Despite it all, Bloom | Modern Millinery

Millinery Operations with Kristin Silverman

I wrote a whole draft about the new categories on Etsy and the whole Three Bird Nest debacle, but it sounded like nothing but whining. The new categories are too new to really judge how they will work (though I am skeptical). We need the dust to settle there. And if you are remotely connected with Etsy you know about Three Bird Nest.

Instead, I’m going to offer something entirely positive. No whining.

(I have a rule for whining in my piano studio [my day job is piano teaching]. No whining until you are 13. No whining after you are 13. While you are 13, your body, life and mind are in such a state of chaos that I can take it. For one year only.)

I’m not 13 and so I shall not whine.

Sandra Leko owns one of the millinery supply companies in the US, Her stock is of the highest quality and she often has things no other has, particularly vintage supplies. She also has an absolutely wonderful Facebook feed that features a constant stream of beautiful hats from both historical and contemporary milliners. If you want a crash course on what has made an impression on millinery as an art, this feed is the place to do it.


Behida Dolic Millinery

Post by Leko Sandra.

Every once in a while, she offers her own thoughts about hats, beauty and the power of women. It’s a good reminder in this dead cold winter– so easy to forget what it feels like to be a woman when you’re wearing two sweaters.

Women have been hiding out for a long time, even dressing to hide as if to say, don’t notice me, let me blend. We have developed the ability of blending into our surroundings and being unnoticed. This was a powerful gift at the time. This ability has allowed us to observe and gain the ability to know what would happen next. It has also allowed us to feel safe. Blending has taught us the art of oneness. Women understand camouflage.

But new times require new strategies. It is time to drop our camouflage and take on our power as women. Anais Nin said, “There came a time when the risk to remain tight in the bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom”. 

When you wear a hat it is like medicine for the soul. The hat is the expression of who we are as women in every moment! The hat is your dreams of who you can be. It facilitates the different parts of who you are. With the wave a the hat, viola, you are mysterious, now you are sexy, now proper and now playful.

You cannot hide in a hat. You will be noticed-especially by men. To men you become a lady when you don a hat. One which they rush to open doors for. To women you become an inspiration, reminding them that they have a closet full of hats that they have not had the courage to wear.

When you wear a hat you now become the dream that started when the hat was conceived. The original energy that was put into the hat does not die, it only changes forms and owners. The dream doesn’t die, it is passed on, sometimes from generation to generation. And when you see a woman in a hat in the next car on the freeway the dream grows and we as woman acknowledge each others growth. It is the symbol of the feminine which is so needed for us to share such a vision. For I tell you, thus is how you will “GO AHEAD AND BLOOM”, Leko.

Yea. Go ahead and bloom. Despite being lost in categories. Despite Three Bird Nest. Despite arctic temperatures. Despite it all and more. We should bloom. Put on a hat and bloom.


Emily Moe is a milliner who, since 2007, has slowly been taking over the world of Millinery and captains the Milliners of Etsy, a collective of artistan hat-makers from around the world. She lives with her husband in Minnesota and gets up to all kinds of creative mischief.

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