Me & My Work Space- Sharper Millinery

Rachel Simpson

Posted on April 30 2020

Me & My Work Space- Sharper Millinery
1. Give us a short description of your business

I create bespoke hats and headpieces for weddings, the races and social events. Everything is created by hand for each individual customer using the finest quality fabrics and trims. 

2. How long have you worked for yourself?

Sharper Millinery originated in 2006 after I completed my MA in Fashion & Textiles. My millinery business runs alongside my education business, Sharper Arts, that I established in 1994 after completing my degree in Fashion/Textiles. I enjoy the variety of teaching, making, designing and working with different people.

Shaper Millinery bespoke headpieces hats

 3. Tell us about your work space

My studio is a space within my house, where I design and create my work as well as see clients for consultations. I have a large desk that is always messy, I think I just like stuff around me! I usually several pieces that I’m working on at any one time so depending on time or what technique is required I work between the pieces rather than completing a hat or headpiece in one go. I have several cabinets and displays of hats so clients can try samples to see which design they prefer.

Sharper Millinery bespoke hats and headpieces

 4. Describe your typical working day

No day is the same! I can be teaching textiles or sculpture one day and in my studio completing hats, seeing clients or sourcing materials the next. If I lost my diary I wouldn’t be able to function and yes………I still love my paper diary.

 5. What are the top three things you need to make your space your own?

I need to have all of my work stuff around me, I’m not very tidy at all but it works for me. Always a selection of hats for inspiring new orders, hat books to provide historical reference and a good selection of needles to be able to do different jobs.

Sharper Millinery bespoke hats Birmingham

 6. Top tip/s for working from home?

This can be tricky at times, it would be very easy to get side tracked so there are a definite set of rules.

Always get dressed, you’re ready to tackle the day ahead then (some people think if you work from home you sit in your PJ’s all day!)

I tend to leave something slightly unfinished as this is my starting point for the morning.

I set myself tasks to do throughout the day and once they are done I can have a cup of tea, a walk around the garden or fix lunch.

Write a list each day.

Don’t be hard on yourself if you deviate from the list, if a customer calls and wants advice or an appointment then I will always book time in for them.

Enjoy your work.

 7. Any positive changes which have come about since the lock down?

At first it was very hard to deal with the thought of not working. No one was attending weddings or social events so my existing orders got postponed or cancelled and the educational venues that I was teaching in all shut for non-essential staff. But, there is always a positive way of looking at a situation. I decided I needed to time to assess my work space and to reorganise, I am in the process of tidying and putting everything in the right place. Once lockdown has lifted I plan to redesign and refit my studio so it has less clutter and more focus on the hats I want to display, so watch this space.

Sharper Millinery bespoke headpieces Birmingham

 8. What would you do with an extra free day?

Finish off anything pending and make time for myself, which I always say I will do and never do.

 Quick fire:

Tea or coffee? Tea when I get up and then coffee all the way!

Cake or biscuits? Cake

Music or quiet? Music

Mac or PC? PC

Early bird or night owl? Early bird

Book or podcast? Book

Loved seeing inside Sally's super creative and colourful work space! If you're inspired by that, just wait til you see her collection- it's incredible! Click here to view- enjoy :)


Rachel x


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