Hats off…

A few years ago I found myself roaming the shores of the British Virgin Islands… on a sailing vacation… checking out the local scenery, the beautiful waters, the Soggy Dollar Bar. We came across this boutique that carried wonderful clothes and fabulous hats.  I tried a few on.  Maybe it was the salt air… maybe the tanned skin… maybe the burst of freckles across my face… but the hats looked amazing and I wondered why nobody made them anymore the way they used to.

A hat can change your mood… you wear them when you’re in the right one… or when you want to lift your spirits. I’m not referring to the “holy crap I can’t believe I have to shovel AGAIN” kind of a hat!  I’m talking about a “look at me aren’t I FABULOUS” hat!

Being that I’m the Queen and all… I look forward to when a member of the Royal Family gets married, does a walkabout or attends the Kentucky Derby!  Mainly for the hats!  Remember Vivian from “Pretty Woman” dressed to kill at the polo match… now that was a hat!  A few girlfriends and myself went to Sex and the City last night… again… great lids… and one simply ridiculous tuxedo adornment… but who am I to critique… she knew how to wear it… sort of!!

There’s just something about making a statement with a hat… like putting the finishing bow on top of a present.  It’s that “what’s in here is awesome can’t you tell from the packaging” feeling that leaves you dying to discover what’s inside.

I’ve always been kind of enthralled with people who wear hats.  You wonder where they get their confidence to don the big straw one or the silly floppy one… the one that looks amazing with the luxurious winter coat or simply breathtaking with the flip flops and beach cover up… then there’s the darling one just for gardening!  They stand out.  You notice…. you can’t help yourself!

Arriving in Lunenburg two years ago, Anna Shoub was born in Montreal, raised in Toronto, danced in NY, followed her heart to Marblehead and then to the country in upstate NY.  She, her husband Tony and their son Dusty started planting their roots in Lunenburg after finding a photograph of the lovely town online and realizing it was where they belonged… more like Marblehead… bicycles with flowers in the front baskets…  boutique shops and lovely people… quaint. They fit in.

Tony is a woodworker specializing in custom furniture and boat building, with a belief in his craft… doing things the traditional way… sanding things smooth… scraping to the bones… making it last… beautiful bright work with attention to detail… to history.  Finding a community of boat builders was the perfect place.  They have a respect for the old ways… for quality… for family values and traditions.  These two artists… have found their place… with each other… and Dusty… in a small sailing town… not unlike Marblehead.

Anna is a milliner.  Her hats are divine.  She waves a goodbye to her son in the morning as he heads out on the big yellow bus… then gets to work… but she’s there to greet him again at the end of the day!  He’s first and foremost and she’s just like the rest of the busy moms out there.  Lucky. Loved. Tired. Working late at night when he’s settled in bed again… everything suffers just a bit… except for him!  He’s number one.  And that’s ok. He’ll grow up too soon… everything else can wait… just for a little while.

Color combinations… flowers…. details… are Anna’s passion.  She says that making a hat is a little like baking a cake in that “you get to put the icing on.”… and anyone who eats cake knows… it tastes wonderful… but it’s so much better with the icing!  She pays attention to the little things… all the while thinking of the milliners who came before her… paving the way with their little works of art… she’s now walking in their shoes… and making stunning hats to match. 

This fabulous artist uses the finest quality materials… fleece from Massachusettes, hand dyed wire ribbons from California, silk from France.  Her works are sold in boutique shops throughout North America and are made right here in picturesque Lunenburg.  Anna is new to Nova Scotia, so she delights in chasing the local farm markets and craft fairs to get her name out there… but her hats are pretty well known in other parts of the world… just ask Courtney Love!

No matter your age… no matter the occasion… Anna has a hat with you in mind.  It’s yours… was made for you… and will make everyone notice.  Trust me, you look great in it!

Hats off to you my friend… we’re so happy you’ve found your home… your place… your passion.  We’re so happy you’re sharing it with the rest of us!

For pictures of Anna’s hats and details on ordering from her Etsy site, check out Anna’s website at www.hatjunkie.com or follow her blog at www.hatjunkie.blogspot.com

Anna can be found every second weekend at the Hubbards Farm Market or walking with Dusty through the beautiful streets of Lunenburg… she’s the one wearing the fabulous hat! 

6 Replies to “Hats off…”

  1. I've caught 5 rats in my garden in the past 2 days. I'll skin them and make you a nice charcoal grey hat. Just like chinchilla!

  2. What a lovely post on a beautiful subject! I've had the pleasure of meeting Anna and giggled when you said that she could be found walking with her son wearing a fabulous hat – because this is exactly how I first met her! Outside of the computer, that is…

  3. That's funny Andrea! I look forward to meeting her in person some day myself… might make my way down to the Hubbards market one of these weekends!

  4. Thanks so much for the beautiful interview. You make my life so much lovelier sounding than the mound of dishes and laundry that stand in front of me at this very moment. Would just have to add that being at the local farm markets is actually what I love best and will never give up no matter how popular my hats may become. Ultimately, It's about meeting and hatting my neighbours. Way more fun for me than hatting Courtney. Thanks a million for the promotion and hope to meet you soon. Anna