I'm starting out with the millinery game, and have just put up a facebook page and starting to design a website. I am starting to attract some interest and have some people wanting to place custom orders, i was wondering if any of the wiser and more developed milliners have maybe a few things to talk about with a client when discussing orders?

If anyone has any advice that would be FANTASTIC!

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My advice would be to cover the following in your initial correspondence:

(1) What type of event are they intending to wear the hat to and when is the event (weather, season and type of event dictates whether a felt or sinamay hat would be more suitable for example)

(2)  Are they looking for something small or big, classic or quirky? Obviously the type of event also affects this. Are they a regular hat wearer?

(3) Do they have an outfit in mind that they want to colour/ style match the hat with. Obtain photos if possible.

(4) Do they have a particular style in mind or a trim which they love or hate (I have one client who detests feathers for example). Do they prefer to wear a hat on the right or left side of their head?

(5) Give them your "bespoke" price range and ask them if they have a set budget. Stick to your guns on pricing!

I hope this is helpful. Best of luck!


Just wanted to add headsize, face shape and stature.

Yes- good point, thanks!

This is the client consultation sheet I find invaluable 

It can be used for face to face consultation or a phone or online consultation 

I sketch the headpiece or hat once style decision is made & email or show them finished design details. 

Choose a right hand side or left hand side view. 

It helps me keep a permanent record of client to add to  my client data base. 

The list of info required ensures all areas are covered in the consultation.

Hat Order Form_#hatacademy.pdf Hat Order Form_#hatacademy.pdf

Thank you! thank you!  This Hat Oder Form is just what I needed for all the reason you stated.

I also point the new client to my Lookbook on my website so they get a feel for the designs I make, then ask if any one in particular speaks to their ideas.

Get 50% down on order. If they put money into it, they'll stick with you. Skip it, and you'll end up owning their hat more often than not. 

Couldn't agree with you more, Emily! Excellent advice I would recommend should be followed by every professional milliner.  

Thankyou for off of the wonderful suggestions! It makes it so much easier when you use tried and tested methods! will keep all of the suggestions in mind!

Ditto!!! Diito!!!

Hello can you tell me how to go about getting design my website I am just starting out in millinery and it is little struggle so if millinery can give me some advise I will  be glad to hear it. 

Oops Elaine - the hat order form PDF is no longer linking. Would you mind posting it again? I got a commission job today! Woohoo! :) -Cara


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