www.silverhillcreative.com will be coming soon! Until then, please enjoy my blog or visit my Etsy shop.

Monday, January 14, 2013

My First Discounts

National Hat Day is tomorrow (January 15). That — plus the fact that I want to clear some space for more hats — is why I've decided to offer my first SALE!

I believe in sale prices actually being a sale, none of this save-one-dollar nonsense. So I steeply discounted four styles. Plus, I discounted shipping!

Here are the hats that are on sale:

$50 off
$5 off

$12 off
$7 off

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Another Gifted Hat

I had two people I wanted to give custom hats to for the holidays. (Well, three, if you include my husband. But I don't have men's hat blocks. Alas! So I only made/gave two.) And I was finally able to give the second one. Here it is ...

blue wool cloche

I wanted to use a simple silhouette, a very 1920s' shaped hat block. But the style is very fresh and modern.

The body is 100% wool in royal blue. Inner headsize ribbon and brim edge are dark green grosgrain (rayon/cotton). The band is 100% Shetland wool (gray with threads of red, cobalt blue, burgundy and teal), which I artfully frayed around the edge. Leather button (upcycled from my stash of buttons in my sewing box).

Saturday, January 12, 2013

"Fashions fade; style is eternal."

When I think of waste and unnecessary garbage, I think of plastic water bottles. It makes sense. The pollution created by plastic bottles is drilled into the heads of eco-conscious people (and starting to enter the minds of everyone else).

But clothes? Yeah.

Overdressed: The Shockingly High Cost of Cheap Fashion is a tremendously important book.

I'm happy to say that I was eschewing "cheap fashion" even before this book came out. It wasn't with any world-view, though. It was for two basic reasons: One, I don't really care much for trends and adhering to the latest fashions. Two, I've always preferred longer-lasting, higher-quality clothes.

A few years ago, working with people who were very un-like me, I was talking about how I needed new jeans. "Get them at Wal-Mart or Kmart," one girl suggested. "They're only $10! They fall apart after a month, but then you can just buy another pair for cheap." Huh? "Wait," I said. "Why would I want to buy a pair of jeans that falls apart?"

"Because they're only ten dollars!"

That seems to be one of the stupidest things I've ever heard. And what a waste of $10. If I spend $50-$70 on a pair of jeans, I expect them to last a couple years at least.

Contrast this to a comment a friend made about a vintage 1920s dress that her mother had: "It's made like a tank," she said. "The seams are strong, and this thing is not coming apart." Now that's a fashion I'd like to have! (Of course, my love for '20s & '30s fashions might have a little something to do with it, too.)

Another time, I was in a shoe store and asked the woman about how long a pair of shoes would last (from a brand I didn't know). "Oh, you'll get a season out of them!"When did this become okay? Why is it okay to wear through a piece of clothing or a pair of shoes in less than a year? (It's especially inexcusable now that we all own more than 10 outfits total.)

Check out the "Fast Facts" from Elizabeth Cline's book. Among them are the fact that the average American buys 68 garments and 7 pairs of shoes a year! And don't feel good about giving your old clothes to charity. Only 20% manages to be resold. (The rest is trash.)

A while back, the soles on the heels of expensive boots I owned had worn all the way down (because I wore them every day). I took them in to a cobbler to be re-soled, and — voila! — they were like brand new. Other than the sole, the boots were in excellent shape. If they had been $30 boots, (1) the rest of the boots would be falling apart as well and (2) the cobbler would have told me I could buy a new pair for less than the cost of re-soling the old pair. I can't tell you how good it feels to invest in really quality boots and have them be worth it!

Many hat-makers offer cleaning/re-blocking services and maintenance for their hats. My hats haven't been in the world long enough for that to be an issue. Rest, assured, though, that I will take care of my customers and my hats. My hats are carefully made by hand here in the U.S. — and not mass produced in China. That makes me feel pretty proud. :)
"Fashions fade; style is eternal." — Yves Saint Laurent

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Gift Hat

My friends are hat-wearers and hat-lovers, too. I don't think I could be friends with anyone who didn't like hats. ;)

So of course I knew a hat would be my gift to my BFF Becca. (And when I finally get men's hat blocks, her husband and mine can get hats, too.) Anyway, after a lot of holiday-crazy-schedule-delays, I finally gave her the hat on Monday night. So now I can share the photos ...

Purple wool cloche - angle 1 (left side)

And my thought process ...

She loves purple, so I knew it had to be purple. This is a royal (almost blue) purple wool felt. And she loves cloches. In particular, though, when she tried on the olive green free-form cloche I had made for myself, she decided that it looked cool with either edge in front, and she really loved that aspect.  So that's why I decided to go with a free-form style for her. 

I blocked it on a "balsa utility block" — basically a head shaped wood block. I added in the folds and curves by hand and cut the edge to suit the shape. I stitched the folds in place so they won't fall out or lose their shape. Inside is unlined and with a grosgrain head-size ribbon. Then I put a decoration on the side cut out of blue wool felt.

It definitely looks better on her than on my "model," but for now, here you can see the hat from different angles ...

angle 1 (front)
angle 2 (front)

angle 1 (right side)
angle 2 (right side)

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Web site! ... Well, domain name.

One of my goals for 2013 is to build a web site for my hat-making business. I completed the first step toward that goal today ... the easy part. I registered the domain name. Woohoo! I am so excited! :)

Silverhill Creative Millinery

Don't bother clicking it (for now). It currently forwards to ... here. I set up the URL to redirect to my blog. The web site will be coming.

Yeah, that's the hard part. A while ago I did a bunch of research on hosting plans/companies. And I lost my work. So I don't remember the names of the 2-3 companies I was considering. Choosing a hosting plan is next, along with actually building the site. *gulp* That's a lot of work to do! But I'm excited about it. :)

Having a real web site instead of just an Etsy shop makes me feel more legit. Speaking of which...

Click here to buy hats from my Etsy shop! :)

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Goals for the New Year

I think New Year's resolutions are about change: lose weight, quit smoking/drinking/whatever, save money. I'm more the type to set goals for the year. 2012 saw the official launch of my business. That means in 2013 the real work begins. Here are my goals:
  1. Set up a web site.
  2. Design some bridal hats/headpieces/veils.
  3. Photograph my hats being worn by models (not just a display head).
  4. Get my hats into bricks & mortar store(s).
Plus, in general marketing, marketing, marketing. Basic building up of my business, etc.

Oh, yeah, and make a couple hats for myself instead of just making ones to be sold.

Happy 2013! :)