6 short talks covering a range of hat related topics and a marketplace to explore the materials and equipment used in millinery.
Last, but by no means least (and as a history buff, this is my favourite bit!) there will be tours of the museum where you can discover the history of hat making and it’s importance in the heritage of Stockport.
We know what you are thinking, all of this? In one day? How much will that cost? The answer is very simply, nothing. Nada. Niet.
The whole day is entirely FREE, but you do need to register for tickets to the event and for the talks. You can do that quickly and easily via the HATstock Eventbrite page.
If you would like to book specifically for our talk, The Hat Stand presents ‘Journeys into Millinery’, you can do that via Eventbrite too. Our talk is now 40% sold out so if you would like to come, please don’t delay in booking your space.We will be speaking between 11.30-12, so if you will have plenty of time to enjoy the rest of event.
We very much hope you will be able to join us in Stockport for what promises to be a fantastic day. Plus, we can’t deny it won’t be lovely to see some familiar and friendly faces in the crowd!
It’s fair to say that this year has been a bit of a belter!
I am so honoured to have been asked to be involved in so many amazing projects and here’s a little round up of this year’s highlights. There have been so many other super exciting things that have happened too…but these are the biggest ones!
A good chunk of the amazing things that have happened this year have been directly as a result of the enormous efforts of the Year of Making team. This city-wide and discipline-wide celebration of creativity and making in Sheffield has been utterly invaluable to the successes that I have had this year. Every project I have been involved during this year has been supported by the team and I owe them a HUGE debt of gratitude. Thank you to all of you, but most especially Tamar Millen, you are a total wonder woman!
We had been tasked by Etsy, as the team leadership, to organise a Christmas Market during the first weekend of December…no small feat for a bunch of first timers!
Cue much discussion about the how we were going to organise this mammoth task and how we were going to pay for it!
April, May and June were all about Operation Hat Stand.
We kicked off in April with our first craft market, swiftly followed by another one in May. We also managed, between the three of us, to lead a hugely successful facinator workshop for over 70 members of the Seven Hills WI! You can check out the images here thanks to SHWI’er Laura’s fab photography skills…we were too busy to breathe, let alone document the evening!
We set up shop in the Winter Garden pop-up space on 2nd June and there we stayed until the end of the month. This was our first time running the shop for a whole month…and it was our best year to date! We have booked our spot for June 2017, but that’s all I can tell you so far!
We were very honoured to have not only Dr Julie MacDonald, the High Sheriff of South Yorkshire join us for our launch party, but also The Right Worshipful the Lord Mayor of Sheffield, Councillor Denise Fox, 120th Lord Mayor of the City of Sheffield.
This project wouldn’t have been a thing for the last 3 years, and wouldn’t continue to happen, with out the on-going commitment (all year round!) from my colleagues Amanda (Amanda Moon Headwear) and Siobhan (Siobhan Nicholson Millinery). Thank you!
I love our girl gang and am so excited about planning the 2017 pop-up shop.
A Sweltering Summer…
I say June was all about Operation Hat Stand….mostly!
In June I had to beat the fear and deliver a demonstration day to some very discerning customers.
I was asked invited to Oasis Watermead Academy to inspire their pupils ahead of their end of year school picnic, when, inspired by the Queen’s Birthday garden parties they would all be making their own hats to wear.
Yes, I did get to meet almost every child in the school that day! It was a huge amount of fun though and I was given the most amazing design ideas to take away for my own inspiration.
July was a bit of a rollercoaster month. I’d spent the first 6 months of the year thinking “once Hat Stand is out of the way, I’ll do…..” How wrong was I?
I’d spent every spare moment of June making a brand new design for the acclaimed Made In Sheffield exhibition at Millenium Gallery which closes on 8th January 2017.
I didn’t make things easy for myself, but my collaboration with my Exchange Place Studios neighbour, Giles Grover of Small Machines created so many opportunities in the months to come I was completely blown away!
You can read more about the feature over on the Hat Stand blog here.
Autumn into Winter was a bit of a blur…
I’ll be honest, September was a pretty scary month with a huge first to be overcome.
It started off with another unexpected front cover feature, again from HaTalk Magazine, but this time I was on my own as the prestigious Hat of the Month feature all about my exhibition hat.
I then re-convened with my Hat Stand colleagues to take part in the Meet the Maker series of demonstration sessions, held inside the Made In Sheffield exhibition at Millenium Gallery. Good job I’d beaten my demonstrating nerves earlier in summer!
The final challenge of the month was a public speaking engagement…not nervewracking at all! However, I wasn’t on my own, I was invited along with my collaborator Giles Grover of Small Machines to talk about our experience of making the exhibition hat as part of the Year of Making showcases at the Festival of the Mind. As the talk was to be held in a Spiegeltent, possibly the most opulent temporary structure I have ever had the pleasure to be in, it was an opportunity not to be missed!
October. This may surprise you, things went a little bit quiet!
Well, technically, thats not true as I was frantically trying to get ahead with all the planning that we, the team leaders of Sheffield Sellers on Etsy were doing for the Etsy Made Local market….and boy, was there a lot of admin to do!
I also had a couple of vintage fairs, including my first one in the West Midlands for over four years…I did sneak in a visit home and a sort of weekend off for that one!
Fast forward to November.
Having one hat in an exhibition was something I never in my wildest dreams imagined would ever happen…let alone two!!! Thanks to yet another Year of Making opportunity, I was invited to create another unique piece for the Woven exhibition at the Makers Gallery.
The invitation to take part in this exhibition was even more special as it was curated by the one and only Tokyo Jo. I have been a long-standing admirer of Jo’s work for nearly a decade and it’s fair to say I had to reign in the fan-girl response when she got in touch!
There can’t be anyone in Sheffield who has never heard of the Crucible Theatre, in fact, I think you’d be hard pushed to find anyone who has never heard of The Crucible, full stop. As the home of snooker, and Sheffield institution, I had no fear when I was invited by Year of Making to take part in their showcase of projects that had taken place during the 2016.
And when I say this, naturally, I am lying through my teeth…I was VERY nervous!
Again, my fears were unfounded. I was joined on stage with the ever cheerful and encouraging Nick Wright of Ernest Wright & Son Ltd, scissor makers extraordinaire.
However, I threw open my studio door at Exchange Place Studios to the public to give them an insight into what happens behind the scenes in a creative cave…once I’d had a serious tidy up that was!
I was incredibly relieved to meet some people during the course of the weekend who had been at The Crucible earlier in the week and they were all very kind in their praise about my delivery and content of the conversation I had with Nick….phew!
And then suddenly it was December!
The first weekend of the month was the climax, culmination, pinnacle (all those words!) of over eight months planning with my fellow Sheffield Sellers on Etsy team members. Etsy Made Local was live!
I would like to take this opportunity to thank my fellow team leaders Rob (Sheffield Mug Co), Donna (Charley & Billie) and Jayne (Maxwell Harrison Jewellery) for their tireless commitment, support, enthusiasm and downright hardwork in the run up to the event, during and after.
Oh, and thanks for putting up with my coping strategy of wine at every opportunity!
We had a preview evening, an art installation, over 54 stallholders and 2 full days of trading during the weekend….we pulled out all the stops for this. You can find the official photos from the Preview Evening on our Facebook page
I’ll be the first to admit I look somewhat delirious in this photo, and the jury is still out as to whether that was due to exhaustion, relief or happiness at how well the event turned out. With an estimated 4-5k people through the door over the weekend, it surpassed all our expectations when our our significant promotion was conducted via a social media campaign.
Well, frankly if you made it to the end of this round-up, you are probably as knackered and exhausted as I am!
I’m going to spend most of the Christmas period asleep so I can be ready to be on it in the new year….I have a big project to launch in the coming months.
Imagine my surprise to find one of my designs as Hat of the Month in HaTalk magazine! I have been totally spoilt by the editorial team over the last couple of months!
I am extremely honoured to announce that I have been granted not only the cover spot this month (again!) but also the coveted Hat of the Month feature pages telling the story of my hat for the Made in Sheffield exhibition at Millenium Gallery.
This was my first attempt at working with leather and I was thrilled with the results. It was even more exciting to be able to work with lasers for the final trimmings.
If you would like to find out more about the story of the hat, you can read the whole story here and I will also be “In Conversation” with Giles Grover of Small Machines, who helped me create this ambitious design, as part of the Year of Making talks during The Festival of the Mind. We will be at The Spiegeltent in Barkers Pool on Monday 19th September at 2pm.
PS. I’ll can also let you into a little secret, the cover image was actually taken on my phone. I have no idea how I managed to take such a good photo and I fear I couldn’t repeat it again if I tried!
HATalk magazine is one of my favourite reads, so imagine my surprise the other week when I opened my email to read the latest edition, only to see one of my hats on the screen!
As part of The Hat Stand, we have been so very lucky to not only have the support of our local press in Sheffield, but also to receive the support of one of only two dedicated industry magazine for milliners!
HATalk is a monthly online magazine dedicated to all things hatty and has an international readership of professional and amateur milliners. Packed with information about competitions, how to guides, and lots of news from the world of millinery, it’s a huge honour for The Hat Stand to be featured and for one of the shots from our Shoot Day with Ellie Grace Photography to be used as the cover image.
This is a subscription magazine, but we are truly grateful to the editor for allowing us to share the story of this year’s pop-up shop project with you…for free!