Millinery Spotlight - Holly Barker Millinery
I sat down with one of my most trusted Milliner's to find out how she became just so darn fabulous.
Tell us, how did you get into Millinery, where did it all start?
I trained at WA’s prestigious Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts (WAAPA) in costume. Millinery was my favourite part of the course and my strongest. After graduating, I worked at a couture bridal house for 5 years, designing and making gowns, then I started my own business in 2010, creating custom bridal headpieces and bespoke millinery. I design and hand-make each headpiece, using the finest materials sourced from around the world, creating heirloom pieces for women to cherish long after their wedding day or event. I started Holly Barker Millinery because I wanted to create one of a kind headpieces, that were unique, handcrafted and made to last, unlike the options available!
What is your favourite thing about your job?
I get to be creative every day, which I love. I meet amazing women, who often don’t know what kind of hat or headpiece they are looking for and we get to chat about fashion and events and then design the perfect piece for her style, personality and outfit. I am also always learning new things, which is exciting. New ways of making something or a new technique. I am a stickler for the finer details, so you can never know too much! Currently I am working on 18th century (my other love) embroidery techniques…
What are the challenges in your job?
Working from home, by myself, is the biggest challenge I have faced. I love what I do, but it is a struggle, juggling all the elements that come with running your own business and still being a loving mum and wife. But at the end of the day, I absolutely love my job and I am lucky I get to do this every day!
What’s your favourite style to create?
I love creating bridal headpieces and really enjoy intricate beading, I find it therapeutic. I have lots of favourites though and enjoy blocking unusual shaped crowns and making top hats – although it has been a while since I have made a topper.
I’ve always loved your customer service, you are so accommodating. Can you give potential clients any tips for ensuring they choose the right milliner?
When looking to commission a hat or a headpiece, I think it is important to look at a Milliner’s previous work, the training they have had, what their niche or signature style is. Have they made that kind of hat before and are they able to create the piece you have in your mind? Make sure you feel comfortable with them and then trust in their ability to create you a beautiful piece.
I have worked in retail for many years and I think good old fashioned customer service is so important, as is understanding your clients and what they need. I always try to go above and beyond for each of my customers and make sure at the end of the day, they not only love their headpiece, but enjoyed the whole process of having it made for them, just as much. It should be fun and enjoyable!
Thanks for this awesome blog Holly xoxoxo
To find out more about Holly visit http://hollybarkermillinery.com/