This article was published in full in the latest issue of The Hat Magazine.
As a new initiative this year, I created a Project Book, something I had hoped would allow me to plan and map my business and personal goals for the year. I never imagined it to be my Pandemic Project Book. Reflecting on the projects that we collectively accomplished through this time with the support of my staff, friends and millinery community, it has been a challenging though rewarding also. I’ve learnt new skills, responded to the lock down by developing new processes, staying pro-active and we seem to be getting through it.
Shortly into the lockdown, my son called to check on me and he was horrified to hear I had picked up an old hat stand from the council clean up questioning what if it was infected with Covid 19. Well I had to pick it up. Not only was it a Robin’s nest blue, the exact pantone shade used in my branding of my millinery business Embellish Atelier, but It had been discarded as it was just slightly broken. It needed to be rescued and by me. Needless to say, that was project number one, as that very week every future race meeting, wedding, and event including the JSK Ball, a charitable event run by my family in May were cancelled. The millinery courses at TAFE and community colleges and schools were closed; theatres and film making studios were shut. No one needed a fancy hat or any bit of millinery material to make a hat for an event in the foreseeable future. I lovingly restored the hat stand and placed it at my front door to festoon with my large selection of daily hat wear.
I made a point to try and connect with my customers – sent emails, made phone calls and created an online conversation hour in the studio as well via social media using the #staysafeandstaycreative. With my millinery community at the Millinery Association of Australia, I participated in some of the fun and creative challenges they proposed. We also sponsored the virtual fashions on the fields – the brainchild of
Bethy, Milano, and Viera
Virtual FOTF team
@best_dressed_access @milanoimai @getracy.