Where I work: Jane Taylor, milliner

Jane Taylor is — like so many of us — looking forward to returning to the office. She spoke to Rosie Paterson about her royal clientele and making a mess

Jane Taylor—the go-to milliner to The Duchess of Cambridge, Zara Tindall and The Countess of Wessex—set up her eponymous business in 2008. She honed her craft at Manchester Art School, where she studied for a degree in embroidery, and as a trainee with one of The Queen’s ex-milliners.  

But her creations are not just restricted to royalty; they’ve also graced the silver screen, including Kate Winslet in the film A Little Chaos. 

Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, wearing a cream Jane Taylor hat, attends day two of Royal Ascot on June 15, 2016 (Photo by Anwar Hussein/WireImage)

At the moment Taylor is still working from home. Her office is on the light-filled ground floor and looks out over a small square. She surrounds herself with her own hats for inspiration. It hasn’t all been plain sailing though. The milliner admits to being a bit more strict with herself, ‘as there is always something to do at home that can catch your attention.’ She now frames her working day: starting with yoga and meditation first thing in the morning and a walk at lunchtime. 

As well as her beloved hats, Taylor likes to work alongside a lit candle and incense. She often hand dyes products, so a big clear up at the end of the day is essential: ‘When you are artistic, you tend to make a lot of creative mess, which can often overflow into your home life!’ She explains. 

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Post-lockdown, Taylor is most excited about her upcoming new collection, which will include optional luxury head-to-toe styling for everyday life and special occasions. She’s a big believer that hats aren’t just for the latter, and lockdown has provided the perfect environment for indulging in more casual headwear designs. 

Go to office uniform

Really casual because I’m making pieces. Normally, a t-shirt and jeans because it can be quite physical.

Work soundtrack

I love the sound of birdsong or the forest. I also listen to 525Hz—it’s meant to be the sound of the Universe. 

Messy desk or tidy desk?

Normally very messy!

Best piece of career advice you’ve ever been given

Follow your passion. It’s important to make sure you love what you are doing all the time, and that you keep reassessing what you are doing.

Your Instagram hero

I don’t have a personal Instagram account, but we do have our work one.