The story of Isabella Josie

Creativity, self-expression and that ‘feel good’ factor are at the heart of an Isabella Josie hat or headpiece. 

It all began with a love of design, gorgeous fabrics and a trusty vintage treadle sewing machine. My mum has always been an avid crafter and like her mum before, with her sewing room filled with tailors heads and unfinished hats, she encouraged me to express myself through my hands.  

Following university, I became a science teacher and although I loved working with the students and was able to use my creative skills to bring the curriculum to life, I felt that something was missing. 

Isabella Josie in her West Sussex millinery studio
Isabella Josie Blocking a Hat Millinery Workshop

For the last seven years I have been obsessed by hats and headwear. Millinery encompasses so many disciplines from sculpture, beading, ribbon work, flower making, design and stitching techniques that there is always something new to discover and learn. 

I have been lucky enough to have developed my ‘millinery magic’ from a range of prominent milliners whose work regularly adorns the head of The Queen, members of the royal family and numerous celebrities. I am grateful to all my tutors, Ian Bennett, Tracy Chaplin, Edwina Ibbotson, Dillon Wallwork and Rose Cory to name but a few. My eclectic training has allowed me to develop my very own elegant millinery style.

Today, under my own label, I create handcrafted luxury hats and headpieces for local and international clients for the horse racing events such as Ascot, Cheltenham, Aintree & Goodwood. I design bespoke hats and fascinators for wedding guests, brides to be and key bridal party members, such as the ‘mother-of-the-bride’ and ‘mother-of-the-groom’. Living in West Sussex, the renowned Goodwood Revival festival provides with me an ideal opportunity to create elegant hats and headpieces inspired by the1940s and 50’s,  which are eras I totally adore.  

A key quality of each Isabella Josie creation is that it should make each client not only look good, but feel fantastic and brim with confidence. I do this by working closely with our clients throughout the crafting process and by using high quality materials. 

Isabella Josie bespoke milliner
Charlotte Hawkins wearing Isabella Josie Handcrafted Headbands

To provide my clients with the ‘feel-good’ fact factor throughout the year, I have created a range of handcrafted headbands and hair accessories. Many of the styles, including the ‘Isabella Josie’ signature headwrap, have been designed to be worn in multiple ways to enable the wearer to style the accessory in a manner that reflects their personality and outfit. To have the ability to provide my clients with a little piece of daily luxury with a hair accessory as a special gift for a friend or loved one is an important part of my business. Our headbands and hair accessories have are worn by several celebrities. 

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