A NORTH-East hat maker with a taste for quirky designs is opening a town’s first traditional milliner’s shop in 70 years.

Lynne Young, whose hats have been worn at Buckingham Palace, featured in Hello magazine and make regular appearance at racing events in the region, decided to take the plunge and open her own shop in Redcar this year after more than a decade of making her designs from home.

She said: “It was Covid that was the reason for doing it actually.

“For the last ten years I’ve been running my business from my front room with people coming in for appointments.

“The perfect shop had come up just before Covid and I was thinking about it. Through lockdown I didn’t know what to do but Covid was actually the biggest push because I didn’t want people to have to come into my home for appointments.”

The Northern Echo:

One of Lynne's designs

She added: “I’m nervous but I’m excited. It’s quite a big step to open the shop but I’m sure it will be alright on the day. The support I’ve had from people has been brilliant. There have been so many positive comments saying its a lovely thing to open and something a bit different from Redcar.

“There used to be a milliner about 70 years ago. I found out my nana used to work in the shop.”

Mrs Young has been running a business since 2009, when she qualified as a milliner, and has studied with experts in the field, including Rose Cory, who made hats for the late Queen Mother.

Her shop includes a studio where she will be creating her designs.

She said: "I’ve always had a unique and quirky style. I like using different materials beyond what a lot of hat makers use.

“They’re all unique. No-one wants to be in the same one as someone else.

“The best thing is wearing someone wearing one of my designs at an event. It’s amazing."

With ladies’ days and weddings cancelled for the most part this year, Mrs Young has been focussing on making leather handbags for the winter and Christmas season.

The Northern Echo:

She said: “I lost the racing season and with some many weddings cancelled, I’m hoping next year people will go big. After an awful year, next year will be bigger and better.”

The shop in West Terrace officially opened yesterday, with guests invited to have a look around the new premises and take part in a “best dressed mask” competition.

The shop is open for browsing today, but will then be open by appointment only until further notice.