This Christmas, we have not one but two talented milliners selling their work at Brighton Craftaganza. The first is Ellen B who will be selling on Saturday 8th December. Her glamourous head pieces bring more than a touch of fun to proceedings, which could be just the thing to bring some festive spirit to your party outfit this year…
Please introduce yourself….
I’m Ellen from B Millinery. I am a lady with a great passion for accessories and the way they can bring glamour to the simplest of outfits.
Describe the products you currently make to sell
I hand make hats and hair accessories for all occasions. My ranges run from hair adornments and ready made fascinators to bespoke millinery pieces.
Where and when do you design and make your products?
Designs come to me at the oddest of times so I am an avid carrier of a little sketchbook and a pen! I make them in my home studio which is occasionally tidy enough to double as the dining room!
I find I get sidetracked by new ideas all the time, so now I have a little ideas box and the new concepts get sketched down on a card and then go into the box, and when I’m done with what I’m working on, out they come; this way I can cool off too and if it is still a good idea and I love it, I know it’s really worth my time!
How long have you been selling your wares and how did it begin?
I have been selling for about 2 years now. It began as a hobby and then I decided I needed to get serious and went back to school and began learning the skills of a milliner. There is so much to learn I feel I will never be done but that’s one of the things I love about it.
What drew you to the Brighton area, if you are not a ‘native’?
I lived in London for many years and always looked forward to trips to Brighton. I decided earlier this year my time as a Londoner was coming to an end although I still wanted a city with a vibrant art, music and craft scene so Brighton immediately came to mind. It’s so inspirational to be part of this city by the sea with its rich history and creativity.
Any other crafty disciplines you like to practice?
There are not many crafts I wont try! Millinery is such an accommodating craft there are not many things you can’t fit into it in some way; hats can be quilted, cast in plastic, painted or embroidered. I have always made jewellery and paper craft goods which occasionally sneak onto my stalls. I have been making clothes for years so sometimes you can spot me with matching dress and hat – either that or one of my hand knitted jumpers.
What inspires the things you make?
I take my inspiration from life in general, from the amazing people I know and my surroundings, to the books I read and things I stumble upon on-line. I am really interested in the imagery of subcultures and this often shows in my work such as the collections I have done inspired by rockabilly tattoos and old school rock and roll.
Be who you want to be.