Born in Africa (Zimbabwe) of loving parents I was dyslexic, hyperactive and had attention difficulties. All this has translated into a very busy, passionate visualizer who endeavours to infuse each hat I make with love and sunshine. But let me back up a bit….
Step One. School, as you can, imagine, was a nightmare. I only survived because my hyperactivity was channelled by understanding adults towards athletics. I found success and ran for my country. I also managed to gain sufficient qualifications to become a nursery school teacher.
Step Two. My long legs, my Mum’s good looks and a competitive spirit lead me to enter the Miss Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe) competition. To my amazement, I won and this lead to a job in fashion and time as a model. What fun this was, I adore clothes and needless to say hats in particular.
Step Three. The extremely important man in my life and two adorable children, a son and a daughter. By now we had left Africa and headed out into the world. Have hats will travel! We spent time in France, Switzerland, South Africa, U.S., Hong Kong and England.
Step Four. In the U.K. I ran a Montessori Nursery. Here I learned so much from the children. Their artwork, in particular, inspired me to paint.
Step Five. With boxes of hats and a few other bits, we moved to beautiful New Zealand. On arrival this was my thought process- New Zealand,- sheep,- wool, -felt,- felt hats,- fashionable felt hats! This dream was facilitated all the way by the wonderful Kiwi can-do attitude. I buy wool from farmers, make felt hoods, block the hoods on handmade or vintage blocks, finish the hats and sell them in downtown Auckland alongside fabulous young designers clothes. How exciting is that? From the farmyard to the catwalk! I also now craft straw and other summer materials in the same way.All this happens in the pretty backyard of our little cottage in Helensville.If interested you are very welcome to visit.
You still with me? Nearly done. I am older but not much wiser but am free to pursue my lifelong passion. Hats, real hats, not something to be worn once and tossed aside but something to be loved, worn often and sadly missed if ever lost.
The process of making each hat is so joyful that surely you will feel the pleasure as you wear it. In the end, I am still a dreamer hoping my hats will make you smile.