I have always loved making things. One gran taught me how to knit, and the other to sew, and my grandad taught her how to make paper flowers.
However, I studied Russian at University and then became an IT auditor as a career. The creativity didn’t stop, and I made my own wedding cake, decorated with hand moulded sugar flowers.
It was attending a ‘hat making taster day’ at the Victoria and Albert Museum in 2009 that I finally found my craft. My job meant that I would be frequently living out of a suitcase, and so from that point on, I packed a ‘hat making kit’ along with my business attire.
I made felt hats on Eurostar, silk flowers in Zagreb, and folded ribbon rosettes on a plane, sitting next to the voice of Spongebob Squarepants. I also managed to acquire fabrics, trims and magazines from around the globe
Holidays were spent taking hat making courses. Over the years I have studied with many milliners including Justine Bradley-Hill, Louise MacDonald, Bridget Bailey, Ian Bennett, Vesna Pecic and Lina Stein.
“… Thank you so much for my beautiful hat. I felt like I was wearing a piece of sculpture rather than a hat, and absolutely loved it. ”
The start of Mill House Millinery
At the end of 2018 I hung up my corporate hat, came back to the UK, and turned my passion into a business.
I now make hats at my home studio, a windmill, just outside Saffron Walden on the Cambridgeshire/Essex border. Hence the name Mill House Millinery
My hats are named after places and locations that have captured my imagination. I also like to combine maths and geometry, and many of my designs contain an element of origami.
I also love to support local business, and endeavour to incorporate local silk, woven in Sudbury in Suffolk in my designs. The millinery wire comes from Essex, too. A case of inspired globally, created locally.
“… What is not love about the wonderful Susan and Mill House Millinery. I have only previously purchased a beautiful headband and when occasion arises I will be seeking further headwear. I have recently purchased a number of stunning masks for myself, friends and my military serving husband who needed a larger mask. If you have to wear a mask wear one with true style. This is what these masks are for us. Beautifully made, quality material, excellent price and brilliant service. I cannot recommend Susan & Mill House products enough. Thank you xxx…”
“… Susan made me a beautiful bespoke headband which I absolutely adore! Great service, giving me updates throughout the process and shipping took less than 24hrs when it was dispatched! I highly recommend….”