I'm a country girl who drove and worked my way around Australia to find the Kimberley and settle in Broome. For my millinery creations I use hand-collected feathers and locally grown pearls, combined with the classic materials and techniques of the trade. I create unique, one-off headwear for rural, regional and remote women who have a special event to attend but may not have access to retail stores, or the opportunities to shop. As the Milliner on the Move, I create a collection, pack the car and drive deep into our regions, bringing bespoke headwear to women situated in rural areas and remote cattle stations. And I always return filled with inspiration for the next creations.
From early beginnings in rural New South Wales, solopreneur Felicity (Flic) Brown, the ‘Milliner on the Move’, is an Australian country girl at heart. Since moving to Western Australia 25 years ago she has worked in the beef, agriculture, pearling and aquaculture industries as well as in remote aged care. Her career journey includes working with ASX-listed and private companies/businesses, federal and state government and individuals.
Flic is a self-taught milliner and began creating headwear while working on remote outback cattle and sheep stations. In 2007 she registered Hats by Felicity and since leaving a salaried income in 2016 her hobby has become her primary business. Flic has grown Hats by Felicity and continuously upskilled her trade of millinery through the Australian Hat Academy, while retaining her product niche of using hand-collected feathers and south sea pearls grown in the waters near her hometown of Broome.
In 2014 Flic was the first Australian milliner to showcase on the runway of New York Fashion week. The high rises of Manhattan may seem a long way from the white sands of Cable Beach and even further from the dust and grit of outback cattle yards, but not for Flic. After showing three years in a row at NYFW Flic graciously declined the subsequent annual invitations to return, to concentrate on repaying the costs surrounding the privilege, and redirecting her energies into further developing Hats by Felicity. She has since been selected twice to represent Australia with her millinery in the Great Hat Exhibition of London Hat Week.
Flic’s commitment to fundraising began at 19 years of age when, through the Miss Australia Quest, she was awarded runner-up fundraiser for NSW, for her fundraising efforts for cerebral palsy, and her energy has continued. She has supported the Cancer Council with fund-raising events for more than sixteen years and for the past three years Flic has worked with Variety, the Children’s charity, and participated in the Variety Bash, driving across Australia in full Mad Hatter character with Alice and Queen of Hearts in a 1985 Mercedes Wonderland to visit and deliver funding and special needs equipment to children and communities off the beaten track.
Over the years Flic has featured several times in the RM Williams Outback magazine, including the special edition ‘Great Australians’ profiling ‘20 living legends of the bush’, along with the Spring 2016 edition of Graziher, the magazine for women of the land, and Airnorth Cable Beach Polo magazine 2018. She was a feature on ABC TV’s Landline in 2018 entitled ‘Outback Milliner: The international success of a former jillaroo turned hat-maker’ and a podcast guest with Central Station in 2019. Flic also featured in the Julia Bradbury Australia series aired with BBC and SBS and her journey and life achievement from Broome to the Big Apple is told through a documentary entitled MadHattan from the Kimberley to New York, released in 2017, a film by Carolyn Constantine, narrated by Claire van der Boom and purchased and released by Foxtel.
Flic’s philosophy on life is: give and grow and just have a go. Her energy and positivity are infectious and she embraces every day with excitement – and a huge, magnificent smile.