From The Great Gatsby, to the royal wedding, hats are all the rage.
For Cecilia Leibovitz it's more than a trend, it's a passion. She started Seski Millinery three years ago, creating heirloom quality hats all by hand. She makes them at the Art House in Craftsbury, a space dedicated to Northeast Kingdom Artists.
"They're for people who aren't afraid to go out there and have their personality right out there," Leibovitz said. It all started with a big dream. "One day I just decided, I want to do my own work now -- my own creations again," she said.
After having kids Leibovitz worked marketing other artists, but she had always loved making embroidery and ribbon creations. She thought hats might be the perfect spot to showcase her skills. She decided to go back to school, getting into the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City and studying hat making for two years. Leibovitz moved her entire family to the city on a whim. "It was a big risk. I didn't have any idea if I'd love it or not or if I could make them or not. I was pretty nervous," she said.
By the end of her first semester she started her business. She blocks and drapes most of her hats with high quality rabbit fur felt. They can range in price from $150 to $450. "It was something I felt like I was succeeding on. I was able to take my creativity and thoughts and transform them into something that looked good," Leibovitz said.
She's succeeded in finding an outlet for her ideas, but is still trying to find her fit. She's only sold a few hats so far in Vermont, but has a couple of steady clients in New York City. She just started a web site to try and increase sales and is hoping to get connected to the fashion or theatre world.
Reporter Gina Bullard: So you don't have to be going to a wedding to wear a fancy hat?
Cecilia Leibovitz: No. unlike it uses to be when it was part of a uniform, people can just play around with them now and there are no rules.
Reporter Gina Bullard: No. really? Where could I wear this?
Cecilia Leibovitz: I could think of a number of places.
Reporter Gina Bullard: Not to work.
Leibovitz says everyone is a hat person, you just have to find the right shape for your face.
Reporter Gina Bullard: It makes you feel so special.
Cecilia Leibovitz: Yes. Hats frame the face and bring a lot of attention, and people will be constantly stopping you and asking questions.
Turning heads with hats that are Made in Vermont.
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