Today we’re catching up with Ellen of B Millinery. She’s one of our volunteer team leaders and we thought you’d like to find out a little more about her…
Tell us about yourself, your Etsy shop and what you sell!
My name is Ellen and I’m a milliner. My shop is called B Millinery and I sell hats, fascinators and veils; mostly with some glittery handbags and shoe clips thrown in because we all need a little glitter in our lives.
What inspires you to create?
I take a lot of my inspiration from the past, although I love to put my own modern spin on things. My favourite era of fashion was the 40s so you can see lots of that in my work. I also love pop culture and the design of the 50s so this comes through too I think.
How long have you been selling through Etsy?
Quite a while, although I didn’t’ take it seriously for a long time and really started do more once I moved to Brighton in 2012.
What is your favourite product that you sell?
Ohh hard question; I think it changes with the season! I do love my tie-on sun hats, especially the one with the glittery lobster on it.
What has been your business highlight?
It’s going to sound cheesy but making one off commissions that really make my customers feel special is a real highlight for me; whether it’s the perfect veil, mother of the bride hat or a fascinator for graduation.
What has been your Brighton Etsy Team highlight?
I really love Etsy made local, it’s so good to meet so many people behind the shops as well as the customer, this last hear was a real high for me, people stopped to try thing on and really have fun.
What do you have planned for the rest of the year, with your shop, the team and beyond?
I’m currently working on lots of thing that are a bit hush hush! But this year is going to be big for me. It will be lots of work but I feel it’s going to be worth it!
Your personal style is very ‘vintage glamour’ – do you ever wear jeans?
Haha! Yes, lots, although they are mostly vintage style ones.
You have some of the best Christmas jumpers…where do you get them from?
I knitted them myself, although they take me bloody ages so I won’t be knitting one for anyone else!
How did you get started in millinery?
I studied theatre design, including costume which got me into vintage fashion, and the hats always fascinated me. I made some hats in customer departments and then decided to go back to school and study it properly. I can sew and makes clothes and I love it, but millinery is my passion as it is much freer – if I want to stick a plastic dinosaur on a hat I can!
Who would be your dream client?
Ooh that’s a hard one! My current customers are so lovely and stylish but to see my work on Paloma faith or Dita Von Teese would be amazing.
Best review you have received via your Etsy shop?
Looking through my feedback has brought up this one:
To say that I was happy with this amazing hat is an understatement! Perfection! Thank you so so so much 💓
Tell us about your vintage weekend getaways they sound like so much fun!
That will be the rockabilly weekenders I go to! We take far too many clothes, hats and jewellery off for a weekend of rock and roll music at holiday camps, and then we get dressed up and dance; it’s a real fun weekend.
Be sure to have a browse of Ellen’s shop on Etsy here.