2016: What a Year for Imogen’s Imagination!

Gliiter Cat Ears Wedding day

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!

 

So, 2016, what happened?

Hat Stand Photo ShootHigh Sheriff South Yorkshire 2016-17 January kicked off with a promotional photo shoot for the upcoming Hat Stand collaboration with the glorious Ellie Grace Photography. I was also commissioned to make the official hat of Dr Julie MacDonald, the High Sheriff of South Yorkshire.

 

 

 

Gliiter Cat Ears Wedding dayFebruary saw the launch of a new look website after a design overhaul and THE best bridal commission ever!

I had so much fun making these glittery cat ears for Laura and I will be playing with this idea next year!

Image: Ellie Grace Photography

 

 

 

Springing in Spring…

Etsy Made Local LogoMarch was all about the planning stages of the Sheffield Sellers on Etsy team project: Etsy Made Local.

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!

 

 

The Hat Stand Sheffield logoApril, 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!

 

 

The Hat Stand Launch Party-June 2016We 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…

Hats designed by school childrenI 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.

 

Made in Sheffield Exhibtion 2016July 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!

 

 

Rain Rescue Charity Calendar 2017

I was also invited to contribute to the Rain Rescue Charity Calendar by photographer Shelley Richmond.

The end results are completely stunning with doggies in top hats and floral crowns donated by myself and Campbell Flowers.

If you don’t have a calendar for next year yet, I urge you to get this one!  You can find it in the Rain Rescue shop here

 

 

HATalk Front Cover- Imogen's ImaginationIn August, I was absolutely thrilled and stunned to receive my edition of HaTalk Magazine, an online publication for milliners across the world, as my hat was on the front cover!

The Hat Stand was the subject of a featured article and included photos from our shoot day with Ellie Grace Photography. A huge thank you to Niamh at Gypsy Rose Salon, MUA Izzy Grace and model Megan, for making my hats look stunning!

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.

 

 

 

Imogen's Imagination at Exchange Place StudiosI knew that Yorkshire Artspace Open Studios was going to happen, but I was pretty frazzled by that point.

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.

 

Sheffield Sellers on Etsy- Team Leaders
Image: Danni Maytree Photography

Imogen's Imagination Stall

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.

I also know I have two pop-up shop projects to plan for Hat Stand and Sheffield Sellers on Etsy, as well as another Etsy Made Local…but as for the rest?

That kind of depends what exciting projects, you dear reader, throw my way.

Wishing you a wonderful Christmas and a very Happy New Year.

HaTalk Magazine: Hat of the Month

HATalk-Hat of the Month- Front Cover

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-Hat of the Month- Front CoverHATalk-Hat of the Month- Contents PageHATalk-Hat of the Month article

 

 

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Imogen’s Imagination in HATalk Magazine

HATalk Magazine Front Cover

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!

 

 

HATalk Magazine Front CoverHATalk Magazine The Hat StandHATalk Magazine The Hat StandHATalk Magazine The Hat StandHATalk Magazine The Hat Stand

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The Hat Stand: Half Time Review

The Hat Stand Sheffield logo

Ok, so technically this is an 11 day review of The Hat Stand rather than actually half-time, but boy, oh boy, what a first 11 days!!!!

We have been utterly and totally overwhelmed by the support and enthusiasm our project has received in this short time.  The days have flown past so far and we suspect they will shoot past during the coming weeks too.

We kicked off with a fabulous online feature about Hat Stand in The Star on Friday 3rd June and this was followed up with a mention in the print copy on Monday this week. We didn’t realise it had made it to print too, so we were very happily surprised when people arrived this week saying they had read about us in the paper!

 

 

Shoot day…

Sunday may be a day of rest for most, but at Hat Stand, the first weekend is always photoshoot weekend and last Sunday was no exception. My huge thanks to Niamh at Gypsy Rose Salon (Hair), Izzy (Make-up) and Megan (Model), as well as our photographer Ellie (Ellie Grace Photography) for helping us with this part of the project. Here’s a few sneaky peeks from Ellie to give you a flavour of things to come…I can’t wait to see the final edit!!!

 

 

The Launch Party…

Lord Mayor and High Sheriff at Hat Stand Sheffield

On Monday we held our Launch Party which was a wonderful evening. We were joined by friends and family along with some very distinguished guests; The High Sheriff of South Yorkshire Dr Julie MacDonald DL and The Right Worshipful the Lord Mayor of Sheffield, Councillor Denise Fox. Naturally, we took advantage of this for a photo to celebrate the occasion!

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Hat Stand Sheffield Launch Party 2016We weren’t the only ones to be snapped enjoying ourselves though.  Thanks to the fabulous Danni of Danni Maytree Photography, we have loved seeing our guests chatting, trying on hats and enjoying their fizz. If you would like to see more, please do check out the album on The Hat Stand Facebook page. There are still lots more to add so please do keep checking in.  In addition to being photographed, our guests were also sketched by the immensely talented Samantha Galbraith.  Thanks to Kriszta for capturing this for us.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Demonstration Day…

Yesterday we had Demo Day at Hat Stand and brought in some of our hat making equipment and work in progress to show visitors how our hats are made.  We had some great chats with people about the many processes involved in making a hat, along with some of the lesser known tricks of the trade. We really enjoyed talking about our work and showing that you don’t have to have specialist equipment to create intriguing designs. We were really grateful that people stopped by and showed such interest in learning more, as well as appreciating the skills we have worked so hard to perfect.

 

So what’s next at Hat Stand? 

Urm, honest answer, re-stocking…lots and lots of re-stocking from all three of us!

We have been genuinely shocked at the rate at which pieces are flying off the shelves.  We are all frantically working away behind the scenes to keep refreshing the shop and bring you new pieces as quickly as possible. So, if you see something on our social media pages which takes your fancy, please don’t delay in getting in touch.  We can reserve designs with a deposit and as many designs are one offs, we would hate for anyone to be disappointed that they have missed out.

Roll on the next 11 days…as after that point we will be in our final week.  There are going to be some sore blocking and sewing fingers come the 29th June and our last day at The Hat Stand!

PS.  If you have been to visit us and had a little play with our designs (and the photoframe!) be sure to check out our Happy Customers album on Facebook and be sure to tag yourself.

 

 

 

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Imogen’s Imagination at London Hat Week

London Hat Week Logo

London Hat Week LogoIf you are a fan on the FB page or you follow me on Twitter, you may not have escaped the news that last week that I was invited to show at London Hat Week between 6th and 9th March.

I was so very honoured to be approached by Atelier Millinery, hosts of the Etsy Showcase which featured members of the Milliners of Etsy team.  This team is an online community of milliners from all over the world, a little place where we can swop information, show off our latest designs and get involved in amazing project like this!

Unfortunately, I wasnt able to get to the showcase myself but the wonderful Tina Giuntini at Atelier Millinery took these photos of my pieces, which were chosen to grace the shop window.

 

Even more excitingly, my hats were featured in HATalk magazine in their write-up of the events that took place during the festival.

 

HATalk Magazine feature - March 2014

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