About the artist

Laurie Havas in Derby Style Straw Hat

As a young woman, my mother taught me how to sew on a 1964 Viking Husquavarna machine after trading my “rights” to trendy clothing for the joy of owning my first horse. This was a life long formative moment for me. I’ve owned one horse (or more) throughout high school, college and married life.  I made not only my wedding dress, but two others and countless clothes for my children. Now that my children are grown and my retail sales job supports my new career aspirations, I’ve taken a circular route back to my creative genes.

I started sewing again because I love vintage style clothing and I wanted to pick my fabrics and tailor my outfits. My mother is long since gone, but I still have my beloved Viking sewing machine. With age comes fashion confidence and I’ve decided that hat making is my new direction. With the training and mentoring of Wayne Wichern of Burlingame, CA as well as the support of friends and strangers I embarked on custom fascinator and now felt and straw hat making.

I still have a horse and ride every morning with my Border collie before going to work. I am a horse racing enthusiast not only because of a life long relationship with horses but also because I love the glamour of both ladies’ and gentlemen’s clothing. And now a new life adventure begins with collecting vintage hat blocks and supplies and the thrill of learning new techniques from other generous artisans.