Marina Schäfer, Hat Maker

Marina Schäfer, Hat Maker

I have known Marina Schäfer for a year and she has created wonderful hats for me to brave the winter, and spring (and fall!) in Seattle!

Marina’s Etsy shop:

Marina’s site:

Marina was kind enough to answer the following questions.

Who is your favorite style icon? Alternatively, who is your favorite fictional character
There are several style icons who inspire me. I love the timeless elegance of Audrey Hepburn, the straightness of Coco Chanel, and I’m fascinated by the dandyism of Oscar Wilde. The unconventional style of Tilda Swinton is also very inspiring to me. I love to play with different styles from different periods by mixing them and giving them a modern and fresh look.

 What or who couldn’t you live without?
I couldn’t live without making/creating hats! Really, I’m obsessed by them.
And to live without my husband and my friends is unimaginable.

How do you start your day and how do you end your day?
I usally start my day with a cup of good tea, watching or reading the news.
Afterward I check my webshops and mails for any new orders or customers with a certain request. I also do most of my office work in the mornings: accounting, looking for materials, working on promotional photos, listing new products and so on. I try to get this done by about noon, because the afternoons and evenings are my most creative daytime and I’d like to keep them free of other things to work on my hats – usually till late at night, not always to my husband’s delight.


 Where do you see yourself in five years?
Well, I hope in five years my label HutFreu[n]de will be established, and I can make a living from it.
Apart from that, I don’t think a lot about how my life will be in five years. I don’t have a master plan for my life, because so many things can happen unexpectedly. I‘d rather think about the next steps I have to take to reach my goals.

One of these next steps is to roll out more products in my etsy shop, so that customers will have a greater selection. The Internet is the most convenient platform to show my hats to interested people worldwide. But I also share a shop with other designers in Berlin Kreuzberg and am dreaming of opening my own shop in one of Berlin’s fashion “high streets” – soon, I hope!

At the moment I am working on my fall and winter collection which I will present in a few upcoming fashion markets in Berlin and Hamburg. The one I am probably looking forward to most is the Berlin Fashion Week in February 2014. I will create hats for the show of Friederike Zobel (, a Berlin Designer. As the Berlin Fashion Week hosts some really refreshing and talented designers, this is going to be very exciting for me.


 What is the one thing you regret doing or not doing?
My philosophy is like Édith Piaf sung: “Non, je ne regrette rien” (No, I regret nothing).
I don’t regret things. Rather I reflect on situations and scrutinize what to do better next time and try to work on it. Persisting in regret will not change anything.


 What do you do in life? What do you love about it?
I spend a lot of my time for my label HutFreu[n]de. I make, promote, and sell hats.
I really love the creative process and the different working steps of my job. From the beginning of the work on a new hat to selling it, there is so much passion in it!
The best moments are the visualizing of an idea, to see and feel that it works and that I my idea materialize. And what I love most is the moment when a customer wears one of my creations and I can see that he or she loves it. That is the best part: to make people happy by working on something beautiful.


What or who is your inspiration?
I live in Berlin, where I meet a lot of people with amazing ideas and projects that often open up my mind. It’s definitively motivating to live in a vibrant city with so much creative potential!
It is also very inspiring to watch the streetstyle of people from all over the world coming to celebrate Berlin’s famous nightlife. Sometimes, I encounter people on the street with a special charisma, people who stand out from the crowd. Somehow, they get me brainstorming about what kind of hat would suit them. I use these impressions in my work and develop them further.
Another source of inspiration are classic movies. Some of them are so full of hats that my milliner’s heart rejoices! These films always remind me how natural it once was to wear hats. Golden times for milliners!
I’m also inspired by fine art, photography, and architecture. I did a training in stone sculpting a few years ago and interesting shapes and perspectives always appeal to me.

 What are you afraid of?
Hmm, an international ban on hat-wearing? That would be really bad for business. No, but in earnest: If you read or watch the news these days as I do, you can get terribly frightened about how things are going in this world. Although I am moved by many new items, I try not to let them get too close to me. I am quite confident about my personal future: I am pursuing a creative profession which I love, there are people who like and buy my creations, and apart from that I have a loving husband and lovely friends who support me. Just as I do not regret, I try not to be afraid. There are so many wonderful experiences I still want to have and I am looking forward to living my life.


 What is your ambition?
I want to help to bring back hats as an accessory, not only for special events, but for daily life.
Hats are perfect to accentuate an outfit and to express one’s personality. People often tell me that they are afraid of wearing hats, but they shouldn’t be. They only have to find a hat which suits them. There is a huge range of shapes, materials, and colors, and there are so many different styles. If you think that your face is not right for hats, just give it a try: Go out and try on different kinds of hats. You will be surprised how much fun this is.And I promise, once you started wearing hats, you will never want to stop again.


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