January 9th, 2014 | By | 154 Comments

Meet Your Maker | Jaime Haskell of Lovely Bird Behind the Scenes with Founder Jaime Haskell - Interview by Leah Bradley

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Things are looking up these days. Southern California has had beach days for the last week, Spring swimwear is trickling in, and some bold new hats from Lovely Bird just landed on the site. It’s a perfect storm of sunny perfection. We met up with owner/designer of Lovely Bird hats at her design space in Malibu to get inside her creative, bohemian-adorned, head…

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GUEST BLOGGER, LEAH: What inspired you to design your own hat collection and start your company?
JAIME HASKELL: I have always loved hats and how they were a staple in every woman’s outfit. If you find antique hats they each tell a story of a time period and the style of the women during that time. I want to bring that love for hats back and have it be something every woman wants to complete their outfit with. Whenever I would be shopping for accessories and would find a cute hat it was always priced way beyond my budget. I realized after doing some vintage shopping and creating my own hats that it was possible to make perfect and unique hats for a better price so everyone could enjoy them.

LEAH: What is the first thing you do when you suddenly think of a design?
JAIME: I usually start messing around with all the trims, beads, feathers, and leathers I have in my studio. I also have a few friends that are on the clothing side of design that I call, and a few that are on the retail end. It’s always a collaborative effort. I like to know what my retailers are selling thru and what they are buying and I like to be able to have an idea of what my designer friends are producing for upcoming seasons.

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LEAH: What’s your favorite step in the design process?
JAIME: Probably the moment when I am inspired to create something new- that very moment when I’m like “I know what I want to try!!!” and then see if it actually looks cute.

LEAH: Tell us about the design process for your hats. What does it usually start with?
JAIME: It starts with a color or a trim and me just messing around in the studio trying to make something that looks remotely wearable. Then I send images, ideas, and measurements to my production manager who I seriously couldn’t run my businesss without! We send ideas and images back and forth until there is a sample, then tweak the sample until I am satisfied with the fit.
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LEAH: Designing a label typically involves many people and is a collaborative effort. Who are your behind-the-scenes ladies?
JAIME: Bella my production manager and Betty her assistant, my friends that are designers, my friends that are shoppers, and then my retail friends that ultimately know what the consumer is going to buy.

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LEAH: How would you describe your designs?
JAIME: LOVELY BIRD is a play on words- a BIRD is a girl or woman, and lovely can embody anything – a girl who is sweet, smart, fun, adventurous, nurturing, cute, witty, silly, sexy, has a wild spirit- or even someone who is soft , shy or light spoken. My designs are for that lovely part of ourselves that we covet and appreciate and like- and it’s so individual to each person. I want my designs to speak uniquely to that special part of ourselves that we like- especially in a day and age that is so full of unobtainable standards that can make a girl crazy!!! I want my customer to wear a Lovely Bird hat and feel good about herself.

LEAH: My favorite way to rock my hats….
JAIME: Well, being that I have 2 kids that I’m with all day- I rock my hats with my favorite jeans and t-shirt, maybe some great boots, and always with some jewelry- my favorite being Marisa Haskell – who happens to be my sister in law! But, I must say, I always wear one to the beach. The felt always shades me from the sun and I produce it in a very light weight that makes it very transitional for seasons.

LEAH: Where do you look for inspiration?
JAIME: My family and I have had the opportunity to travel all around the world. I am always so inspired by the creations of the natives and how the women in these different countries sit there with a baby wrapped on them making these beautiful one of a kind creations. The details on everything they make amaze me and inspire me to make similar items available to my customers.

LEAH: Where/when do you find yourself getting most creative and dreaming up new designs for Lovely Bird?
JAIME: It can happen anywhere and at anytime. Sometimes it’s a color of a flower outside my house that inspires me to add a new color to my collections or a something I picked up on one of my many travels that makes me want to design a new band or trim for my hats. I feel that when I get outside and travel I find the most inspiration.

LEAH: If you weren’t designing rad hats what would you be doing?
JAIME: I am surrounded by creative people and I have a love for art so I know I would be doing something creative and related to fashion.

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LEAH: Has the Malibu lifestyle influenced your designs?
JAIME: Absolutely! The casual and fun lifestyle of the beach culture has definitely influenced my designs.

LEAH: Favorite styles available on SWELL? And where you would wear each of these styles?
JAIME: The San Miguel is my all time favorite! I seriously would wear it in any of the colors I have in the line- but the color honey is such a versatile and neutral color.

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Check out new designs from Jaime on SWELL: Shop Lovely Bird Hats

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Leah Bradley
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