When I first saw DreamWoven's hats on Etsy, I drooled all over my keyboard. Oh, yuck! Well, OK, I didn't really, but I felt like it. I wanted every hat I saw. "Oh, this one is nice..." "Hmmm... this one is really cool, too...." "Oh, but this one! Gasp!..." DreamWoven's hats transcend function. They are headpieces intended to transform the wearer into art themselves.
Several months later, I contacted her about something or other. I didn't think I would hear back. In my mind's eye, I imagined her to be part of the fashion world elite, a gorgeous model-like young black woman (probably because of the dreads in the hats), maybe like Tyra Banks:
In other words, someone way too cool to take the time to get back to some unknown chick like me. (Kind of looks like one of DreamWoven's mannequin heads, doesn't she?) Well, she did get back to me and she is wonderful! Accessible, funny, helpful, joyful, and thoroughly happy with what she does. We even share the same name, Rachel, so that was something to chuckle about, too.
DreamWoven's hats come in two basic styles: soft, crocheted or knitted, drapey, comfortable ones that often have long tassles or dreadlocks built into them, or ones that are more tightly constructed out of felt, also highly embellished. The crocheted and knit hats are roomy, easily accomodating big hair. She also weaves, so a combination of all her skills end up in some of the hats. (Talent, talent! Tsk, tsk...)
I've made many hats over the years, too (but mine don't make me drool...). It's always a joy to me when people wear hats, especially when they know how to give them just the right angle or tip to accent the eyes. Sadly, many of my customers have been cancer patients who have lost all of their hair. DreamWoven's hats would make great head coverings and much more comfortable than wigs! So, if you have a baldy friend who needs a soft, fashionable perk, you can be assured that a DreamWoven gift would be a wonderful boost in the time of such suffering.
The felted hats are beautiful constructions often reminiscent of the 1920's or 1930's but with that DreamWoven twist. Rarely is a DreamWoven hat predictable: one side may be longer than the other, pleats and embellishments come in unexpected places, and every angle means a different look. You really have to go into each listing to see all the different ways a hat can be worn or how it looks from different perspectives.
DreamWoven's hats sell almost as quickly as she can make them, so if you see something you like, do not hesitate: buy it! Be sure to explore her sold items on Etsy. If you see something that you want there, ask her if she can make another similar one for you. Also, check her blog as she may have new ones there that might not be listed yet.
DreamWoven occasionally also offers some pretty wild accessories: neck pieces and wrist cuffs. Now, how cool is this feather tickler? It can be worn up, as shown in the photo, or with the feathers draping down. Wonderful fun!
DreamWoven is also a member of our Fiber Focus Group on Ning. I now count her among one of my most cherished cyber friends. This is the wonderful side of working with handmade goods. A real person is behind the product and when that person has a heart of gold, you know that your money is well spent!
Here is how Rachel describes her journey:
Rachel (DreamWoven) was born in an era where she was told that life must be led a certain way. Of course she believed that she could do anything she wanted and so she went wandering. She went terribly astray and far off the beaten path... but always ended up on her own two feet in a place where she was mostly understood. Rachel learned that if she wanted to do something badly enough, all she needed to do was try and even if things didn't come out just like she had thought they would, they could still be wonderful. Textile/fiber work has always been present in her life, in one form or another. And so it goes.....