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  • Writer's pictureAini

The story of a little green hat and how it made me feel

Updated: Mar 2, 2020

So whoever follows me on social media might have seen this particular set of images already but it’s made a big enough impact on my day that I wanted to note down my thoughts!

A tiny bit of progress on my latest drawing!

I actually had a wonderful day today! I attended a small doodle meet up with local artists and then on the way home I decided to check out a random local thrift store.

I go into thrift stores whenever I can and wherever I am! I’m currently crunching out a few more corsages for the Royal Midnight Court event over the weekend and I thought maybe I’ll find some usable vintage or at least decent artificial flowers, or some other random treasure (haha as luck would have it!). I actually hate going thrifting while looking for a particular thing, you get hyper focused on that type of item and it somewhat sours the whole process for me, but I digress...

I walked into the store and saw a beautiful bright emerald green hat on a mannequin. I give it one first glance and I’m like "ok, not vintage, material is way too new, no dust - meh!" I walk on a few steps, glance at some straw hats and come back around a clothing rack and my eyes are just drawn back to that green hat... I’m at a different angle now and I see an enormous flower that’s part of the hat. It’s velvet, hand dyed, detailed. Beautiful chiffon petals - also hand dyed - frame the stamen. To put the nail in the coffin there is a custom dyed ribbon around the hat and it’s absolutely gorgeously placed.

a vision in green

My mind forks into many ways:

I want this - but it’s all green - I don’t think I have anything to wear it with - worst case I could harvest it for parts though... let’s check the price!


why not?

I grab it and get in line to pay, the person in line before me tells the cashier he’s a little under the weather and she gets worried and tries to spray her hands with some random spray (pretty sure that was perfume bruh), I see this and I offered her my hand sanitizer instead. We share a little laugh at how crazy the whole virus thing is and after she rings me up she says it comes to $8 instead of $18. I feel like me sharing my precious anti-bac in the spooky time right now was my good deed for the day, bad joke aside I was super charmed by the interaction, she puts the hat in a plastic baggie bids me farewell and I head home. I found it funny enough that I even ended up tweeting about it:

Now I got home a good hour or two later, I was tired, I flung that bag in a corner and got back to working on my corsages until I burnt my finger at 2:30 am and decided i’s time to stop. I bandaged that ish’ up and started removing stuff off the floor because my evil cat will attack anything I don’t put away, potentially waking me up later... I grab that bag and I take out that cute hat. I plop it on my head and take some dumb pictures. I realized I didn’t even try it on in the store!

Who grabbed straight into the hot glue? This idiot did!

I also noticed the particularly nice finishing on the inside and a fancy brand tag!

Louise Green sounded very familiar, especially in relation to millinery... If you’ve ever been in LA on the northbound 405 San Diego freeway right past the exit to the 10 towards Santa Monica chances are you have been stuck in traffic riiight next to it!

That’s when I stopped goofing around and went to

When I saw the prices of the hats on the website I felt really excited! I always knew that millinery is expensive work, it becoming a way of art that is slowly being forgotten by time and swept away by fast fashion. I was overcome with hype and hopped onto Instagram and put the news about my find out into the world and I tagged @louisegreenmillinery.

As I wrote about how excited I was a different feeling set in:


I felt guilty for getting this beautiful handcrafted piece of art for $8. I know that there is a lifetime of work in that hat... I can’t even imagine the time spent learning those techniques alone and here I am. Gleefully spouting that I snagged it for eight bucks.

It made me think about how I tagged the now retired Louise Green. Am I insulting her life’s work this way? How would it feel to see my own work resold for nothing - at a thrift store no less? Would it bother me or do you detach your emotions after being in the business for a while?

How did it wind up there?

I’m hoping it was a movie prop or something along those lines and in the mysterious ways of Los Angeles it found itself in that store, and in my hands without an emotional history at just the right time. And then I realize it’s a nice little move by the universe after all...

Because I know how to appreciate the craftsmanship of this cute little green hat, what an inspiration it is to me and the art that I like to create, and that it found a new home.

But yeah most of all I hope Louise Green isn’t opening her Instagram to see my story and that she doesn’t end up hating me lol!

Welcome home.

thanks for the late night ramble read!

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