FK chats to Rachael from her Gold Coast based label, Hattie Petite Handmade Hats
Can you tell us about your accessories label and how it began?
Hatties are petite quirky statements to wear in your hair. Made from recycled fabrics and embellishments, all are “one-off” individual pieces. Hattie all began when I needed a head pieces to complete an outfit for a wedding I was attending. After no luck finding what I needed in traditional shops, I decided to create a custom piece to match my vintage dress. The process was just so fun, going to op-shops, looking through stuff until I found the treasures for the final touches. From then on, I kept creating new pieces – mostly for friends and for other weddings I attended. Hattie happened when I had so much recycled fabric fit for so many hats that I began a label.
What is your background and what lead you to working with hats?
I dabbled in sewing as a teenager, passionately creating various uneven A-line skirts but never pursued professional tuition. After quite a few years traveling, on my return to Australia I decided it was time to fulfill those creative dreams. I studied fashion for two years gaining some really useful skills but didn’t feel that clothing production was where my heart lay. Being environmentally conscious, I started buying and selling vintage clothing doing little alterations to some and completely transforming others. In no time, I had a decent sized vintage hat collection, admiring their beautiful detail and craftsmanship so much that I am now studying millinery.
What do you love most and also find the hardest about having your own label?
Motivation is a constant struggle especially when your dwelling is also your place for creative expression. Some days, no matter how hard you try to focus your intent, you invariably find the smallest thing to distract you from the task at hand. I definitely work better to a deadline which in turn often puts me in a situation of leaving things to the last minute and completing projects in a panic. Lately I’ve been having a better work flow balance which is a lot less stressful. Being your own boss is fun, but sometimes fear or self-doubt creeps in and you just have to stop work and get out for a walk to clear your head so that you can come back with fresh eyes.
We love your packaging! Is it part of your ‘recreate and recycle’ beliefs? Why do you think great packaging is important to your label?
Packaging is such a great way to display and finish off your product. My boxes are an “Optional Extra” where the customer can chose to purchase the packaging for presentation’s sake, or chose to cut down in a world already rife with over packaging. This minimizes the overall number of boxes being discarded when the product reaches its intended destination. In this way, I hope to bring awareness to the consumer and reduce packaging waste in the long run.
What are your favourite blogs & websites for inspiration?
A cute, inspiring website that springs to mind is Sunday Vintage – cute home page design with some sweet vintage pieces. Two blogs that always make me smile are Daydream Lily and The Unknown Pleasures.
What are you looking forward to this year?
Growing my business really excites me right now. Creating new styles, new pieces with new skills and techniques. Taking Hattie back to Finders Keepers in Brisbane this winter. And becoming a speedy neat knitter!