MiVT: Swan & Stone Millinery

Published: Nov. 16, 2020 at 2:23 PM EST|Updated: Nov. 16, 2020 at 8:17 PM EST
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BRANDON, Vt. (WCAX) - On the brim of Rutland County, a business is making “cap-tivating” works of art.

Swan & Stone Millinery began after its two founders, Nora Swan and Samantha Stone, moved back to Vermont from New York City.

Stone started up a homesteading farm.

“And so I was felting and knitting and spinning and doing sort of crunchy things after living in New York City for 15 years," she said.

Swan worked on Broadway making hats from scratch and moved back to pursue her Ph.D.

After the two met through their kids, the two brains came together to work on something they both knew well, while paying homage to their home state.

“And we really wanted to create something that reconnected people with where it was coming from. So, that was sort of the initial impetus behind just even working together before we even decided that we were working on hats,” said Stone.

Now, the hats are made by hand in their studio in Brandon.

“Felt has an incredible memory. So just by getting it wet and stretching it over the blocks, and you put it exactly where you want it and it’s where this cord is really important actually. Once it dries it will hold its shape," explained Stone.

Much of their inspiration comes from Vermont and its landscapes, but their works can are worn around the world.

“Hats allow you to express yourself. Even if yourself today is very different than tomorrow, they sort of allow different moods. They’re the one accessory that really changes what you’re putting forward," said Stone.

Nowadays, most of their sales are done over Facetime or Zoom. Custom hats can take several weeks to make, depending on customer requests.

But beneath it all, it’s all about making the perfect hat for each client.

“When I say to customers, especially when they come into the booth and we’ve got a crowd around us and I say to them, you know, it’s just a matter of finding the right hat, they think I’m just sort of spewing my lines or whatever. But it is absolutely true," said Stone.

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