Mary Jo Stockman Paula Thompson's Profile

About

Hat Trix is a small workshop designing, sewing and trimming fashionable hats. Now in our fifth year, we make fabulous hats and bridal millinery.

We started showing our horses in carriage classes more than twenty years ago. Hats were part of showing, but there were very few sources for anything other than beach hats and gardening hats in the Midwest. Women drivers usually ended up wearing a straw sun hat or a man’s fedora. We wanted more hats.

My grandmother and her sister opened a millinery shop when they came from France over 100 years ago. The women in my family have always worn hats and I decided the solution to the hat shortage was learning to make hats; after all, I could sew and had design training.

I took classes from Jan Wutowski at Amuse Artisanal Finery in Wilmington, NC, when we…

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  • Female
  • Joined October 16, 2011

Favorite materials

feathers, sinamay, straw, fur, leather, felt, lace, velvet, crinoline

Shop

About

Hat Trix is a small workshop designing, sewing and trimming fashionable hats. Now in our fifth year, we make fabulous hats and bridal millinery.

We started showing our horses in carriage classes more than twenty years ago. Hats were part of showing, but there were very few sources for anything other than beach hats and gardening hats in the Midwest. Women drivers usually ended up wearing a straw sun hat or a man’s fedora. We wanted more hats.

My grandmother and her sister opened a millinery shop when they came from France over 100 years ago. The women in my family have always worn hats and I decided the solution to the hat shortage was learning to make hats; after all, I could sew and had design training.

I took classes from Jan Wutowski at Amuse Artisanal Finery in Wilmington, NC, when we spent our winters in the Sandhills. I learned how to block felt and straw to the desired shape; how to wire feathers, how to make flowers and other trimmings. My friend Paula thought the business made sense and I taught her what I had learned. We hired our friend Linda who is the most talented sewist I have ever seen. Give her 24 hours and she could sew a building complete with dome and cherubs.

We brought in a teaching milliner that specializes in sewn hats to teach us the tricks that make the difference between a nice hat and a great hat. We learned to ‘up-cycle' vintage furs and costume jewelry. We use the finest materials, silks, wool, and laces. We hand dye feathers to match the fabrics and hand bead lace to make each piece a unique work of art.

We now focus on fashion and wedding pieces as well as hats for carriage driving. We make hats because they are empowering. A hat can brighten your outlook and make you feel like you can take on the world. A hat is a celebration of individuality in a world that can make us feel more like numbers than miraculous works of art.

Life is short, wear a great hat!

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