My love for fashion and things of beauty began at a very young age and as soon as I could express my opinion about what I was “supposed” to wear I did. It seemed rather cruel to me that a lady should have to wear anything that wasn’t pretty. Winter clothes were the worst, not only were they not pretty, they were uncomfortable and many of the hats itchy. My very practical parents reminded me that, in Stowe, Vermont, where it is cold for a large portion of the year, I needed clothes for function, not fashion. So, I suffered through… Years later, while watching Anne of Green Gables, I was hit with an epiphany! I wanted to make hats! I found a felting class and on a Saturday learned how to make a hat. I was hooked!
Twenty-two years later I am still making hats. They have evolved, as I am self-taught and have been practicing the technique for years, but there are a few parts that remain the same. They are all handcrafted, one of a kind, tailored to the customer, and made from the finest materials with lots of love incorporated. The hats are extremely durable and are meant to protect the wearer from the elements of rain, snow, and wind while keeping them warm, comfortable and looking spectacular!
People often ask if I have a favorite. Yes, I love making hats with dogs, birds, cats, etc. I am an animal lover and a fan of nature.
Shopping and creating should be an experience to remember. My clients are important and my hats are like children to me. They are part of me, the creation of them comes from my soul, so I like to get to know the person I am working with… the more details the better, that way I get it exactly right for them. In this modern world, we are lacking human touch and uniqueness. We all need to be unique and to express ourselves and there is no better way than through a show stopper of a hat! Hats are the perfect topper to any outfit. They complete the ensemble and make good great! If you want to blend in and be generic then my hats are not for you. Robin’s Hoods are meant to make you shine above the rest, to make you feel great, and to empower you. My mission is to bring out your inner beauty by creating a piece that emphasizes who you are through its design.
I would like to think Robin’s Hoods represents a bit of the old world. A business with old fashioned customer service and quality crafted products made with love. Robin’s Hoods is a cottage industry that supports local economy and women, through home employment. I am proud of my production process and how earth-friendly it is. Anything made well lasts lifetimes and with that there is less waste to take over the planet. Living in a disposable world is a ridiculous concept. I grew up surrounded by nature and was taught to honor it and believe firmly that we all have a responsibility to the planet, to animals and to humankind. My hats are made following my strict beliefs to support the planet. I use Ivory soap and hot water to make wool into felt. Things should be made to last and should be so beautiful and comfortable that you want to wear them, this is what I strive for in my art.
Robin’s Hoods…. where fashion and function collide!
Peace be with you,
Robin LaMonda Leone