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Social Distancing and Self-isolation... is there an upside?

Denise Marsh, Haute Couture Millinery Designer, Hat Couture - 20th March 2020

Firstly my heart goes out to all those who have; already received a diagnosis and are struggling with the effects, are awaiting test results and those already in self isolation or practising social-distancing because you are worried about yourself, other vulnerable family members or friends. My thoughts are also with those who are battling the pandemic on the front lines, key workers in the health and emergency services and the unsung heroes keeping our food, finance, social care and logistics going to ensure that we all have the resources we need to weather the storm.

So with all of the doom and gloom is there really any upside to being stuck at home with time on your hands (at least for those of us without children of school age or key worker roles to play in the community)? Well maybe! I am lucky enough to live in the middle of the country surrounded by green rolling hills, sheep and trees. I am also one of the fortunate few who are always able to work from home, since my studio is just across the courtyard and most of my clients buy online. Thanks to my friendly local post-office and DHL I am therefore able to continue to fulfil orders, shipping millinery supplies and hats all over the world to wherever my clients need them within a week.

'Well that's great for you', I hear you cry - but where's the silver lining for us? When speaking with one of my clients on the telephone yesterday it struck me that for most of us who are professional milliners, this time of the year is usually hectic with orders causing late nights hand stitching in poor light to get that perfect hat completed in time for the Spring wedding or Raceday event. But without that to worry about... why not finish off all those 'purely for pleasure' projects that have been handing around the workshop for months. Experiment with a new technique, have a go at making your own silk flowers or finally put those hat blocks you bought online last year to good use? Here are a few of mine but I'm sure you've got plenty nagging at your conscience too! If you need supplies to tackle your next project, I still have plenty of metres of sinamay in 16 bright and pastel colours at one of the cheapest prices online. I also have flowers, brim wire and ready rolled bias trim to match most of the shades. If there's anything particularly tricky you need, I've probably got that too or will know where to get hold of it... so don't be shy, give me a call on 07804424930 and I'll do what I can to help.

But what if you're not a professional Milliner and you can't afford the perfect hat to fill that place in your collection? Well you could try giving me a call to see if I can do anything for you within your budget - or why not have a go at something simple yourself? I will also supply hat bases for you to add your own individual inspiration. Some of my hat bases start from just £30 for a pretty little fascinator so you can add your own glamour. That way you get the best of both worlds - the hat you want and something that is totally exclusive.

And lastly for those of you who are my existing subscribers I have a special additional 20% discount voucher for you. All you have to do is to add the code BOREDOMBUSTER20 to your cart at check out. If you're not already a subscriber, simply fill in the form to subscribe online at I'm also thinking of putting together some beginners fascinator hat making and renovation classes online. If you think that you might be interested send me an If I get more than 10 responses I will start to put a weekly lesson online from the first week in April. In the meantime, stay safe and keep looking for the upsides:)

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