Ministry of Tiny Hats takes over the world, and your heart

When I saw kept spotting tiny hats in one friend’s Flickr, I had to email her and know the source of these precious hats. She directed me to charming Amy Taylor of Ministry of Tiny Hats who designs and handcrafts the most wonderful miniature headwear. Have a giant head that fashionable full-sized hats don’t seem to fit? Doesn’t matter! Tiny hats fit everyone!

Amy moved to Atlanta two years ago from glamorous Jacksonville, FL with plans to be the next big ginger-haired journalist. But what started out as a series of whimsical birthday presents for her friends turned into a semi-legit millinery business, and she became Head Minister of Tiny Hats. I asked Amy a few questions about the evolution of the entrepreneurial M.O.T.H., her fashion advice, and what she likes about Atlanta, so read on and admire many more examples of her craftsmanship.

How did you get into millinery?
On my friends’ birthdays, I always found myself making someone a personalized tiny hat for the occasion. Most recently, I made a red and black flower for Leuwam and a Max (à la Saved by the Bell) paper hat for my friend Dave. People just expect them now, and considering how well-liked they were and how much time I put into them, I decided to try selling them for the first time at I.C.E. last spring. I did fairly well (more than broke even) and decided to keep going. Mostly, it’s just for fun. I really enjoy the distraction and better yet, people’s reactions to them.

As for why HATS? Not sure. I’ve always been a hat person; as a kid I wholeheartedly embraced the Blossom trend. I’m a big proponent of tiny things, as well, so I figured why not mesh the two concepts together. If something is costumey, I’m into it. I wanted a tiny top hat for YEARS before deciding to just make one myself last New Years Eve. The rest is history.

For what occasions do you recommend a tiny hat?
Parties, birthdays, your house, the grocery store! If I could convince everyone to wear tiny hats while engaging in even the most monotonous of tasks, I’d feel as though I’d done my part. Whatever that means. I think we could all stand to take ourselves a little less seriously, which is the motivation behind wearing something so frivolous and silly in the first place. For me, anyway. It also explains why I feel a little ridiculous even talking about something like the “motivation” behind tiny hat-making.

What’s your favorite thing to do or place to be in Atlanta?
I really enjoy swimming, though the end of summer means an end to that nicest and most relaxing of all activities. In terms of going out in the ATL, Mary’s in East Atlanta has been my second home for nearly a year — they know my drink the second I walk in the door — and for that I am indebted. Maryoke is where I first tried out my best Dolly Parton impression with “9 to 5″; anywhere that brings me closer to my idols is good in my book.

Amy is toiling away in her tiny hat sweatshop to churn out the fall line, but in the meantime you can commission a hat if you have something specific in mind, like a miniature Napoleon hat to prop at a rakish angle atop your head for your next board meeting. We will let you know when the M.O.T.H. Etsy shop is stocked so you can get them for the whole family.

Support local fashion and be sure to check out Amy’s wares at the next Indie Craft Experience on Saturday, November 15 at Ambient + Photo Studio.

Look how much fun you could be having in a tiny hat all your own!

(All photos are from Amy’s Flickr; the professional-looking photo is by Meghan McNeer.)

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