Change of Address - Bye Salts Mill

Change of address for fittings & millinery making.. Why I've been a little quiet online of late!

The empty millinery studio mid move

At the end of June & nearly two weeks ago I finally officially finished moving the last of my millinery equipment and tools out of my studio at salts mill, after nearly 3 years there & 10 yrs of having a studio somewhere. So, for now I am no longer based at Salts Mill and the Piazza Offices. I am still based in Saltaire though and hats, veils & especially caps will definitely still be available to order for local collection and uk delivery.

As working from home is the current norm and as we all make changes to adapt to the new corona world, this just seemed the wisest move for now, for me anyhow! All the tools, hat blocks, materials and ten years of studio furniture (ahhhh) are currently squeezed into my tiny little house & shed, while I look for a smaller & better studio space for further down the line, and also to take a timeout to really focus on certain projects & do a reset. Not to mention because of the financial hit we've all experienced while industries completely shutdown and pause.

Studio move chaos Almost empty studio

Currently my one bed house is half studio half house, and I have maximised the space to within an inch of it's life, but it'll do for now! Genuinely it has been CHAOS packing it all up and rearranging and it's nearly pretty at home.. but not quite. I emptied a 5m x 3m room and moved it all into a tiny saltaire village one bed house that already had all my own stuff in it. And if you've been in any of those, they're quaint yeah, but they ain't designed for lots of furniture. So it has been a game of tetris and really narrowing it down to the bare essentials of a home first, then what do i actually need to access for use for everyday work.

Nancy the cat will sit on any new perch you give her 

But, this is just temporary, so as customers please watch this space or follow on instagram for more info, as things get reset and adapted! For now the online shop with ready to wear millinery pieces is currently closed, but just for now.. The Capalog however is open for online orders at www.thecapalog.com and small cap batches are still being made every week and face covering will probably be added shortly too.

Cap batches

Essentially corona has forced a lot of us as freelancers to re-evaluate a lot of things as we fall through the gaps & I know of many others who have done exactly the same and moved out of studios & had to make cut backs and adapt to the situation. But as freelancers we’ve also kinda built up a resilience to spanners in the works so to speak, so please bear with me as I figure out what this means! I'm totally not quitting, just trying to survive in the long run.

Empty desk syndrome. All shelving, no materials.. Building sign updates!

Sadly realistically it is going to take several months if not a couple of years for a few industries, such as theatre & the wedding industry (where I do a lot of work) to fully recover from the corona crisis, back to a fully functional state. So many theatres have closed already & I mean permanently closed, some have announced huge redundancies and I would put money on more following soon. Also future work this year, like yearly pantos and seasonal work, that a lot of people rely on each year has been cancelled too.

This has a huge knock on effect for everyone in the industry, people who work backstage, who make and sew costumes, who provide digs all year round to performers. So so many people effected. Shops are gradually reopening now, but it's already too late for shows that would have opened in 6 months. Yes the arts package that was announced will help, but it's not going to be enough to help everyone and personally from my 15 yrs of working in theatre, I don't think it will touch the sides, that's how big the situation is and already was in a pickle. 

For me I was already thinking of changing studio & changing how I work, so I'm really glad of a reset & this has been a much easier decision to make than it sounds! The capalog has been more of a focus for me lately than theatrical commissions anyway, even though I still really really want to save and protect that industry.

Future fitting studio layout experiments.. Hats & colour charts

Obviously it’s a lot more detailed and complicated than that.. there are sooo many factors to make a business work. You should have seen the length of the blog post I originally wrote about this topic & decided to save everyone from?! Although this one has become long again too..

Right before lockdown I had finally realised how I should have using my studio space for fittings and how much more I should focus on bridal veils again. I even had an ikea delivery the week of official lockdown with some bits of furniture to revamp the space. So one of the last things I did besides make scrubs in the studio was a few photos shoots re arranging furniture. Brainstorming future changes for reopening again and using the space to work out better visual merchandising & less focus on storage of old unused materials.

Seems obvious in hindsight but when you're burnout not so. It's also fucking sad & bittersweet to get a point in a studio move when you have half emptied the space and made it clearer and finally been able to see what it almost was and that you're totally not doing enough good photography and marketing and that might have helped earlier.. but it's also too late now, for that studio anyway.

Hats and hatbox floor close up Hat close up

Anyway watch this space for collection updates and changes and business announcements! Personally I am going to do whatever I can to make an income from my skills, focusing on selling caps online and resetting everything else and I know this is not the end of the road. 

Repainting Magnolia vs yellow Empty office and no trace of millinery left Magnolia paint sucks. Patterncutting a veil Close up of a bridal veil

Sidenote: magnolia paint sucks and colour is so much better... and I def need a massive table for future veil work.


Leave a comment