The end of July. WHAT?

I can’t believe the end of the month is nigh! Just five months left of 2011. Only one full year till the 2012 Olympics commences. My oldest friend just had her third baby. And…I’m still lame at writing regular blogs.

Meanwhile, St Saviours is now nine months old… the incubating period is over, and it is now a proper little business. Well, sort of.

At the end of August, I will no longer be a paid, full-time employee of the company that I’ve worked for over the last three years. I will now be dependant on St Saviours to help get through the mortgage and bill payments every month = SCARY. Matt and I need to make St Saviours bigger and better, and grow from the Market Stall into the High Street (*exciting* but more on this at a later date). 

Before we hit the High Street, we’ve been trialling the hats at some UK Festivals. Lovebox took place this month, and made us feel… well, old. Particularly the week afterwards, when we felt exhausted after working the three (measly) days of the Festival – till 11pm each day mind you!  We also felt old amongst all the cool young things. However, if you check out our photos, you’ll see that there were plenty of ‘colourful’ (and not so young) characters at the event too.

Our festival top hats were a hit, and people also loved our tried and tested ‘market’ styles. Interestingly, the lower cost straw hats weren’t so popular – though this could have been down to, a) the torrential and persistent rain, or, b) the fact that Gaymers Cider were giving out FREE STRAW HATS. Nice one, Gaymers.

Summer Daze

Another gorgeous summer day in London

Next month we will be at Wilderness Festival, which is much smaller, and then in September, we’ve planned to head to Bestival on the Isle of Wight. This is a much more logistically challenging event, so we need to do some serious planning and preparation in advance.

Before I get on to that planning/ preparation and stop procrastinating, here’s a quote from a book I’ve just been lent. Obstacles are those frightful things you see when you take your eyes off your goal. I’ll keep this in mind and hopefully St Saviours will be 1% as successful as Ford motor cars.

Over-the-counter medicines are very effective.

Matt and I love designing and making our hats, and then selling them direct to our wonderful customers each weekend. Yes, I admit, sometimes we have to remind ourselves about this ‘love’ when we’re up late on a Saturday night stitching and preparing for Sunday Up Market after a week working the Day Job. But, when it comes down to it, it really is such a pleasure to see someone else enjoy the fruits of your labour.

Pleasure and happiness is something I’ve been reading up on lately. I seem to be at the age of asking… “Is this it?” and “Am I happy?”

I was reminded of a passage from great book, The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin, the other day when I eventually took some paracetamol for a headache. I thought I would pop it up here (mainly for my own sake!).

THE SECRETS OF ADULTHOOD.

  • People don’t notice your mistakes as much as you think.
  • It’s ok to ask for help.
  • Most decisions don’t require extensive research.
  • Do good, feel good.
  • It’s important to be nice to everyone.
  • Bring a sweater.
  • By doing a little bit each day, you can get a lot accomplished.
  • Soap and water remove most stains.
  • Turning the computer on and off a few times often fixes a glitch.
  • If you can’t find something, clean up.
  • You can choose what you do; you can’t choose what you like to do.
  • Happiness doesn’t always make you feel happy.
  • What you do every day matters more than what you do once in a while.
  • You don’t have to be good at everything.
  • If you’re not failing, you’re not trying hard enough.
  • Over-the-counter medicines are very effective.
  • Don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good.
  • What’s fun for other people may not be fun for you – and vice versa.
  • People actually prefer that you buy wedding gifts off their registry.
  • You can’t profoundly change your children’s natures by nagging them or signing them up for classes.

Paracetamol is very effective.

Blog envy

Our aspirations of writing regular blogs on interesting, insightful and witty topics are failing. Dismally. I read other blogs and think “yes, I agree”, “how astute”, and, “I did not know that” – yet when it comes to thinking up something mildly relevant to write about here… I struggle. And, may I ask, where do these people find the time?

(Well, good news for me: there’s one paragraph written already).

By way of a bullet-point based update, here are some things that have been happening at St Saviours towers of late.

  • We are planning on taking St Saviours to three festivals this year. Bestival on the Isle of Wight, Lovebox down the road in Victoria Park and Wilderness which is somewhere in Oxfordshire. This is tres exciting for us both.

Bestival, on the Isle of Wight

  • We’ve had some great commissions of late including; a hat for a very trendy groom, one to be shipped off to Michigan (yes, Michigan, AMERICA!), bespoke sunhats for Wimbledon and York Races, plus a specially created top hat in the style of ‘Steam Punk’ sent to France…
  • We may have found storage near our Sunday market, which will negate the vile weekly car-loading experience each Sunday morning/ evening.

On our way to Sunday Up Market

  • Someone completing a degree in advertising has asked to use St Saviours as a case study for a project.

Interesting stuff…for us. But for you, dear reader? Perhaps not so much.  

(Parents, will of course, find this blog incredibly riveting!!).

Anyway, back to my trouble with blogging. Here’s a quote that probably sums up the problem: If you want to make an easy job seem mighty hard, just keep putting it off.

Till next time.

Hats off the to Royals

So it was Catherine and William’s (err, I mean Kate and Wills) Big Day yesterday. It was very exciting to be in London, and so great to see lots of happy people both along the wedding route and across the UK. It was good news too for hats, as there was a lot of interesting headgear to look at, particularly amongst the wedding guests. Some of it not so great… Princesses, it was NOT a fancy dress party…

Eugenie and Beatrice

Eugenie and Beatrice wearing some dubious hats - and Eugenie... that dress?!

I quite liked VB’s ‘look’ though this could have been more to do with her arm candy, Mr Beckham. It was a little sombre for a wedding, and I think a smile would have lightened things up a bit, but I still thought she looked elegant (bit less makeup next time though Posh).

Posh Spice and Golden Balls

Posh and Becks looking posh at the Royal Wedding

Nick Clegg’s wife, Miriam González Durántez, put in a better show than Sam Cam who did NOT wear a hat (shock horror!) but wore something (what to call it?) that may have been picked up at Accessorize.

The Coalition

Lib Dems beat the Tories in the hat-stakes

Our friend Valerie Corona at Walter Wright made Princess Anne’s hat, which looked lovely, suiting her perfectly.

Princess Anne sporting a Valerie Corona design

Meanwhile, at 6am, we knocked up some almost Beatrice-esq boater hats (in terms of style… or lack there of). Modelled here, by our lovely friend Jane.

St Saviours boater whipped up for the Royal Wedding

So, the question is – when will Harry get hitched? We want to see what sort of hats Beatrice and Eugenie can possibly wear next…

Catwalk Hats

During a cross-London drive last Sunday night, we passed a very busy looking Old Billingsgate Market. What on earth are all these hot young Alexa Chung look-alikes doing hanging about the City on a Sunday night, we wondered. Then remembered it was London Fashion Week.

London Fashion Week 2011

Obviously we’ve been championing the Return of the Hat, but it has come to our attention that we’re not the only ones. Thanks to Colin Firth in The King’s Speech, oh and the likes of Margaret Howell…

Hats on the catwalk

….And Caroline Charles…

More hats on the catwalk

… and Dr Who…

Matt Smith working the bowler

…hats seem to be everywhere. Key looks include bowlers, dressage top hats and wool-felt fedoras: all very wearable and are easy ways to update tiring winter outfits.  (And oh yes, they’re all on sale at St Saviours).

Check out the LFW website for more hats, bags, shoes, gorgeous clothes and celebs…. x

Where it all began…

Hello! After trading our wares over the last four months at London markets in Brick Lane, Greenwich and Notting Hill,  we’re very excited to (finally) welcome you to our new website, constructedinlondon.com

As it happens, we are writing this inaugural blog post from Perth in Australia where the concept of St Saviours was conceived. It was while we were in Australia in 2009/10 for our extravagantly long SEVEN WEEK holiday, that we found ourselves feeling rather uninspired by the run-of-the-mill hats that all looked the same – both in Australia and London. We decided to jazz up a simple straw hat bought on Rottnest Island with some beautiful vintage ribbon that Kate found in her old bedroom closet. And there it was, a stylish fun hat that no one else had. A one of a kind, unique – but wearable hat. The joy.

And here it is!

Matt modelling our first customised hat at the Leeuwin Estate in Margaret River

Then it started, we were hooked. We began redesigning all our old hats, and before we knew it* we were buying wholesale and then creating a…  well, what can only be described as a “COLLECTION” (sounds grand) – and we took on a weekend market stall. This all started in October ’10, and thanks to talking and meeting with the lovely market shoppers across London, we now have customers in Kansas City, France, Australia, Spain, Italy and, of course, London to name a few. We are also very, very excited to have our first Wholesale client that is the beautiful boutique called Lily, in Belgium.

Anyway, here we are, welcome to our site, and keep checking back for posts about hats, fashion, news, views and reviews….

"Business meeting" at The Luxe, Spitalfields

Talking heads.

Matt + Kate XX

* when we say “before we knew it” it actually took us an age to get our name, branding, logo and so on agreed and ready – but we’re so happy we spent the time and effort to get St Saviours right. Thanks especially to the terrible bank man at Barclays Canary Wharf who ‘helped’ teach us about online search engines. Grrr.