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Wonder Woman Wednesday: Alexandra Harper

We caught up with Alexandra Harper to find out more about her background and how she became the reputable milliner she is today

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Australian Milliner Alexandra Harper
Australian Milliner Alexandra Harper

What inspired you to become a milliner?

Back in the day, my grandmother was a seamstress and would make her own hats. She left me her wooden hat block, so when I was unhappy in my career at the time, I decided to do an evening course to learn how to use it. So what started as a hobby, turned into a few sales, and then a fully-blown business and new career! The best decision I’ve ever made!

Read more: Check out bridal designer Charlie Brear’s Wonder Woman profile here.

What’s the most valuable lesson you’ve learned since starting your own business?

Patience and persistence.

Building a business is not for the faint-hearted and it’s not a quick process. Understand you’re in it for the long-haul and make decisions accordingly - it’s going to need a lot of investment (your time, your money, your effort), but be patient and persist and you’ll start to see the hard work pay off.

Who are your most inspirational women?

All women! Honestly, any woman who is balancing work, children, a relationship, a social life, social media and sleep gets my complete and undivided admiration.

Read more: Check out new bridal designer Jacqui James’ profile here.

What’s your greatest achievement so far?

Opening my shop/studio in London. It was a significant milestone for my business to be in a position to open a bricks and mortar premises in London, the millinery capital of the world. Although we’ve grown and developed so much since then, this was such a major leap.

What does your typical working day look like?

We’re a pretty small team at AHM, so an average day means getting involved with everything!

Obviously the design and manufacture of our headwear is the number one focus, but throughout the day I deal with lots, including: social media, customer enquiries, fulfilling bespoke orders and online sales, enquiries from stockists, ordering supplies and materials and shop-floor sales.

Read more: bridal retailer Marisa Rooney was our Wonder Woman last month.

5 Interesting Facts about Alexandra:

  1. I’m originally from Australia and trained in Millinery and Headwear design in Brisbane, Queensland.
  2. Perhaps not surprisingly, I have an accessories addiction - shoes, bags and hats are my thing and my collection of designer, market and vintage finds is quite (ahem...) extensive.
  3. I have a two-and-a-half year old son (and a husband and a cat) who occupy every second not devoted to millinery!
  4. I have played the piano since I was five and worked as a pianist and singer for many years after school.
  5. Aside from London, Mykonos Greece is my most favourite place. Every year I take a post-Royal Ascot break to refresh and rejuvenate in those crystal clear waters.

Want more? Read about bridal designer Raishma Islam and why she was one of our first ever Wonder Women.

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