As the busy summer season approaches it was such fun to recently catch up with the incredibly talented Milliner Jess Collett for our Women that Inspire Us Series.
From Royalty to Celebrities, Jess’s wonderful designs have been worn by so many and as such she has gained international recognition for her fun, unique and colourful creations. Whether you are looking for a hat that will carry you through the wedding season to your casual summer staple, Jess’s designs are wonderfully unique. It was such an inspiration to find out more about where her journey began and love for hats grew.
What inspired you to become a Milliner and turn your childhood love for hats into a career and set up your own business?
Well I loved dressing up and wearing hats so much as a kid, that really there wasn’t anything else I wanted to be (apart from a stunt woman for a short while). Hats give me confidence.
Describe your style.
Colourful, well made, elegant and hopefully with a little bit of rock n roll.
Where do you get your inspiration?
From everything really – from nature and its beautiful colours, films, the past, Museums, Art deco, different cultures, icons like David Bowie and Hollywood film stars, furniture design, or even a certain fabric can inspire a hat.
What do you love about being your own boss?
Freedom – anything you say, goes!
What would you say to others looking to do the same?
It’s likely to be a longer, harder road than you expected but every little success keeps you going – my clients tell me they feel glamorous and empowered in my hats and that’s a great feeling. Don’t be afraid to ask for things or say what you think.
You have had numerous successes from Celebrities to Princesses wearing your hats, what stands out as your proudest moments?
I think probably The Duchess of York at the Royal Weddings last year. Madonna and Rita Ora have worn my trilbies and Francesca Cumani presents ITV racing in my pieces. Francesca rocks a hat. Anytime you spot one of your hats at Royal Ascot, especially in a Carriage is a good feeling.
When you are not in your studio, what is your favourite thing to do when you have down time?
Walk our new puppy Tilly – with or without the family 🙂
What is your favourite piece of jewellery from our collections?
I love the Amethyst and Peridot Pendant Earrings from your Palermo Collection – they are such a rich colour combo.
What are you currently working on?
Spring/summer 19. The theme is the JCM garden. Imagine walking through a fantasy garden and when out the other side, finding yourself wearing a hat that captured the way that garden made you feel, other worldly. I have Emma J Shipley wallpaper in my loo – maybe that’s what sparked the idea off!