We all have a ” Put Off ” job , task or chore.. You know the one thing that you conveniently turn a blind eye to, for another time. I must confess that I have had several of them, over the last two years, but the one that has been tapping me on the back, harder and harder, is my Victorian Millinery Cabinet .
I have a beautiful, Victorian, oak millinery cabinet that my husband found in the back room of a department store, that closed after 80 years of business. This cabinet is enormous, it is 98″ wide by 78″ tall by 33″ deep. It has 2 large glass sliding doors and 4 large drawers in the bottom. To say the least it was a testament of wills that it made it into my building in the first place and for the last 16 years some of my extensive hat inventory has called it home.
Being very active in buying and selling Vintage Clothing and Accessories this cabinet has always been the drop off for any vintage hat that needed to be handled gently because of feathers, netting , flowers or structure . So my customers ask to see the gems inside and as I sell them I also buy more and continue to fill the space. Well here lies the problem, I have not spent the time to clean out the cabinet and cull last seasons finds with this seasons new arrivals. Hence overfilled , over stuffed and ready to burst with hats piled high ( not very attractive).
After two years ( yes I am embarrassed to admit this) of not cleaning this out I have tackled the case. You know these tasks start off innocently enough . I was changing out seasonal inventory to fall/ winter stock. This includes packing the summery hats and taking out the felts and furs . I don’t know about you but I work like this .. I find a spot for something displacing what was there and that ends up in a pile on the floor, over and over again , until I have a pile as big as Mount Everest. Ok so that’s an exaggeration but the pile was at least 40- 50 hats high and wide. The case wiped out , lots of dust and small unattached feathers , and then the selection of the lucky hats who made the cut and returned to the case in an orderly and attractive arrangement.
Now I am so happy with the end result that I have repeatedly walked by and admired the lovely hats that are peeking out at me and that gnawing “gotta get to that” thought has been put to bed. I will tell you that Vintage Hats are probably my favorite in all that I deal in . Everyone of them tells the story of an artistic and creative soul expressed in felt and straw, feathers and ribbons .. True artwork.