l wanted to create a business with a heart.
I'd like to tell you a story...
“Once upon a time, a shy, quiet girl called Rachel, a lover of art and design and handmade crafts, went to a workshop to learn to make her own fascinators. During the day she learned to shape petals and roses, to create loops and bows, all from a magical material called sinamay. Rachel worked hard all day to create her first ever fascinator and the most amazing thing happened when she put it on… She felt a little more confident, she stood a little taller and felt tinglingly happy. Rachel went out into the world and made lots more headpieces, wearing them to weddings, to parties and even for afternoon tea. The magic continued with lots of compliments coming her way and the fascinators were sometimes colourful, sometimes quirky, but always just right for her. Rachel decided that she wanted to help others feel fabulous, to find their own special hats for their own special occasions. A milliner was born.”
And here I am! I know life isn’t a fairy tale, but there are definitely special occasions that deserve time and attention and a personal approach to transform a lovely outfit into a dazzling one, with the perfect topping handcrafted just for you.
About Warrillow Studio
Whether you are completely new to and a little nervous about the world of millinery, or a seasoned hat-wearer, I will be more than happy to work with you to create your perfect headpiece. From the quirkily sophisticated, to the fun and flamboyant there is a hatinator to suit any occasion and to showcase your personality. There are ready-made pieces available in the shop and most of these creations can also be adapted to match an outfit in different colours, so please feel free to ask if you don’t quite see what you are looking for.
Wearing a fascinator or hat for the first time can be daunting, but I am here to help and advise in any way I can. If you are local then you are very welcome to make an appointment to come and see me in the studio, but I can always advise via email, phone or Skype too. I don’t believe there are any rules to follow; confidence and comfort are key and my goal is for you to feel amazing on your special day so you can simply relax and let the compliments flow!
A big inspiration for my designs is the natural world around us; that is how I recharge and escape, visiting my home county of Yorkshire, as well as lots of other beautiful counties around the UK. My love of animals is also a big influence in my life and the main reason I am vegan.
I am very proud to say that my goods are PETA Approved Vegan. This is at the heart of what I do and as the business grows it will help more animals in more ways as I am also committed to supporting animal rescue and welfare charities as much as I can.
I am the designer, maker, blogger, milliner, wife and cat mum! I live with my husband Dave who is a huge support to me, my editor, diary keeper, washer-upper and my general left-hand man. We also live with our two rescue cats, Twiggy and Special Bert who have lived with me for over ten years now and are great company in the studio.
The studio is at our home in Kings Heath in Birmingham. It used to be the dining room, but is now my workspace and where I keep my sinamay, hat blocks, hat boxes, ribbons and essentially – the radio! We have been known, now and again, to clear the table and have a meal on there, but mostly it has works in progress and essential items covering it; it might look messy, but I promise you it is organised chaos and I know exactly where everything is!
Other loves in my life are my home county of Yorkshire where my parents still live – I will be back one day! – reading, birdwatching and going to the theatre. When I stop work for the day though I am happiest when curled up on the sofa at home with Dave and my feline family, watching a really good drama on TV and eating popcorn (sweet and salty!)
ETHICS AND SUSTAINABILITY
I am committed to do my utmost to operate ethically and sustainably and I will only ever work with animal-friendly materials.
I use sustainable and organic materials wherever possible to create Warrillow hats, headpieces and fascinators. All packaging is 100% recyclable and biodegradable and we actively encourage our customers to always repurpose their Warrillow hat boxes and hats.
I never use fur, feathers, leather or any material or packaging that is non-vegan.
I am committed to always being open, honest and transparent with my customers and my supporters. I source my materials to ensure all products are animal-cruelty free.