Meet the Milliner

Charleston Milliner Natalie Simmons is the creative force behind Carolina Millinery Company, she specializes in handmade hats for women and men. Her signature styles are often inspired by the 1920-1940's.

After spending her entire childhood dreaming of becoming a Fashion Designer when she grew up, in her senior year of college she was introduced to the not so lost art of Millinery. She quickly fell in love! Unfortunately only one course was offered. After finishing school and with every book on millinery she could find she moved back to her home town of Charleston, South Carolina. She quickly found that courses offered where not easily accessible to her. She self-taught for several years before having the great opportunity to tutor informally with several Master Milliners thru these opportunities she gained the knowledge needed to handcraft hats of the highest quality.
Eleven years later Natalie continues to hand block (shape), sew, and trim each hat one by one using the millinery techniques she was taught and continues to learn. She creates designs that range from simply beautiful to wildly whimsical. In 2009 she launched Carolina Millinery Company turning the company from a hobby into a small business creating hats for personal clients and private labels for high end retailers.
In 2007 she competed in the Hat Magazines International Hat Designer of the year competition. She was one of twelve designers to be chosen to continue to round two of the competition. While she did not advance to the final round of the competition the opportunity to compete among Elite Milliners was a great honor. In 2012 one of her hats was chosen for the Kentucky Derby Hat Museum’s hat exhibit. The hat will be featured in the museum’s collection until May 2013.

If you can’t find Natalie in her studio, she’s enjoying life in the Beautiful Historic Charleston. She enjoys trips to Kiawah for its beautiful beach, antique shops, visits to the museums, strolling thru Downtown Charleston, and just being crafty with her Daughter, who by the way is becoming a Carolina hat girl herself!

Today you can find her hats in online via her website, Etsy, select retailers and personally at the Charleston Farmers Market in Marion Square every Saturday morning. She takes commissions for custom request, and welcomes private label clients.

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