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Felicity Boevink is a Brisbane based milliner and designer. She has created beautiful millinery for her label “Felicity Boevink Millinery” since 2008.

Felicity Boevink makes millinery for every occasion from daywear to racewear and bridal millinery. Her collections are a celebration of craftsmanship, colour, texture and form. She is known for incorporating irreplaceable vintage materials into her work. Most of her pieces are ‘one-off’ and her collections focus on creativity, craftsmanship and quality.

Originally from Brisbane, Felicity studied fashion in Melbourne at RMIT. She worked in Melbourne as a garment designer with her own streetwear label (Two For The Show) for many years. She also designed for Pacific Brands Australia. She established her thriving millinery practice after returning home from Melbourne to Brisbane.

Felicity explores the whimsical, sculptural aspects of millinery and views millinery as the natural playground for the intersection of art and fashion.

“It’s the place where art and fashion meet with joy,” Felicity says.

All of Felicity’s work is hand crafted in her Brisbane studio. She uses the finest couture millinery techniques, designing, hand blocking, making trims and embellishments, and hand finishing all of her work.

Her millinery has been shown at the Mercedes Benz Australian and Brisbane Fashion Festivals. Felicity Boevink Millinery is a favourite of Brisbane and national stylists like Kimberly Gardner and Laura Churchill.

Felicity Boevink Millinery is currently available at The Millinery Pop Up Shop level 1 Queen’s Plaza, Brisbane. The shop is a wonderland of exquisite hats that Ms Boevink runs in collaboration with two colleagues, Martina McGrath and Meg Rafter. Felicity’s spring racing pieces sell out every year. Her success is a testament to her dedication to the art of millinery.

You can explore big ideas and learn tips and tricks for fancy hat-making from the master herself as part of the Coming into Fashion exhibition at The Arts Centre Gold Coast, this December 9 (all ages workshop, adults too!) and create a wonderful piece to take home…

Sat 9 Dec | ArtLab Millinery Magic (this workshop for all ages, adults too!)
More info // www.theartscentregc.com.au

Q&A with Felcity Boevink

What was your inspiration to start your own business?
I‘ve worked in the fashion industry for small and large companies for more than 20 years. Starting my own business enabled me to express my personal artistic vision and work directly with clients.

Bespoke millinery is a little different to most fashion enterprises. It sits on an intersection between fashion, art and high craft. It’s a place where I love to play.

When did you know the timing was ‘right’?
I didn’t.  Although millinery is undergoing a resurgence I couldn’t have predicted the success of my business. It was more of a burning desire to express myself that I just couldn’t ignore.

How did you make your big break?
I haven’t really had a single big break. It’s more like a series of small steps each one leading up the path of a very very steep mountain. If you put your heart and soul into your work, then when you achieve a small goal another door usually opens.

I live by my mantra – always do your best and be nice to everybody.

What was your training prior to starting your own business?
I’ve been surrounded by the fashion industry for my whole life. My father was a clothing manufacturer and I studied fashion design at RMIT. I fell into Millinery as a “hobby” when my children were young. To gain the skills needed I studied for three years at Mt Gravatt TAFE in Brisbane. It’s a very complex and demanding craft. I’m still learning everyday.

What are the biggest challenges of being a mum and a businesswoman?
Time! Time! Time! The spring racing carnival means being awake and working at 4am and often going through to 11pm at night. The best thing I have ever done is to decide that life is too short for housework.

What is your top tip for maintaining a work/life balance?
I don’t think I have one. I love my art and it permeates all aspects and every day of my life. I’m so happy when I’m working. Even though a project may occasionally frustrate me I have to be busy. I feel extremely privileged to be working in the fashion industry and making beautiful objects.

What is your biggest learning since starting your own business?
You must continually improve your skills. There’s always something new happening in the world and your industry. Keeping up to date and changing with the times will ensure longevity. Your ideas and opportunities today are only the beginning.

What do you do in your spare time to keep yourself sane?
I love running and swimming. I have a giant dog that needs a daily walk or run and I try to go to swim squad. It is like meditation for me. I think of nothing except the next step or taking the next stroke.

What’s one thing other mums should do who are looking to start their own business?
It’s a long slow road to success. You have so much to learn. Take it slowly and grow as your skills and knowledge grow. Don’t spend all your dollars on your first plan or in your first year – you need to have the resources available to evolve. You’ll start off getting more things wrong than right.

But most importantly enjoy the ride! Life is for living… embrace your dreams and vision. Go for it.

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