After a hectic and very hot 5 months spent in the wooden shed in temperatures reminding me of North Carolina summers and requiring the borrowing of an air conditioner from my kind neighbour, I churned out enough hats to put on a full display at this years Norfolk 40's weekend. As predicted over 20,000 turned up but bad weather on the Saturday kept a lot under umbrellas and sheltering in show tents, mine included. Most people were dressed in fantastic and authentic looking 40's style, looking for another hat to add to their collection and others were just starting out, looking for a hat with a nod to the 40's, keen and desperate to fit in for the weekend as being in civilian clothing made some feel conspicuous by standing out!
I always love this weekend, the traders are all so friendly, experienced in their chosen field of sales, helpful and knowledgeable. The organisers are mindful not to duplicate trade stalls where they can so that reliable and trusted traders return each year. Not only does this encourage the traders to come back year after year but its good for the festival customers as they know where to go to get their wares.
On the way up I received an invitation to submit some hats for consideration to be included in a display at London hat week in March next year. So If you are keen on following the 'hat world' then you may see a hat of mine there.
I am keen to get back to Guy Morse-Brown hat block maker soon to ask him to make a few new hat blocks for me and of course Parkin Fabrics arrives in Bristol on Saturday for my annual hat stuff pickings and buying spree.
My final inclusion in this post is to my darling wonderful mum. Mum started off this hat business way back ten years ago when she started making hats to sell at the 40's weekend to support the 'Friends for Weybourne station' stall. She did so well that she went onto retrain as a milliner in London and then along with my training and her help we set up Mrs Minivers Millinery. Mum was diagnosed with an aggressive and rare form of brain stem lymphoma in January, suffering a huge stroke during the biopsy operation and was right side paralysed for the rest of the year. So it was agreed that I would take over the business properly and take it forward, giving up full time work in April. Mum died two weeks before Holt 40's weekend, peacefully in her sleep knowing that her hats were in good hands. So even though the weekend was 'business as usual' it was very painful not having her there. I decided to re-name the business but 'Minivers Vintage' has been kept as the design name for our hats. I miss her guidance, creative silence and laughter every day.