Milliner: Hat Maker Millinery: Is the art of hat making
Hello, my name is Alisa Fleming and I am a milliner. My Love affair with hats began when I was 7 years old. I was a curious little girl and I use to be in awe at how my grandmother would transform herself into this beautiful goddess by simply donning a piece of art called a hat or chapeau. I was amazed and couldn't seem to get the images out of my mind. I became thirsty for that look. So I began wearing my own chapeaus. Okay, actually they were my grandmother's hats but I pretended that they were mines. I would wait til she went to work and I would play dress up in her closet where she housed her beautiful hats. Then I got caught with her most prized possession, a cute little dark brown cloche that hugged her head, but drowned mines. I forgot to put the brown hat back into the box labeled dark brown hat. I didn't have the mind set to know that at the time. Remember, I was only seven years old. Fast forward 34 years later, June 9th, 2006, I would get frustrated because I couldn't find the right hat, whether it was the size, look, or color. Suddenly I had a light bulb moment, the kind that Oprah always talks about. I thought how awesome it would be if I could make my own lovely chapeaus. That's the day I had a glimpse into my future and tapped into my passion. I began researching for online classes, how to books, and videos. Anything that would help me in this quest to a journey I knew that I was about to embark on. I found this little old lady by the name of Mertize Higgins out of Detroit Michigan, who had been making hats for 55 years. She owned Mertize Millinery on Woodard Ave near Mack Ave. I began taking classes with her on how to make fabric covered hats with buckram and before I knew what hit me, Chic Chapeaus was born. Chic meaning stylist and Chapeaus is French for hats. Our relationship was short lived because she passed away 6 months later. She was 85 yrs old at the time. So I had to self teach myself how to make, Sinamay, woolfelt, and straw hats by trial and error. I now have a home-based studio where I make my creations using traditional millinery techniques with wooden hat blocks and then sell them online. I also make custom made hats for customers, so feel free to inquire about something made especially for you.