Studio 19

FaceBook: Milliner of Kintail

13147585_1693738600885241_234003669723229689_oFrom an early age, I’ve enjoyed watching the process of how things are made. Looking through the Polka-Dot-Door was fascinating. I started sewing my own clothes in high school and often sold my wares out of the locker beside me. I continued on to George Brown College, where I studied Creative Fashion Design. I’ve never been drawn to magazines or runways. I’ve mostly found them impersonal and quite disturbing. I find the most satisfying work comes from empowering people while filling a need.

I’ve had the pleasure of designing costumes for Propeller Dance and doing custom work for special-needs clients. I also created Snomad; a fun line of colourful, winter animal hats that sold successfully in boutiques throughout the Byward Market, including my own stall since 1994. They ranged in sized from preemie to X-Large, pumpkin-headed adult.

I have 3 wonderful children. After the birth of my second child, I was finding it impossible to keep up with everything and made the choice to put my hat business on hold until the kids were more independent. I ran a home daycare and helped start and run the Ottawa Children’s Garden. This allowed me to share my values; I could be with my own children, volunteer in the community and have extra company. I loved it, I miss it, but as the life balance shifted, it came time to move on.

I’ve always craved country life but feared isolation. I wanted a large garden, a separate studio where I could experiment and get lost in creative freedom yet still be at home. I didn’t want to be too far from friends and family. A friend of mine told me “You can have everything in life, just not all at the same time”. So true. Last year we found a property that was everything we wanted, it just needs some love. We moved in the Fall of 2015 to Almonte and I am so happy I could cry.

I’m still evolving as a fibre-artist, there are so many things I want to try (especially welding). If you visit me on the Crown and Pumpkin Studio Tour this Thanksgiving weekend, you will see my happy space. You will find beautifully constructed hats for every age as well as whimsical woolen ornaments. I hope you find things you love and take home some treasures.