The Hat Woman

For as long as I can remember, I’ve had a bit of a thing for hats!

When I was knee high to a grasshopper, I proudly exclaimed to my mum that one day I would live in France, have six children and become a fashion designer. Kids say such silly things, don’t they? But it just so happened, those three wishes came true.

I can hear your jaw dropping at the thought of six kids. And yes, you’re right, it was a bit of a bold move.

As a young girl I was lucky enough to be surrounded by a network of very creative and inspiring people. My mum made a lot of my clothes when I was young, and my nan could knit a cardie quicker than you could make a cuppa. Despite my creative genes and keen interest in fashion, I opted for the safe and secure route of a career in banking. When I was 19, I met my husband. Little did we know at the time, that we would be sat here in France all these years later surrounded by six wonderful kids (that one took a lot of convincing) and a house full of sewing supplies. Steve is the backbone of Delisa, and the brutally honest cog in the quality control machine.

It was in 2002 that we made the life altering decision to move abroad, in search of a calmer, more simplistic lifestyle. We lived the “little house in the prairie” lifestyle for many years in rural France, surrounded by more farmyard animals than you can imagine, growing our own veggies and greeting our neighbors with a smiley “Bonjour!”.

As a proud member of a quirky creative friend group built around school runs and coffee breaks, one of my dear friends’ birthday was approaching at an alarming rate. And I had come up with the perfect gift, a handmade hat. With absolutely no experience in hat making, despite my sewing skills, it took me several weeks to perfect a pattern and subtly try and figure out her head size. Let’s just say the rest was history.

There is nothing quite like making something with your own two hands and witnessing the happiness that creation can bring out in someone. It came as a bit of a revelation. This is what I am meant to be doing!

Whilst juggling six kids, a loving husband, a Labrador, a dove, homework supervision and a full-time job, I created my online shop in January 2011. The following year, we decided as a family that it was time for a new challenge. We hopped in the car and made our way to the South of France. After soaking up some sun and fitting into our new lifestyle, we opened our first Delisa shop in May 2014.

I don’t think you can underestimate the volcano of emotions that hits you smack in the face when you are finally handed that key. All of a sudden, everything you’ve ever wanted and been so excited to get started, is right there in front of you. Our beautiful little boutique was the inspiration hub for so many more designs, ideas, photoshoots and collection launches. Not only hats! The infectious passion grew to bags, pouches, clothing, silk scarves…. The list goes on.

Soon, our beautiful little boutique was overflowing with “Frenglish” inspired fashion accessories. A few years into this beautiful adventure, Steve and I looked each other in the eyes, and we both knew, it’s time to expand.

Keep an eye on our website to find out more about our next adventures.

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