Today we get to meet the creator of some amazing theatrical yet wearable hats and head ware. I really love Paula’s flights of fancy…
Please introduce yourself…….
Hi my name is Paula Eastman, creator of ‘Feather Fancies’. I make hair accessories from small to statement pieces. I have worked in theatrical costume for 17 years starting of as an apprentice in Bromley Churchill theatre, being surrounded by amazing costumes on a daily basis is a huge inspiration to me and I feel very lucky to be working with such creative people.
Describe the products you currently make to sell
Hair clips for everyday wear and bigger more dramatic perchers and hats for events. I want all of my pieces to be unique so I dye and trim all the feathers used. I also like to include vintage findings and brooches so the pieces have a little bit of hidden history to them too.
Recently I embarked on a resin jewellery course so I could create more original
decorations for my hats. I am working on some of these for the Spring fair.
And so as not to rest on my laurels I have also been on a hat block making course which means I can design and make my very own shape of hats and perchers so even more individuality is available to my customers, I am currently working on a ‘swallow’ percher and will hopefully be ready for the fair.
Where and when do you design and make your products?
I make my products at home in the conservatory which is now over run with my stuff (my poor boyfriend!). As for designing- everywhere! I always carry a notebook and pencil, you just never know when or where something that sparks a hat will pop into your head, recently a tattoo on somebody on the tube got me sketching away. I’ve even found inspiration from a pasty!
How long have you been selling your wares and how did it begin?
About 2 years now and it’s been quite the learning curve. It all started with a masked ball that I attended for a works charity event, I made a feathered mask and headpiece and friends began asking me to make them something for a wedding or an evening out and it just continued from there.
Any other crafty disciplines you like to practise?
I sew a lot because of my job in theatrical costume although I am definitely not a
tailor. I am enjoying working with resin at the moment and love to try out new things whenever I can as you never know what you can include in the hat making process as it really is quite limitless. I’ve even given paper cutting a go its hard work but worth the effort- that said I’d rather buy or commission a work from someone who really knows what they are doing.
What inspires the things you make?
Everything and anything. Just look at the telephone hat!
Try, try and try again. Also follow your gut you’d be amazed how right it can be.