By Marion Filler
You don’t have to attend a royal wedding to discover great hats.
Just head over to the Morristown CraftMarket this weekend and look for Monika Stebbins.
“I can make any kind of hat,” boasts Stebbins, and she means it. Her favorite originals will be featured at the show, from Oct. 19-21, 2018, at the Morristown Armory.
It’s a juried affair that raises money for charities of the Kiwanis Club of Randolph.
“For 42 years, the Morristown CraftMarket has received acclaim as a major cultural and charitable event, not only in New Jersey but throughout our nation,” says show director Geoffrey Price, a member of the Kiwanis.
Visitors can expect to see 160 artists from 25 states offering one-of-a kind works of top quality: Jewelry, leather, ceramics, metal, glass, wood, furniture, mixed media, and wearable fiber–including hats.
Stebbins, who has a degree in millinery design from her native Germany, has been showing at the CraftMarket for a decade.
“I come back because it’s a great show for me to sell my hats. What I really like about the CraftMarket is that it’s run by volunteers as a charitable endeavor, and I think that’s just great,” explains the owner of the Hat Shop in Madison.
And of course, “I love hats!”
Although she buys ready-made hats from American and international manufacturers, custom designs are her passion.
“I don’t copy. If someone brings in an outfit, I work with the client to come up with a design that matches their outfit,” Stebbins says.
Royal weddings always have spiked sales of hats, especially the flirty little fascinators the Brits seem to favor.
“The wedding was fun to watch,” she says of the quaint little nuptials of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. “That style is particularly popular for weddings and horse events.”
Fancy lids aren’t just for the ladies, either.
John Kizzie, a guitar virtuoso who teaches music at the College of Saint Elizabeth, will be sporting a custom pillbox hat in concert next month at the Hat Shop.
The Kiwanis launched the CraftMarket in 1977. Ceramic artist Michael Feno and his wife Barbara guided the show through its formative years, and it’s just kept growing.
You can toast the show’s health at an opening night reception, on Friday, Oct. 19 from 5 pm – 8pm, for patrons who are at least 21 years old. Beer and wine will be sold.
For the third straight year, the show also will hold a Silent Auction in loving memory of Robert James (“RJ”) Nelson, III, who was born 13 1/2 weeks premature and lived for 82 days.
Proceeds from the Silent Auction will benefit the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit of Morristown Medical Center (“Sam’s NICU”), which helps premature babies and their families. The auction concludes at 5 pm on Sunday, Oct. 21. Winners will be notified and need not be present
Show hours this year are:
- Friday, Oct. 19, from 5 pm to 9 pm;
- Saturday, Oct. 20, from 10 am to 6 pm; and
- Sunday, Oct. 21, from 10 am to 5 pm.
Admission is $10; a weekend pass is $12. The Morristown Armory is at 430 Western Ave. in Morris Township. Parking is free.