Milliner Chat – Leanne Cairns Millinery

Who is behind the Brand?

My name is Leanne and I am the Owner and founder of Leanne Cairns Millinery. We have been trading for 2 and a half years and have a wonderful local clientele who have supported us through our start up phase of the business.

We are a Scottish Millinery brand based from our studio near the seaside town of Troon, Ayrshire on the West Coast of Scotland, south of Glasgow. We design and create unique handcrafted millinery of all types, mainly  bespoke creations with a one to one service for all our clients. We also hire from a small collection and can re-model old to new. We pride ourselves on creating hats, fascinators and bridal headpieces with composed and considered hat design.

How did you start in Millinery?

8 years ago I started my journey into millinery. Before this, when I was a 17yr old, I wanted to go to study Fashion but never got accepted to course. Treehouse Designing became my 1st job after studying Interior Design. Being artistic and creative from a very early age , drawing, painting and sewing, then developing technical design skills in my later years, I feel it stood me good standing for when I eventually discovered making hats.

I was initially asked to create a fascinator for a family friend, she loved the result and then the word spread. I began trawling the internet, reading books and finding everything I could about making hats and started  practicing as a hobby initially being a stay at home carer. This then inspired me on to attend college  again at the age of 39 , learning the real traditional techniques of millinery. I can safely say that I was well and truly obsessed with hats and certainly had caught the millinery bug. This is when I decided to take the plunge and set up my own business and have certainly grown more and more in love with what I do and how I make people feel special, empowered and beautiful when they wear my unique designs, made especially for them. It’s the best job in the world!

What types of headwear do you make, who for and where does your inspiration come from?

Over our 2 years trading Leanne Cairns Millinery mainly create bespoke hats, hatinators, cocktail hats and a few bridal headpieces.  Mostly for Mother of the  Brides /grooms, wedding guests, brides and the occasional Racewear Pieces for Ascot , Grand National, etc. The  wedding industry has been particularly receptive to my style and we were awarded winner at the Scottish Wedding Awards this year for Accessory Provider of the Year 2020.

I would say for my bespoke work my inspiration mainly comes from the individual who is commissioning a design, I like to find out who my clients are, what they like, what their personality is and of course what they are wearing ( outfit in entirety ), this in turn  lets me give them options, show them what does or does not suit them before designing and creating for them.

For my Collections, I am and can be inspired by so many different  factors, materials, fashion trends, nature, industry, architecture, sculpture, or even pandemic situations, such as these uncertain times we are in just now, can make creativity soar into all different realms. The past four months have catapulted my creativity into areas that I would never have thought about going before, made me reflect on how to make it easier for potential customers to find me and purchase my unique designs in a more simple and quicker way.

Then I was invited to partner on  MillineryHUT, just at the moment when I was needing a platform to sell my collections on, it was a no-brainer for me……Quick, easy and simple online platform that will sell my work beyond my local area…..Just what I needed at just the correct time, Perfect! Thank you MillineryHUT.

The rest…well that depends on whether my designs  and creations inspire people and they like what they see. All I can say is that I have a real passion for people, for hats and for fashion. Every aspect of my millinery is designed and created with care, detail and quality materials. Above all my passion and desire to make everyone feel wonderful while wearing my work is certainly the best part of being in this fabulous industry, I just love being a milliner.

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