Seller Spotlight: Purple Berry

Disclaimer: Seller Spotlights are hand selected by the ArtFire Staff and contacted personally.  We ask sellers to tell us a bit more about themselves and their business through their own eyes.

Hunter Green Beret with Copper Feather Trim

Hunter Green Beret with Copper Feather Trim

I enjoy bringing a touch of glamour to fashion.

I’m fortunate to live in a small picturesque village in the English countryside, surrounded as far as the eye can see, by green pastures, hedges, horses and flocks of fluffy, white sheep.  I’m living on the border of 2 shires – Leicestershire, heart of England and Rutlandshire, the smallest shire in England.  I’m smitten with rural English life – it’s the 21st century but sometimes it doesn’t feel like it.

All of my hats are made by hand one at a time.  I enjoy bringing a touch of glamour to fashion.  My inspiration is the grand dames of the Golden Era of Hollywood and High Society of the 1930s and 1940s, when no fashionable women would be caught on the street without a stylish “topper” of a hat.

Ivana Howcroft with her Collection of Hat Blocks

Ivana Howcroft with her collection of hat blocks which create crowns and brims

I am blessed to have learned at the workbenches of the older generation of milliners, including Rose Cory, the former milliner to Queen Mother.

I use sustainable materials mainly bought from traditional millinery suppliers here in England who have struggled to keep their family businesses alive over hundreds of years.  I’m proud to be a “mad hatter” who has kept this dying art alive in the 21 century.  I am blessed to have learned at the workbenches of the older generation of milliners here  in England, including Rose Cory, the former milliner to Queen Mother.

Pink Rose Disk Hat Facinator

Pink Rose Disk Hat Facinator

Any occasion can be special if you have the proper hat!

My customers from around the world tell me that they have worn my hats to feel special on occasions such as weddings, christening, formal garden parties, as well as services at St.Paul’s  Cathedral in London and of course the horse races at Ascot, Cheltenham and Newmarket.  After all, any occasion can be special if you have the proper hat!

Rutland Market

Saturday Rutland Market

Yellow fields from Ivana's window

Yellow fields from Ivana’s window

 
Foxton locks and English channel boats, rent one for a day or summer

English channel boats, rent one for a day or summer

I travel quite often to gain inspiration both from the street and folk cultures throughout the world.  My most recent inspirational trips were to the American Southwest, the Balkans and the Caucasus.  I am inspired by the colors of the world and do not forget the English gardens!!

Felted Items made with the wool of nearby sheep

Felted Items made with the wool of nearby sheep

My wearable felt art is created from the sustainable wool of my sheep neighbors.

My wearable felt art is created from the sustainable wool of my sheep neighbors.  Wool felting is one of the oldest crafts in human history and it was almost extinguished in late XX century.  It took a number of trips to Nordic countries and many hours in the workshops of Estonian traditional artists to learn how to make it practical, yet fun wearable felt art!

Black Tilted Upbrim Women Hat Millinery

Black Tilted Upbrim Women Hat Millinery

My hats are flying off to be worn in exotic places!

Since discovering ArtFire some years ago a wonderful thing has happened to me.  ArtFire has been my first experience selling online – and thanks to the generous feedback and advice in forums, from mentors, peers and via workshops, I learned the ropes of setting up my online business.  Now, I have friends around the world – and my hats are flying off to be worn in such exotic places as Australia, Japan, Hong Kong, Germany,  France, Switzerland, and the USA!  Being a military spouse and moving from house to house does not terrify my  either – my online studio closes only for 2 weeks during a “physical move” to a new place.

Ascot Fascinator Luxe Millinery

Ascot Fascinator Luxe Millinery

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