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All hatmakers get into it by accident. I had my dream job: I was working at Queen’s Park for a couple of politicians, but in the end, it wasn’t as perfect for me as I thought. I took a hatmaking course as a stress release, and [then left] the office. I studied with retired milliner Barbara Hobbs and had a table at St. Lawrence Market for two and a half years. Perhaps I was closeted about it [laughs], but I didn’t know I was artistic. I learned that by doing. I am the official milliner—the style guru—for the Queen’s Plate [Canada’s oldest thoroughbred horse race]. I advise people on what to wear: Just because it’s big and flashy doesn’t mean it’s good for the event. A milliner always wants everybody to look at the hat, but a great one should frame your face. The brim should not extend much more than an inch past your shoulders or it throws the scale off.

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