FrouFrou 4 YouYou

Chicago Millinery History: Milliners of Etsy’s The Hat and the Little Black Dress, June 9, 2013 May 16, 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — froufrou4youyou @ 7:00 pm


Most of the time things written in this blog are about millinery history, often long ago history. Today is a bit on the upcoming history to be made by several milliners from Chicago, along with others from the US, and abroad.

How women in millinery networked in the 1800s in Chicago included word of mouth, calling cards, mail, and printed news. How women networked spread to the telephone, the telephone book, perhaps telepathy, but certainly nothing like the world of today. The internet changed a lot of things for today’s milliners.

Selling online is one approach milliners find affordable, often entirely in place of a bricks and mortar shop. Some milliners have a loyal following, just like the milliners of the 1800s, and 1900s. These milliners may present their creations in a number of real life situations, from gala events held to market hats to one on one interactions when an interested party sees the milliner with an irresistible hat on the milliners own head, creating a spontaneous selling opportunity.

Several years ago milliners began selling online through Etsy. NOT eBay, but Etsy. Etsy is for handmade, vintage and supplies. That does not mean one has to bid on something and hope for the best, but instead, review the hat offered at a set price. The individual milliner determines what she will list, how it will be photographed, and the price she desires. A few of these milliners became enchanted with the concept of SHARING techniques and knowledge, working together in a loosely structured group called a Team. For several years the Team, Milliners of Etsy, has been led by a former Chicagoan, now Duluth, MN milliner, Emily Moe. Emily spent many years in the trenches, so to speak, learning technique from an established Chicago milliner, Eva May.

Early in 2012 the idea was proposed to hold a real life runway event of millinery. New to this group, this was an interesting concept to myself, and one that was worth supporting. Emily chose the Three Oaks, MI site of The Acorn, and in 2013 she and co-leaders, Amanda Joyner of Chef Bizzaro Millinery – Michigan City, Indiana, and Belle McCluskey of Boring Sidney – Bothell, WA, set to organizing this unique millinery experience.

Tho having had many dozens of “convo” interaction discussions online with Milliner of Etsy team members since the early part of 2013, I did not get to meet Emily until April. Very few of the participating milliners have ever met anyone else of the group. We rely upon email, internet interactions, and social media. My own creations are far simpler than most everyone else, but the joy of this event appeared so alluring that it seemed incumbent upon me to entice others to join the fun. There will be twelve live milliners participating on Sunday June 9 at 3pm at The Acorn. Also of interest will be the single representative hats that are being sent for this event from around the globe.

Milliners that will be exhibiting complete lines are:
Amanda Joyner of Chef Bizzaro Millinery – Michigan City, Indiana
Allison Lyndes of Alli Cat Crafts – Boulder, Colorado
Emily Moe of Moe Sew Co Millinery – Duluth, MN
Mary Robak of FrouFrou4YouYou – Chicago, IL
Belle McCluskey of Boring Sidney – Bothell, WA
Andrea Blohm Millinery – Ann Arbor, MI
Lisa van Wambeck of OwlLaMode – Buffalo, NY
Kristin Silverman of Silverhill Creative – Cochester, VT
Karen Morris Millinery – Minneapolis, MN
Jenny Pfanenstiel of Form̩ Millinery РChicago, IL
Cindy Kalnow of Sevigne Atelier – Chicago, IL
Carolina Millinery – Charleston, SC

Milliners who are sending pieces are:
Aoife Kirwan Millinery – Ireland
Maggie Mowbray – Scotland
Bella Regina Designs – California
Crystalsidyll – Washington
Denish̩ РMassachusetts
RanaHats – Israel
Baskers Designs – Australia
Mikado Millinery – Canada
La Petite Menagerie – Washington
Corina Haywood – California

I am delighted that Chicago will be the most represented city in this event. Jenny Pfanenstiel of Forme Millinery, and Cindy Kalnow of Sevigne Atelier will be the other Chicagoans among the participating Milliners.
Have you seen their hats? Both are accomplished women in their own right. Check their Facebook pages for a glance, and their websites for a more in-depth look at their offerings.


The Hat and the Little Black Dress
Sunday, June 9 at 3:00 p.m. (note: Michigan is in the Eastern Timezone)
The Acorn Theater, 107 Generations Dr., Three Oaks Michigan.
Tickets are $80 for front row, $40 for second row and $20 for general admission.
The sale will follow the show next door at Journeyman Distillery.

Find more information on the team website,
as well as a link to our Indiegogo campaign to help to fund this event.
Art quality posters and other incentives can be purchased at the Indiegogo campaign here: