AJ Pickard

AJ Pickard, Milliner / AJ’s Mad Hattery

Skilled seamstress and quilt-maker, AJ Pickard, got her start in Millinery by creating hats for church tea parties.  She wore the hats to church in order to get people excited about the tea parties.  Her church friends starting putting in requests for hats before the tea parties and wearing her hats to church.  “I got to see my art worn every week.” AJ smiles.  “We seldom truly ‘dress’ for events.” she continues, “It makes everything more fun.”

A road trip through New Orleans inspired her to add to her collection.  ” Strolling down Royal Street in New Orleans, I came upon a shop called Fleur de Paris.  The beauty of the window display lured me like a siren song. The hats were exquisite.   They were made of the finest materials, with antique jewelry and fine feathers.  They were all carefully hand-made.   Movie stars, heads of state, and Kentucky Derby patrons all purchased hats in this beautiful store.”  “I wanted to make these hats.”

Each hat is one of a kind.  AJ’s hats have to speak to her.  Like all artists, she may set them aside because they are not communicating.  If it isn’t exactly what she wants, it gets taken apart and added back to the stash.  Theme work is her favorite.  She’s created specialty hats for Christmas, St. Patrick’s Day, Steampunk Weddings, Valentine’s Day and of course, Halloween.  “I had nurses purchase the Halloween themed hats to wear on their ward on Halloween.  They were definitely a hit.”  “These hats are just fun.  When people put them on, they light up.”

AJ experimented with dozens of different patterns.  She invested in a basic pattern from a Milliner in England.  Altering it over the years before achieving the exact look she wanted.  She is constantly on the hunt for eye-catching materials.  She demands high-quality fabrics like silks, satins, cottons and wool.  She purchases her Millinery-made Buckram from a specialty store in Indiana, and buys many of her feathers and laces over-seas.  Her repeat customers are a testament to her meticulous attention to detail and finish work.  Her hats range from $50 to $250.  With her mini top hat- the most popular right now.

AJ can be reached at (808)291-3266.  She works out of her home in Carmichael, CA.  AJ lives with her family and her muse, a Springer Spaniel named Wailea.   She incorporates themes and inspiration from her years of living in Hawaii and from her vivid imagination.  View her work online at ajsmadhattery.wordpress.com.  Her attention to detail stems from a life-long love of sewing and quilting.  Her work is popular and hand-crafted.  Please leave plenty of time for special orders.  Send requests to ajsmadhattery@gmail.com.

~“Love the hat, wear the hat, be the hat!”

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