14 Mar
Honouring Saskatchewan Artisans

I have a small collection of handmade fashion pieces, and each item has a story. Creative people with amazing hands have made these treasures. Some are heirlooms already, and the rest will take their place in our family history, eventually. I often carry my late mother’s tiny clutch bag, which was made by my great uncle in the 1930s. My mother was delighted to receive such a gift, knowing how long it took him to create this beautiful accessory. Eventually, my daughter will have the purse and then my granddaughter.

Fashion artisans are driven to create, but their hands often feel the adverse effects of their trade. Some will train apprentices to share the work. Some will design for manufacturers, who will replicate their ideas. Many will teach classes, enabling others to dabble in their trade. Most artisans want to live by creating original works.

They must charge enough to support themselves and provide for their futures. There are no medical benefits or pensions for the self-employed. As consumers, we must recognize their work as original art, and pay accordingly. Tragically, society seems to have developed the idea that fashion is disposable. When we purchase original fashion art, we support the artist and create family heirlooms.   

In our province, there are many talented, driven artisans working long hours to create beautiful fashion items. Over the decades, I have collected Saskatchewan made hats, boots, purses, dresses, scarves, and jewellery. To me, these pieces are as unique and valuable as a priceless canvas. If you mention my hat or my pin, I hope you have time to hear the story behind the piece. On occasion, I have taken a well-worn fashion piece back to the original artist and paid to have it refreshed. Hats can be reshaped, boots can be resoled, and scarves can be edged again.

My love for handmade fashion pieces has motivated me to create a series of short videos introducing some of Saskatchewan’s artisans. This first video is just over five minutes and features milliner Sherri Hrycay, of Sova Design Millinery. Please take five minutes to watch by clicking HERE. Maybe you will begin saving for a hat made just for you.


One of Sherri’s hats is representing Sova Design Millinery, and our beautiful Saskatoon, at London Hat Week beginning on March 22, 2018.

The Sova hat travelled alone, over the ocean, to make this appearance. I have arranged for British actress Kate Okello to attend the opening party of London Hat Week to take photographs of Sherri’s hat and share the excitement with hat lovers here in Saskatoon.

Sherri is unable to be at London’s 2018 Hat Week, because she will be in Amsterdam and Hague, studying with milliners from around the world and displaying her hats in a show. 

If you missed the Sova Designs Millinery video link, you could still click HERE.


Comments (6)

  • Sakina Madini
    April 26, 2018 at 01:41 pm

    The hat story is interesting and the vidio. It's nice to know how Saskatchewan's artisans design hats .

  • vallerie hodge
    March 15, 2018 at 05:45 pm

    Great video. Would never have known about her otherwise. Do you like my answer to the question? Billy and Val

  • Gayle Senger
    March 15, 2018 at 12:51 pm

    As always. So much fun to read. You are awesome.?

  • Verla Schmirler
    March 15, 2018 at 09:14 am

    Maureen, you wear the hat and tell the story so beautifully! I still remember the hats my mother wore with flair, and I regret that all of them were too small to fit my head.

  • The Boy
    March 14, 2018 at 04:09 pm

    Saskatoon is an amazing place full of interesting treasures and fascinating people who create them. Go exploring and find out for yourselves. It's fun!

  • Daphne Taras
    March 14, 2018 at 03:56 pm

    I love the hats and the video. And Maureen, you are such a lovely writer.

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