This is my last newsletter for the year. WOW! 2013 is coming to an end.
Thank you for all your support over this year, and for the ongoing generosity many of you have shown towards us. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to be of service through hats.
Yesterday many of you shared a milestone with me in our store.
We had our first book launch for Hats for Happiness, which will carry on raising money for mental health and well-being. I want to take the opportunity to share with you the passage from the book that I read out on the night. It expresses what I aim to live by and practise daily when things seem dark or my light within shines somewhat low.
It is HOPE which lights the flame again.
Hope for me is one of the cornerstones of a meaningful life.
I have learned to see the difference between being hopeful and just being optimistic. Optimism to me is about thinking that ‘the future will be better than the present’, while hope is about believing ‘I have an active role to play in making it so’.
Hope comes with movement, work and action.
Does this mean always getting what you want? Of course not! But surely you can be more joyful if you hope, plan and act, rather than just thinking positively. It is up to you to reach out to get what you want from life.
Optimism leads us to believe that no action is required, yet for any dream to be realised, it is necessary to act from a place of hope and never lose sight of that.
With this in mind, I wish for you a wonderful festive season. I hope you delight in the sharing, the giving and receiving of gifts.
My gift to you is the book which came about because many people gave me their gifts of skills, support, craftsmanship, and above all, the gift of support for my vision.
HOPE is one of the main virtues we all need for a meaningful, successful life. As milliners, I guess we're all hoping that we can sell our hats; that the materials we need are in stock; that people will love the work we do and the things we create.
As the owner of a business, I hope to turn over enough to pay the bills and buy more stock. I hope that parcels we send arrive on time, and that our clients like what we do. And with hope comes movement, work and action.
I have come to understand that there is a big difference between optimism and hope.
Optimism is about thinking, 'the future will be better than the present', while hope is about thinking, 'the future will be better, and I have an active role to play in making it so'.
Hope means having goals and staying in motion. By 'goal', I mean an idea of my desired future self. To stay in motion, I need to believe in my ability to achieve the goal. And my pathway is paved by the many choices I make along the way to achieve it.
Does hope mean always getting what you want? Of course not! But for sure we will be more joyful if we hope, plan and act, than if we 'think positive' and don't do much to sell hats or get the things we want from life.
The other day I saw a post on the Internet where a person asked:' Which feathers are vegan?'
Lots of people commented on her post saying things like, if the bird does not die the feathers are vegan or there are vegans which do use animal products etc.
It made me reflect on what does vegan actually mean? In our day and age I think it is very wise we start asking questions like this lady as we seam to become very much a "I want it NOW' society and it seams we loose touch with how and why things exist.
The dictionary says, 'a vegetarian is one who omits all animal products from the diet. It is lifestyle in which you don't use, wear, or consume animal products.'
My late sister in law was a very strict vegan who did exactly that, but she could not stay away from chocolate.
So how does a vegan who chooses to be strict make hats?
Well there are many products they can use:
Sinamay, Jin Sin, straws are made from plant fibres
laces,veiling,braids can be derived from polyesters and natural plant fibres
Felt is tricky as they are all animal hair ( sheep do not die when getting the fleece,but fur felt uses dead rabbits)
feathers come from birds,most of them farmed and die. Some birds loose their feathers naturally as in Peacocks,pheasants,many birds malt and loose feathers like Guinea fouls. One can make feather look a like with Sinamay or from fabrics like cotton
leathers can be subsidised through imitation leathers which are very good these days
Fur can be a cruel business indeed. Often the animals get farmed in cruel conditions. They often are getting exposed in open cages in wind tunnels to further their growth of fur with no escape for shelter which would not happen in nature.
Astrakhan is unborn lamb ( personally I could not work with material like that, vegan or not vegan)
There is such a thing called 'Peace silk', the worm eats its way through the cocoon and does not get killed in boiling water. Make no mistake this silk can not be spun and not be produced into fabrics other than silk caps which are used in the hand felting industry a lot.
My name is Waltraud Reiner and I have been meaning to start this blog now for a while - so today is the day.
Often I find myself having thoughts on the subject of the hat which are more complex than a little entry on Facebook will allow.
My aim is to keep it short and sweet and hopefully add some interest to your 'hat world'.
I have seen over the last few days and weeks a lot of media around the hat as it is Spring Carnival in Melbourne which means hats, fashion and horses.
What I found is that women wear hats on the left or the right side of their head. So which is the RIGHT side?
My hunch is that most of us have an opinion. I say: Try it out, see for yourself in the mirror, and pay attention to your gut feeling, not just your reflection.
There is a belief with some milliners that hats need to be worn on the right side. For me, this belief belongs to a long-gone era. I learned from a client very early in my career that there are women who feel inclined to tilt their hats to the left. It feels natural to them, which means they will carry themselves more confidently.
The trouble is that many hats which are made by manufacturers are made for 'right-wearers' which means they will feel wrong to a 'left-wearer', and also look wrong, as the trim is often placed in a way that doesn't look quite right when the hat is worn on the left.
The result is that some women walk away declaring that they just can't wear hats, because they don't feel or look good in them.
That is not so. EVERYONE can wear a hat! Don't just take my word for it. Try it out for yourself:
First, ask yourself where you naturally tilt your hat. On your left or right side? Close your eyes, put on an imaginary hat and see where you tilt it.
Next, think about which headpiece you're going to wear. A small something or a large something?
Small pieces generally look best when placed over the part in your hairline.
There is now a trend towards wearing hats in the centre of the head.
Wear your hats where it feels RIGHT for you. Your milliner (or you, if you're the maker) can than trim it so it is flattering.
Can you swap your part around for the day?
Placing a hat elastic at the back under the hairline in the colour of your hair will help you feel safe. Make sure the elastic is attached in the right spot, or the hat/headpiece will slide out of position on your head).
You want your hat or headpiece to feel so comfortable and natural that it's almost a part of you. It needs to allow you to move freely and without being adjusted throughout the day. If you are worried it might come off, or it gives you headaches, or if there is movement and sliding going on then something is wrong.
A hat should be like a good-fitting shoe or bra. Do not settle for second best. Trust your feelings and instincts, and remember that it is YOU who wears the hat: a woman in the 21 Century who makes her own rules about what to wear and how to wear it.