Stolen Hat Saga

In early May we had a hat stolen from the shop. It was quite large and covered in rose gold sequins from our signature collection, priced at £315. It wasn’t one that could had hidden behind something else very easily or lost within our shop.

We worked out a time frame that it must have disappeared after searching high and low after which we decided to report it to the police. Unfortunately our CCTV hadn’t picked up anything clear enough. We reported it to the police just for the thought that it is a one off and a very stand out piece so if it was worn at Ascot it may well be seen and spotted on TV, so if we had a crime number it would help us further down the line. Essentially the police just recorded it as an open and shut case with a crime number as there was nothing else they could peruse at the time.

Roll on the Saturday evening the week before Royal Ascot, I was looking on eBay as I occasionally do to see what is circulating and there it was, the stolen hat!

Photographed as a selfie only being worn by who we can presume was the criminal who stole it from us! She looked familiar and recall her visiting the shop before. The pieces was tagged with Beverley Edmonson Millinery with a price of £234 stating it was brand new with tags and that it’s original price was £989 (I wish… I’ve never received that much money for any hat.  Should I be flattered that this criminal thinks my hats are worth that much or more pissed off that she thinks it’s okay to steal something of that value form a small independent shop?) I actually can’t believe the brazeness of it to post a stolen item with a selfie attached on Ebay and use the name of the person you stole it from in the listing.

   

I contacted the police being thankful that we chose to report it and receive a crime number and left it in their hands. I’ll be honest the police did say don’t hold your breath eBay are slow at acting on these things and the by time they got anywhere with Ebay it may have been sold.

The Thursday of Royal Ascot week, my partner and I attended Royal Ascot. We arrived earlier than our friends and we went for a wonder around the racecourse and returned to the main entrance as that’s where you get to see all the fashion and the hats. So we went back to the entrance and found a little bench in the crowds where we could people watch.

About 10 minutes later that stolen hat walks past me! On the person who took their selfie and posted it for sale on eBay!

In shock that she could be so brazen I asked Rob to follow her whilst I got security. It took a while to get security to find the right people but when I did luckily they believed me.  I had the original photograph of the hat, the eBay listing and the crime reference number on my phone- and was wearing a name badge that clearly is the same as my brand, and the hat was clearly an unusual statement piece.

They had the problem that police couldn’t do anything on the Royal Ascot property and Ascot security had to get clearance from the bosses as to how they could approach this woman and deal with the situation.  As they said it was an unusual situation to deal with, after Rob following this woman for about 20 minutes and apparently she was taking hundreds of selfies and being really brazen and not at all coy by the fact she was wearing stolen property. Eventually myself and 4 security caught up with them and security went over to her and a few minutes later returned with my hat that still had the price label still attached! We remove all price labels when they sell as they are non returnable. She didn’t at this point give a story but the label being attached was enough for security to guide the women to reception where she could be interviewed by police.

Apparently this ladies story was that she bought it first of Philip the Hatter in Luton of which I questioned as the only Philip the hatter in Luton is Philip Walter Wright then following this it changed to Philip the hatter in London.

The police deduced that her story didn’t add up but that they couldn’t prove that she had stolen it from my shop as there was not direct proof at that time.  They were happy to give me my hat back and would pass the case back to Surrey police where I first reported it. They would be in touch should anything further arise.  The lady was removed from the racecourse.

Whilst this was happening, inside I was like maybe she did buy it and I just forgot or missed the sale? Oh my god I’ve completely ruined someone’s day on a mistake!! This is how to loose a customer in a moment and get bad publicity. I guess being conscientious although I knew it had been stolen at this point all my doubts came in one full throw! Luckily her story didn’t make sense to the police and was not able to provide proof of purchase.

We continued with our day and I let the shop know the hat had been retrieved.  Later in the day I got a message from the shop that Surrey police had phoned and the women was in custody and other items were being seized.

The next day I was scrolling through Instagram and there is a photograph that a racing magazine took the day before and posted and guess who is in the photo? The lady wearing my stolen hat again posing for the cameras!

I got in touch with the magazine and they were able to provide me with more images, along with the following words: ‘It was a very peculiar few minutes with this lady as I was actually photographing someone else who I though she was with, I then photographed the two Ladies with her and she jumped in! There were several photographers around that small area and she was jumping around getting her picture taken, it was like a bunfight for the camera so much so that my colleague and I walked away
and said to each other how awful the lady was.’ all very peculiar!

The irony of it all is that not once did I go out of my way to find this hat but thrice it appears in front of me, the chances of that are so slim, if she hadn’t have used my name on the eBay listing or hadn’t happened to walk past us at that moment, or posed for photographs she would have got away with it.

At present we are still waiting to hear any more from the police but we have our hat back and are grateful to the Surrey police of their work.

Royal Wedding Fever

In the last couple of weeks have been a wave of excitement in the lead up to Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s royal wedding. We love a wedding at Beverley Edmondson Millinery, we love the celebration of the royals and that feeling that it brings when the whole country comes together to celebrate. Most of all the wedding provides the very best opportunity for people to watch royalty and celebrities all dressed to their best and all wearing hats!

We were lucky to play our own part in the special day, with two of our hats attending the wedding.

The first with the incredible Nova Reid whom I had the pleasure of meeting a couple of weeks before, when she came to me saying she needed a hat but had no experience of wearing hats and was slightly scared of them! We tried to work out a time for her to come and visit the boutique in Farnham, try different styles and allow me to educate her on how to wear hats. However clashing schedules meant that she sent a swatch of material and we consulted via video Skype calls before boxing her up a hat had to suffice.

Nova had been selected to speak on the BBC about style and for a sky documentary about diversity through her mission to showcase diversity via inspired wedding blog www.nubride.com. She really is one of the most inspiring women that I have ever met, and I was thrilled that she choose to wear Beverley Edmondson Millinery for the Royal Wedding occasion and to see her interviewed on the BBC several times on the morning of the Royal Wedding.

The second hat that went to the royal wedding started its journey the week before the royal wedding. We had a last minute PR call for a selection of hats to be sent to ITV, so we boxed up a selection and awaited to see them on TV.

It turns out that the feature we sent to hats for was a feature about dressing some of the members of the public who had been chosen to attend the royal wedding because of their charitable work, and the hats would be attending the wedding itself.

Our duckegg floral wave headpiece was chosen for Hayley Ash who set up and runs Shipston Community Christmas, offering Christmas lunch for those lonely or less fortunate at Christmas. And I couldn’t think of a better place for the hat to go.

Within moments of our hat being on Lorraine, the phone was ringing and texts and our social media pages were full of messages from people saying they had seen our hat, which was a lovely little touch.

We presumed that this would be the last we heard about the hat, but on Thursday Hayley got in touch directly to say that she had worn the hat on Good Morning America, and sent us a link! It seems we went international.

On the wedding day itself we had the television on in the background at the shop, I looked down and there Hayley was again this time being interviewed by the BBC in our hat, what a lovely surprise to see her on TV again! The hat has obviously been on a huge adventure with Hayley throughout the royal wedding coverage and she looks incredible in it.

We were so thrilled to see out hats out and about on national television surrounding such a historical event and loved seeing all the other hats from the day; and were honoured to give our commentary on the hats to the Daily express which can be found in part by following this link:

https://www.express.co.uk/news/royal/964623/royal-wedding-photos-best-worst-hats-meghan-markle-prince-harry-wedding-2018

Our top 3 hats were:

Amal Clooney – Image from Marie Claire, Getty Image

Well who could miss Amal Clooney, in the gorgeous sunshine yellow, looking so elegant and sophisticated in Stephen Jones

Camilla Parker Bowles – Image from Town and Country – Getty Images

Camilla Parker Bowles pink feather hat by Philip Treacy, contemporary yet elegant and so light and full of movement

Kitty Spencer – Image from Good Housekeeping – Getty Image

Kitty Spencer, a contemporary twist to the 1940’s elegant, simple and classy in he simple face hugging emerald green fascinator also by Philip Treacy

Over all there were lots of nods to the 1940’s with pill boxes and veils and small saucers, bit for us the whole event was a feast of colour for the eyes and reminded us why we all love hats!!

Wow what a weekend!

Wedding industry training with Beverley Edmondson at WEDx at Chicheley Hall, April 30 2018

Join us at WEDx 2018!

We are excited to tell you that Beverley Edmondson will be speaking at this year’s WEDx at Chicheley Hall in Buckinghamshire on 30 April 2018.

WEDx offers fantastic training for wedding industry professionals. It offers workshops, speakers and networking all in one place and is invaluable for getting your business to the next level.

 

To say the excitement is building for this one day WEDx Seminar is an understatement. Get ready for inspiration and motivation; lots of great connections will be made, lots of insider know-how will be learned, and plenty of laughs will be had.

 

Join 6 Wedding Industry Leaders and a small group of fellow entrepreneurs.  Leave buzzing, with a notebook full of the best advice, answers to your personal business questions and new influential contacts. Most importantly, leave with big plans for your business.

 

Prepare yourself and bring an open mind. This year can be your year, whether you’ve been working your socks and shoes off for a while and need that something extra to set you on the right tracks, or you’re a fresh face to the industry ready to show the world what you’re made of.

 

Nothing beats human interaction; feeling the buzz in the room, hearing the stories, the advice and tips in person, asking questions to the right people, having real conversations.

 

WEDx makes a difference.

 

We’ve seen it happen to others, so now its time to invest in yourself and join us too.

 

The event will take place from 09:30 – 17:30, with optional networking until 20:00 in the cocktail bar.

 

Each speaker will tell you their own business journey and cover topics which will help you in your own business.

 

You will have the chance to ask questions directly to each speaker during their Q&A sessions.

 

Topics Covered

 

– Kylie Carlson: Storytelling through Video Marketing

 

– Nova Reid: The Curse of Being Busy – Looking after Yourself While Running a Business, and What Bloggers Want

 

– Christine Jenson: Knowing your Worth – How to Nail Pricing

 

– Jess and Tom: The Importance of the Customer Experience

 

– Beverley Edmondson: The Benefit of Not Knowing It All – Embracing the Journey of Running a Small Business

 

Included in the Day

 

– Superfast Wi-Fi

 

– Delicious 3 Course Lunch (All dietary requirements catered for)

 

– Unlimited Tea & Coffee

 

– Unlimited Still & Sparkling Mineral Water

 

– Unlimited Snacks incl. Biscuits, Fresh Fruit, Porridge and Popcorn

 

– Pens & Pads

 

– Parking

 

 

Ready to take your business to the next level? Why not book your place now and we’ll see you there!