Felicity makes her move

Rebecca TurnerCountryman

A Broome-based milliner is bringing her colourful creations to a town near you, writes Rebecca Turner

Broome’s very own milliner, Felicity Brown, is touring the South West over the next few weeks, displaying her wares and taking orders for the up and coming race season across regional WA.

Felicity said the art of millinery has been a serious hobby of hers for many years, both before and since finding Broome, the colourful oasis of north WA that she proudly calls home.

“My millinery hobby started more than 15 years ago when I lived and worked on remote sheep and cattle stations, ” Felicity said.

“It came out of pure necessity, as we always went to the local races but also worked up until the day, leaving little time for purchasing wears.

“So I started altering existing hats and designing my own.”

Felicity said when she left station life and made Broome her home, ladies continued to send their hats to her for altering. So, after much research and excitement, she taught herself the basic techniques of millinery and created Hats by Felicity.

Her tour of WA, Milliner on the Move, was born from Felicity’s passion for creating headwear for the Australian outback, its people and travelling.

The first leg of Milliner on the Move began in May 2010, seeing Felicity travel to cattle stations in the Gascoyne, Pilbara and Kimberley regions with a collection of hats and head pieces.

“Following the positive feedback from my first tour, I have since received many suggestions of other areas I should visit. However, it was the suggestion that I attend Wandelca races in Kojonup that really caught my attention.

“I have left the itinerary quite loose, but I will be starting in Bunbury and heading to Eagle Bay on January 17, then travelling to Yallingup and eventually heading to Kojonup for the Wandelca race day.

“I already have people spreading the word that I will be in Kojonup for the races and plan to be there two to three days before the race.”

Felicity said since arriving in Perth at the start of January, she was also designing a piece for a Mandurah client to wear to next year’s Perth Cup.

She said while she had brought with her a collection of unique head pieces, orders would also be taken during the second leg of Millinery on the Move to be complete on returning to Broome.

Living in Broome means Felicity is constantly surrounded by endless inspiration from the local region with all creations handmade, ensuring every piece is unique.

Materials are sourced Australia wide with most millinery-specific resources freighted to Broome from Sydney and many of the feathers used collected by hand from remote cattle stations throughout the Kimberley.

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