About Elaine Mergard
Elaine Mergard lives on the Sunshine Coast and for 40+ years she has been teaching and creating millinery. Her millinery label is Hatrageous.
When did you make your first hat ?
As a teenager in the 1960s we wore hats everywhere. I made my first hat in 1964 during my training as a Home Economics Teacher. We were trained over 2 years in all fields of millinery so we could teach millinery in Adult Education with the Queensland Education Department.
When & where did you commence teaching Millinery ?
In 1966 at the age of 20, I commenced teaching Millinery classes with Adult Education in Brisbane. I have also taught in TAFE colleges in Central Queensland & Sunshine Coast during the 1980’s & 1990’s . I currently teach Millinery at Queensland Museum & University of Southern Queensland, Toowoomba.
When did you establish your millinery business?
In 1990 when we moved to the Sunshine Coast with my family, I established “Hatrageous Headwear” & worked as a full time Milliner with a home based business. In my retirement I seek to mentor others to become the Best in Millinery.
What are some of the highlights of your career?
In the early 1990’s my goal was to create hats with an outrageous look so these soon created media attention with my hats featured on national TV & print media. A real highlight was receiving a phone call in 2003 from Her Excellency Ms Quentin Bryce, Governor of Queensland asking me to make her hats while she was in Office.This was a privileged experience.
Every time I see the delight on the clients face as they try on their customised hat …that is a highlight. Seeing my students compete on a national level has thrilled me over the years.
Do Milliners retire?
I will continue to be innovative & share my skills with young Milliners. No, I can never let my love of hats go & look forward to mentoring new Milliners as I share my skills globally on HatAcademy.com.
My Mission is to create the next generation of Milliners by teaching techniques enabling each one to develop their unique creativity