Fifty years seems a long time ago  – 1964 and 30 girls crowded in a small room, overpowered by the smell of stiffener but our task was defined to create hats to a set curriculum under the watchful eye of our three millinery teachers. End of term exam was looming to make a hat from go to woe in 8 hours!  

On Mother’s Day my wonderful husband surprised me with a Gold leaf leather Hat Case he hand made, to celebrate 50 years of millinery. With almost 5,000 hats and pieces of headwear behind me it may never have happened except for the man who has believed in me and encouraged me along the way. He has swept the studio floor for me first thing in the morning, packaged hats for delivery, given his opinion on a new design, repaired my old sewing machine …..

In what ways has your husband / partner helped you over the years to fulfil your dream? 

Tags: Elaine Mergard

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Congratulations and may you experience many, many more happy years together.

Many congratulations on your 50th anniversary in millinery, Elaine.

Although new to millinery, my husband has encouraged me and believed in me enough to make the changeover from massage therapy to millinery - considering I had never picked up a sewing needle or shown any inclination to sew before, he sat back and watched, then gave his opinion, then used his own skills as a photographer to help me on my journey. I have him to thank,without him I probably would never have attempted do something new at this stage in my life.

Congratulations and many many more years in millinery!!

thank you for all support and encouragement , knowledge and experience sharing with  us -all across the world  -your pupils!

Sincerely , Ivana Howcroft

WOW! GREAT PIC. congratulations and all the best for future adventures together. 

So glad we found you... my husband has finally decided that its Me time now and thanks Graham for encouraging him - its not all woodwork now.. besides full on B&b -- My Millinery Studio is nearly finished and full of materials and practice bits .. ready for my time create and maybe get some hat holders up for display this coming week.

Congratulations and Blessings for many more years!  You are a Great inspiration to me and many more.  I am learning more and more each day and review all the lessons. 

Congratulations!  You deserve a golden hatbox!  

Congratulations!  But wait, do we have the same husband?  Yours sounds just like mine!!!

Congratulations to you. You have had so many years of doing what you love, being successful, and enjoying it with a supportive and loving husband. Best wishes to both of you.

Susan Poirier

Great story....Support from family is priceless!  Congratulations!

My goodness 50 years!!!! A huge well done... So wonderful to have such good support too.
My husband is my first point on any new piece I make, I totally value his opinion and input!

BEAUTIFUL story Elaine.  Love your hat box.  May God continue to bless your and your husband, family and business.  LOVE this site.

Hello nice of you to ask.

Congrats on your 50th.c

 My husband of 59 years  encouraged me to switch from sewing crafts to designing and sewing rag dolls (at 50 years old)  then on  to sculpting clay dolls,then on to making mannequin heads & designing a web page

He not only encouraged me, he gave me space to grow... and since our four children were now grown.... grow I did. 

As I look back...I wonder about  how this all came about for me.  I decided that  "I was too dumb to know I could not do something".  Actually, I know I wasn't dumb at all, but that's the way I like to put it with a smile.

Now  to you and your husband's great hat box.  I love the clever way he worked the scallop edge around the box and anchored the scallops with studs.  It is really quite beautiful.

You are a cute couple....very complete.  

I am a collector of at least 60 vintage hats...and since I am a mannequin head maker...they are each on a head.  Thanks much for Hat Academy.  I am almost 83 and if I had it to do over, I would be a milliner.


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