We had the good fortune of connecting with Lindsay Halpin and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Lindsay, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
I was attending Fashion Design school at HCC and was entering garments into contests and doing very well winning some LBD contests etc, but i found it wasn’t as much of a challenge as i wanted it to be. So, one summer, i taught myself how to make hats from a 50 yr old textbook, and posted my work on Facebook. Someone saw it and asked me to make pieces for her runway show and the rest is history. Violet Peacock was born.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
Millinery is a lost art many don’t know still even exists so probably my proudest achievement is making people aware that it DOES still exist and is relevant today. I was lucky enough to win Houston accessory Designer of the Year 2013 and that’s something I’m very proud of too.
Working in Millinery hasn’t always been easy. Lack of suppliers, the expense of hat blocks etc have been obstacles i have had to overcome to keep Violet Peacock going. Perhaps the biggest battle has been in convincing the buying public that they CAN wear hats and fascinators to events and look fabulous. Ive learnt that no matter how good someone looks in one of my pieces, if they don’t FEEL good, or comfortable, then they won’t buy anything. I try to bolster the confidence of each and every customer i work with by making sure what i put them in works for their style, face shape and confidence level.
I do want the world to know that you don’t have to “suit hats” to wear one of my fascinators; i make so many different kinds, different shapes, colors and materials that there really is something for everyone in what I do. We just have to find it.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I originally lived in the suburbs of Houston and had to drive everywhere to visit places. Once i made the move to live in the city, i fell in love with it. I live in Montrose and honestly, i don’t know that we would have to travel far for a good time. The area is packed full of great places to visit. Thrift stores like The Cottage Shop, breakfast eateries like Snooze, The Burger Joint if you’re craving a tasty burger, not to mention all the art and studios in the area and close by in the art district. Hardy and Nance is a great studio to visit, as is Sabine Street, the home base of a very talented fashion designer called Gin Martini. Seeing people in their environment creating art is a very special experience. As I also have a degree in Bio-Archaeology, a stop in the Museum district is a must for me; I get inspired by the work of other great artists, and love seeing the special exhibits.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Ive had help, advice and support from so many people, and I’m always grateful for it but one person who stands out is a dear friend of mine and mentor, Dawn Bell. She was the person who asked me to make hats for her show, the very first Houston Vintage show, and took a big leap of faith in trusting i could do it. I have since been supported by her Houston Vintage festival, where i have made hats for more runway shows, and she has included my work in her styling work for Gloss Magazine and other publications.
Monica Luna Mauro Luna