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Hi. I am Jacqui Osborne, and I am one of the J.O.’s of JoJo Hats.  The other is my husband John Osborne.  I’ve been making hats since my daughter was young, but began creating with a sewing machine when I was a child myself.  My mother taught herself to sew, and I learnt at her knee – and my paternal grandmother was a seamstress at Liberty’s of London, before the war, so I think creating with fabric must be genetic.  I can’t help it!

I have always loved making hats – they’re almost sculpture rather than just clothing – and there are so many possible variations of designs and textiles.  My first business making hats began at my kitchen table in Gloucestershire, as something that would fit around the demands of my young family.  Called Top Cat Designs, it grew, and I was able to expand it to a shop in Tetbury (Crowning Glory) and a national wholesale business, which was both challenging and rewarding.  

When I moved to Tavistock, Devon, in 2000, I sold the business, and went back to my roots designing and making hats.  Now, JoJo Hats has a home in Tavistock Pannier Market, as well as my online shop and a regular stand at local shows (see the show list), and I love it.  The creative aspect of actually making hats was what I loved in the first place, and it’s good to be back!

Having someone wear a hat I’ve created to a royal garden party, or at Ascot, or on TV, is a tremendous thrill, and an honour – so thankyou to the lovely customers who have shared photos of these occasions with me.  But my guiding philosophy is to make hats which their owners love to wear, whether at a special occasion, or tramping over the moors with their dogs in winter.  Nothing is more satisfying than a customer going away with a new hat which makes them smile when they wear it.

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