AS Royal Ascot took place last week, there was, as always, talk about what people were wearing. The gorgeous dresses and fancy hats sometimes become more of a talking point than the horse racing.
And when Stacey Farrell first went to Ascot races at the young age of 17, she hired a hat for £65 to look the part.
But, as Stacey said, when she arrived at the renowned Ladies Day she was disappointed to see her ‘boring’ outfit had been dramatically upstaged by the outlandish and glamorous designs on show.
From that moment on she made a decision: she was going to make her own striking headwear to show off with pride the following year.
And she did that with aplomb. Stacey not only looked the part with a peacock feather ensemble, but she was featured in most of the national papers the following day, and was even interviewed for the BBC news.
Stacey, now 33, said: "The photographers were papping us as we went down the street, and since then I have made sure that I had a big hat that no one would have. I was even in the Times, next to a picture of Zara Phillips.
"My friends all started to ask if I could make them one."
Her sideline has since taken off with Stacey, who lives in Wooburn Green and is a childminder, setting up her own website and she currently has around 27 orders for hats on the go.
One of her craziest designs is a hat with spilt nail polish and bottles on, in tribute to Rita Ora who has just launched her own varnish range for Rimmel. That one has been sold and will was on show at Ascot this year.
She said: "Some people just buy from the site, others will send me a photo of their dress and outfit and ask me to make something to match.
"I’m currently making one for the Mayor of Worthing for when she is meeting the Queen at a garden party.
"A sculpture piece will take me around three days to make. Sometimes it takes longer if the fabric needs to dry and then it can take a week or two.
"I’m quite artistic and crafty and don’t always draw designs. Sometimes I just find a fabric I love and go from there."
See www.hugehats.co.uk, www.facebook.com/hugehats, or call 07703 736555