Welcome to our “Spotlight On…” segment!
In this series of interviews, we shine a spotlight on creatives to uncover what makes their personal brand so strong and, well, creative.
Meet Katherine Elizabeth of Katherine Elizabeth Millinery, an award-winning British designer specializing in luxury bespoke, custom hats. And as you will soon see in this post, her creations are truly fabulous.
Here’s our interview:
Has creativity always been a central part of your personal brand? If not, when did it start to become more prominent in your life?
I have always been a creative, ever since I can remember, I started drawing when I was young and then moved onto textiles and fashion. At the end of university, I discovered millinery from a tutor who also worked for Frederic fox, he was a milliner to the late queen mother.
She showed me a hat that she had cast from rocks and I was hooked, I realised that millinery was art, fashion, sculpture and textiles all in one! It’s amazing to be able to create pieces of art that you can wear.
How do you express your creativity, as part of your personal brand, on a daily basis?
I like to create something new every day, or at least start something if I don’t have time finish it. I love to be creative and come up with wacky ideas but I usually have to tone them down in order to sell the pieces. It’s a wonderful day when I can let myself go and create whatever I want.
I also put on a lot of millinery events for private groups and corporate hospitality, this enables me to meet other people who love the idea of creating but haven’t had the chance to explore it.
It keeps me motivated because I have to think creatively on my feet. It’s also lovely to see the joy on people’s faces once they have created something that they never thought they could.
Does being creative generally flow, or do you have to coax it out?
It depends how I am feeling, to create I usually need uninterrupted time and that can be hard to come across when you are running your own business. I have to run the business, market it, design the products and make them so it can be hard.
I absolutely love it when I am on a role and ideas come out of my head, it’s really exciting to start with one idea and end up with something totally different.
Today I wanted to design a small pink headpiece, that’s all I new and it ended up being a sculptural rose with an animalistic twist.
What would you say are some of your core values, and do you tend to turn to them in your creative work?
Honesty, ambition, enthusiasm, integrity.
- Taking pride in offering a quality product
- Demanding attention to detail
- Promote craftsmanship
- Great customer service
- To behave ethically, honestly, courteously and enthusiastically
What or who inspires you?
I am always inspired by great artists, sculpture, architecture, nature and experiences. My favourite artists are:
– The late Alexander McQueen
– Vivienne Westwood
– Stephen Jones
– Phillip Treacy
– the late Zaha Hadid
– Thomas Heatherwick
What advice would you have for someone who would like to express more creativity as part of their personal brand? Any specific advice for those initiating a creative career?
Wow there is so much to say on this subject. Firstly if you don’t feel creative get out side and get some inspiration, take a notebook so you can scribble notes and scratches to take back to the studio. Designing is a process. First, let yourself go, this stage is the exciting time, express yourself and get all your crazy ideas out.
Second, pick a few designs from that collection to explore and develop.
Third, this is the time to tone those ideas down to a more commercial level, making sure that your ethics, core values and brand are integral to the designs. Don’t be hindered at the beginning by any constraints or social influences.
To learn more about Katherine and her designs, check out www.katherineelizabethhats.com.