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Formé Millinery

American Made Since 2007

Jenny Pfanenstiel

Chicago, Illinois
Jenny Pfanenstiel Award Winning Milliner makes hats using old techniques of “blocking” & by hand manipulation to create “sculptures” for the head

Tell us about your business.

Coming from a Costume Design background, it was a natural transition in 2007, when I created my hat company Formé Millinery. Since I had an impeccable talent for hand sewn costumes, my craft for hand sewn hats came naturally. After learning the ancient techniques of "blocking" and hand sewn hats as a true Couture Milliner once did, I had dedicated myself to keep this dying craft alive. I have become known for my dedication to quality and taking once admired embellishments and incorporating these pieces to truly make “sculptures” for the head. As a Milliner, my goal is to make a person feel sensational in my hats. I want them to look into the mirror and feel transformed, almost as if they are one with the creation of the hat. I am passionate about keeping Couture Millinery alive, so I teach hat making workshops. I would like to expand my hat and arts programs to nursing homes and children hospitals. My goal is also to open my very own hat shop and workshop studio.

What makes your business stand out?

I have taken an old tradition of hat making and brought it back. I create every hat from scratch and I custom fit each hat to the customer's head size, color selection and style. I provide an "experience" with each person while creating the perfect hat just for them. Once a hat is completed and the customer puts on their hat for the first time, it is as if the hat transforms them. They smile a little bigger, they stand a little taller. The confidence that comes over them is a feeling that will never get old. My hats have brought joy back into people’s lives. I have received amazing testimonials from my customers stating that for the first time in a long time, they felt beautiful again and the amount of attention they receive while wearing their hat was a flattery they will cherish forever. I am very honored that I can bring this much joy to people from something that I have created with my hands and mind and hope to continue to grow my business for many more people to enjoy.

What's the best business advice you've received?

Creativity can never be taken away from you. Believe in yourself. Success does not exist without failure. You will learn from every fall if you get back up and keep going.

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  • WINNERS ANNOUNCED
    Oct. 17, 2014

    2014 Award Winner and Audience Choice Winner announced.

    See past Award Winners
  • AMERICAN MADE MEETUP
    Nov. 7, 2014

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  • AMERICAN MADE SUMMIT
    Nov. 8, 2014

    Don’t miss our networking event and maker lecture series in New York City.

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  • RENEGADE CRAFT FAIR
    Nov. 15 - 16, 2014

    Shop for holiday gifts at the Martha Stewart American Made Pavilion.

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