March Meet The Maker

So for those of you who don't follow Instagram I thought I would let you know about a photo challenge that I took part in during March. It was an initiative set up by a creative business owner called Joanne Hawker and it was called March Meet The Maker. Joanne set out different photo prompts for each day and the aim was for "makers" to push their comfort zones and share photos that were different to their usual. So, heres a round up of what I posted each day. I hope you enjoy getting to know me a bit more.

Day 1 - Me: So here I am, Lucy Walters (nee Hiorns) part time milliner, full time National Account Manager looking after Sainsbury's and Morrisons retail accounts, farmers wife, dog lover, horse rider and gin drinker.

Day 2 - Where: So despite the phrase "cottage industry" seeming to have gone out of fashion that's exactly what this is for me. A business that I run from my cottage in the sleepy village of Dorsington in Warwickshire just a stones throw from the Cotswolds.

Day 3 - How you started: So here it is the first piece I made to wear to a friends wedding almost 4 years ago. I loved all the great comments it received and was inspired to make more. I look at this now and see all the mistakes but as they say practice makes perfect.

Day 4 - Favourite to make: I absolutely loved making this one! The client was wonderfully brave and gave me the freedom to make what I thought best and I loved working with the rose gold leaf. It added so much glanour and depth of colour to the hat.

Day 5 - Photography: I am rubbish at taking photos (see all of my other pictures for proof) so heres a photo I love of my mum in her Hiorns Hat that was taken by the very talented Hayley at Shutterflies. Maybe I should invest some time and money in becoming a better photographer this year.

Day 6 - Workspace: This is my favourite place to hat make. It's my sitting room and my studio and my best friend Sid is always near by.

Day 7 - Routine: So here is my daily routine... feed the horses, walk the dogs, feed the pigs, go to work, cook the dinner and finally make hats! Its busy but its fun and I wouldnt have it any other way.

Day 8 - Flatlay: I wasn't sure what a flatlay was so I had to google it but I'm glad I did. I will definitely be using this photo style to show off my work in future.

Day 9 - How its made: All of my hats are traditionally blocked by hand on wooden blocks and are made with a lot of patience, coffee and gorgeous scented candles. (There's usually chocolate involved as well!)

Day 10 - Time to relax: This picture was taken while I was lying in a hammock with a G&T looking out on the Marlborough Sounds in New Zealand. I think its the most relaxed I have ever been. In fact I am always more relaxed when I am away from home. However when I am at home I usually take my horses for a spin to let off some steam.

Day 11 - Branding: So on 11th March 2018 I launched my first website. It was fun and challenging to build but there's still plenty to work on and improve.

Day 12 - Postage and Packaging: I missed this day but chose to share this picture as it pretty much summed up how I was feeling that day.

If anyone is interested all of my hats are posted / delivered in hat boxes wrapped in tissue paper.

Day 13 - Work clothes: For me millinery is down time as I find being creative very relaxing so all of my hats are made wearing slippers and often pj bottoms.

Day 14 - Dreams and plans: My main dream is to be this happy every day. To have no routine and to dance to the beat of my own drum.

Day 15 - Boomerang: Sidney and I always celebrate a hat sale with a quick high five.

Day 16 - Helper: This is Sid my lurcher. Here he is give me some morel support (and being ultra needy) while I make a Pom Pom.

Day 17 - Customers & feedback: I love seeing customer photos because you wonderful lot always look brilliant and make me so proud of my work. The compliments I receive make it all worthwhile.

Day 18 - Inspiration: I love fashion and always take huge inspiration from the colours and fabrics that are on trend at the time. This years colour is ultra violet which I cant wait to work with... see my other blog post on how to team it with other colours to great some gorgeous outfits this summer.

Day 19 - Can't live without: Coffee, food and holidays are all super important to me and my mood...

Day 20 - Tools and materials: Did you know that sinamay is made from the Abaca Banana Palm? Its an amazing material to work with as its so strong and pliable once steamed.

Day 21 - Stories - a day in the life: I was actually on holiday (skiing in France) on this day so my story doesnt really show a normal day for me but it does give you a glimpse of how I like to enjoy my time off. This is a picture of a unicorn I found while skiing. The rest of my story showed pictures of delicious food, gorgeous wine and glorious sunshine.

Day 22 - Sketchbook and lists: I am not really a list marker or sketcher but I do always make mood boards to inspire my bespoke customers and to check that they are happy with the way the creation is going.

Day 23 - Hands at work: My headpieces are all entirely hand made so my hands get plenty of work with stretching, pinning and stitching.

Day 24 - Achievements: This bridal headpiece was by far the most stressful thing I have made but seeing Lily Robinson walk into the church made me feel so incredibly proud of my work!

Day 25 - Being a maker means: My dream is to eventually become a full time milliner with enough work to sustain my lifestyle and to keep me out of trouble.

Day 26 - Books, blogs and podcasts: I am not really a reader apart from cookery books which I love. I have loads of them on the shelves in my kitchen and I love to flick through the pages on a Sunday morning with a cup of coffee deciding what to make that day.

Day 27 - Recommend a maker: I decided to recommend a brand called Atlas and I because their products are brilliant quality, the service is exceptional and everyone that i have given their products as gifts has been delighted with them.

Day 28 - Organised: I am not an organised person, its just not the way I roll. So there's no great creative diary or wall planner to show you unfortunately, However I was inspired by everyone elses posts so I brought myself a dream, plan, do journal from The Design Trust which I am hoping will be the turning point in getting me organised.

Day 29 - Community: As a farmers wife my physical community currently looks a lot like this (when its not raining) and my business community is just as great. I am so grateful for everyone who supports me an my millinery business. I love making hats but I love all of my clients reactions more!

Day 30 - Top tip / advice: I was looking for a quote about how success is about hard work and determination and not luck... but then I found this and it really tickled my fancy so I thought I should share it with all of you.

Day 31 - Creative friends: On this day I was very lucky to have a creative and helpful friend (Lily) to help me catch up with some blocking. Plus she brought a boat load of fattening Easter treats with her.

Thank you for reading. I hope you have found learning a bit more about me and Hiorns Hats interesting! Lucy x

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