Business revisit: Joanne Edwards Millinery
This month we were excited to catch up with Joanne Edwards – London-based milliner and founder of Joanne Edwards Millinery.
12-months on since Joanne was last featured on the blog, and it has been a busy and incredibly successful year for her. From working with Sophie Ellis-Bextor, to collaborating with L.K.Bennett – Joanne is back to share her experiences:
Sophie Ellis-Bextor wears your designs in the Appletiser 50 Years campaign – how did that come about?
I had a call from the designer Olwen Bourke who I’ve previously worked with, and after hearing a little about what the project was about I immediately said yes! I designed and made six hats which reflected looks from the 1960’s onwards, modelled by Sophie at Ascot racecourse.
The photo shoot was held to celebrate 50 years of Appletiser, who were this year’s Royal Ascot sponsor. Sophie wears hats so beautifully, I was absolutely thrilled that she was our model.
You have run additional collaborations with L.K.Bennett – how have they gone?
We’ve had a fantastic summer so far doing more shopping events with L.K.Bennett. I have really enjoyed meeting more of their customers in new locations across London and building existing relationships with many of the customers I met during last year’s events.
I love being able to offer a product that women need during the busy summer wedding and racing season. Everyone I’ve met has been so generous with their feedback on my hats again this year, which is hugely encouraging!
You’re now running millinery workshops & courses – tell us about those
I’ve recently held floral garland workshops and will be teaching couture flower-making workshops later on this summer at Central Saint Martins. I enjoy sharing skills and helping to bring out creativity in others, so I’m particularly excited about this area of work.
What has been your biggest learning in the past 12-month?
Planning the next 12 months in advance. Millinery can be very seasonal and there are lots of quieter months, so lots of preparation and planning ahead of time is needed. It helps me make sure I work more efficiently with the time I have and helps to keeps me motivated!
And your biggest success to date?
Sophie Ellis-Bextor wearing my hats at Ascot was fantastic. I’ve also made many hats this summer again for Royal Ascot and family weddings, and I’m really excited to see my client base expand further.
I feel incredibly privileged each time I receive a photo from one of my customers – I feel really happy knowing that they’ve enjoyed wearing their hat!
What’s your top tip for moving from start-up to a successful business?
I am still learning, but participating in shopping events with L.K.Bennett has helped me understand more about my market. Building a good reputation is also imperative.
What’s next for Joanne Edwards Millinery?
Over the next 12 months I’m looking forward to running more workshops and I’m really excited about creating the new summer and bridal range, which I really hope my customers will love. I’m also hoping to continue to grow my private client base and online presence.