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  • eratherton6

Rose and Plume WI Lectures…

I have a brand! If anyone didn’t already know, I have a millinery and handmade hair accessories brand called Rose and Plume. (Go follow me on Instagram please, and yes I am shamelessly plugging). Aswell as running the brand, I get invited every so often to do demonstrations, talks and lectures for a variety of community-based events and charities. I love doing these, and I try to do something different with each one. I always start by talking about my practice and how the business started but each group tends to ask for something specific. I have done everything from hat-making demonstrations through to historical lectures.

On Thursday, I was asked by my biggest group yet to talk about choosing and styling an occasion hat. A WI group (the Heswall Honeys to be exact) with over 200 members! Yikes! For anyone that doesn’t know, here is a little introduction from the WI head website. If you want to get involved in your local faction, hop onto

The Women’s Institute (WI) was formed in 1915 to revitalise rural communities and encourage women to become more involved in producing food during the First World War. Since then the organisation’s aims have broadened and the WI is now the largest voluntary women’s organisation in the UK. The WI celebrated its centenary in 2015 and currently has almost 220,000 members in approximately 6,300 WIs. The WI plays a unique role in providing women with educational opportunities and the chance to build new skills, to take part in a wide variety of activities and to campaign on issues that matter to them and their communities. The WI is based on the ideals of fellowship, truth, tolerance and justice. The organisation is non-sectarian and non-party political. WIs are charitable and everything they do must be consistent with that special legal status.

Me all mic’d up dancing around at the front…

I like to bring lots of examples for people to try on, it can get quite funny!

The talk went so well, I got lots of lovely compliments on both my work and my lecture. It is moments like this that make all the hard work worth it. However, it is also sparking something a little closer to uni in the tangled mess that is my brain. Later on in the year, we need to create a larger-scale collaboration project of some description. I am still unsure on who I would like to collaborate with, I do have a list of ideas hanging round somewhere. On this list is some form of community-based project with women, and what better way to celebrate Women than the WI. I would love to collaborate with them in creating something that celebrates this long-standing institution. The WI is something that was started by women, for women, and continues to be a huge part of some women’s lives. It creates community, friendship and empowerment for women regardless of age or social standing. They stand for and campaign for so many human rights, including equal opportunity for women across the UK.

As for actually collaborating; I am completely undecided. I do like the idea but I still have a couple of other avenues I want to have a look at before I rush into a decision.

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