Julia finds niche in millinery and jets off to Melbourne Cup
SHE was among 101,000 people on Melbourne Cup Day last week, but Yeppoon milliner Julia Watson still managed to see several of her creations worn by racegoers on the day.
The mother and full-time ergonomist told the Capricorn Coast Mirror last week that it was her first time on the Flemington field, starting her own business Hats by Zarbella form home last year.
"It was a wonderful experience going to Melbourne and soaking up the atmosphere on Derby Day and Melbourne Cup Day and getting a real feel for the fashion industry, and also meeting many new people and milliners," Julia said.
"Racing fashion has exploded over the past couple of years and I think it is a great opportunity for women of all ages and especially young women to have an opportunity to get dressed up and have a great day out.
"We did a lot of planning since February to my friend and I, but we couldn't really plan our outfits until we had an idea of what the trends were and that wasn't until about July."
Having started her business only a year ago, things snowballed quickly for Julia when she was asked to make hats for keen customers after they saw her wear her own creations.
"It was just a hobby for me to begin with, but it was a real confidence thing when you're making it for someone else," the Yeppoon woman said.
"I was extremely nervous when I delivered my first millinery piece to my first customer; I still remember the day clearly.
"Since then I have had lots of wonderful feedback and reviews regarding my millinery and many of my ladies are on to their third and fourth custom headpieces
"For myself, I think it's the freedom of it and that there are no rules and you can express yourself.
"I'm always thinking about millinery and ideas or looking at nature and wondering how I could make that into a piece."
Julia, who's part of the Australian Millinery Association and friends with well-known milliner Waltraud Reiner, was part of fundraising book, Hats for Happiness, with donations towards mental illness organisations.
Find Julia's page, Hats by Zarbella on Facebook.