Hello! I’m Rebecca, milliner and proprietress of Shocking Bad Hats. Shocking Bad Hats was born a little by accident around 2012, when some like-minded, history-loving friends and I founded The Regency Society of Virginia so that we could dress up in pretty Regency clothes, hang out in cool historic places, and dance. I knew only the bare minimum about sewing, but after a few frustrating experiments with purchasing costumes, I knew I’d never be happy unless I could make exactly the things I was dreaming of with my own hands. I taught myself to sew, and in a very short space of time, to make hats, and discovered in the process that I’ve never been so good at anything as I am at making historic hats! I’d found my passion and my calling. With the encouragement of friends, I began selling my hats on commission through my Facebook page. In 2016, I was invited to be a vendor at the Jane Austen Festival in Louisville, Kentucky, which was great fun and a smashing success, and we have been in attendance every year since.
I live and work in rural Virginia, near Charlottesville, with my husband, Timothy, two Pembroke Welsh corgis, Kevin and Greyjoy, and my loyal and capable millinery assistant, Shop Cat iO.
The name “Shocking Bad Hats” comes from a quote from the First Duke of Wellington, the hero of Waterloo and Prime Minister of Great Britain, 1828-1830. Upon leaving a session of Parliament, a journalist asked His Grace to give his impressions of the proceedings. His sole reply was, “I never saw so many shocking bad hats in my life!”