Jill Courtemanche Millinery

racing fashion

JCMillinery + YELP

Solana Beach, Collaborations, Horse RacingJill CourtemancheComment

Truth be told, I love hosting parties. The prep and the planning, the details and jushing, it's kind of a happy place for me. So when Yelp North County called and asked if I would like to collaborate with them on a special girls night out in my shop to celebrate the opening of the Del Mar Racetrack (otherwise know as the official start to hat season), I was totally in! 

First, we decided to break the event into two nights so we could create a more intimate setting and give each elite Yelper a chance to work with me and create a fun, feathered headband as a keepsake. Secondly, we called some of my favorite local vendors and asked them if they would like to join in the fun (which thankfully they did)! Last but not least, we called in a photographer to capture all the magic. 

Scroll through the pictures and see how we transformed the Solana Beach JCM shop and parking lot into a fabulous event space. I love how much fun all of these amazing women had playing dress up for the evening, and I think it is safe to say we all had a blast celebrating the racing season here in the Cedros Design District

 

A huge THANK YOU to our friends at Camera Camper for providing the most amazing photo booth experience ever, (I mean oh so SoCal and oh so fabulous), Lockwood Table for providing delectable nibbles for the evening, Bang Pop Shop for blowing my mind with the most couture cake pops ever (I mean those cake pops are wearing fascinators) and of course to the amazing team at Yelp for bringing the whole thing to life! 

Adventures in Louisville

Travel, Horse Racing, FashionJill CourtemancheComment

A couple of weeks ago I had the pleasure of traveling to Louisville, Kentucky to showcase my hats at some pre-Kentucky Derby shopping events. This was my first time in Louisville and I can tell you, this is one charming city!

Much to my dismay it was snowing when I arrived and when I drove into town I was surprised to find it deserted. Wondering what I had gotten myself into, I headed to the recently opened hotel bar, Eight Up for diner and found the snowy night had brought out the best of southern hospitality. In between the delicious lamb bolognese and chatting with the locals I learned the first of 3 amazing things about Louisville, they know how to make a cocktail. My standard cocktail is a French martini and it usually requires some back and forth with a bartender but these guys nailed it, and it looked as great as it tasted.

              Gallopalooza - horse themed street art

              Gallopalooza - horse themed street art

From there I had some free time so I headed over to NuLu, an arts district filled with galleries, small shops and cafes. This is where I learned the second amazing thing about Louisville, they play great music. I am not sure if it was because they needed a boost to get them through the storm or that's just how they roll but every place I went was playing great music and always just a touch too loud so you could really feel it. A few places I would recommend checking out: Please & Thank You, Scout and The Green Building.

My last stop was at a great antique market down the road, Crazy Daisy. I found some amazing vintage iron shoe lasts which I bought to repurpose as display fixtures in the shop.

                      The French Martini at Eight Up

                      The French Martini at Eight Up

The next morning I was up bright and early to do a segment on WHAS for Great Day Live all about hat trends and what's hot for Derby Season. It was so much fun and once again everyone was so lovely! You can watch the segment here.

While I was there I couldn't resist popping one of my hats on their Gallopalooza horse. I am a sucker for street art, and these fantastic horses were all over the city. Their bright colors and bold designs definitely stood out against the snowy backdrop and gave the city some much needed spring color.

That evening I was delighted to be a vendor at the Wine, Women and Shoes event at The Henry Clay benefiting Family Scholar House. Everyone was dressed to the nines, incredibly charming and clearly out to have a good time. It was a great evening for a great cause and I am so happy they invited me to be a part of it!

On Sunday I did a trunk show with the amazing ladies at Clodhoppers. I couldn't believe it when I found out that Louisville does not have a major department store, this seemed impossible to me but I quickly came to realize that with stores like Clodhoppers, they don't need one. This boutique is filled with great designers like Milly, Alice & Olivia and Mara Hoffman and the ladies really know their stuff. It was really fun to watch them style clients in great looks for Derby and then turn them over to me to create a custom hat to match. I am thrilled to be working with these ladies and thrilled that they will be carrying my hats and fascinators through derby season.

That night was my only night to really go out for a proper diner and the foodie in me had been asking everyone for the two days prior what they thought the best restaurant in town was. The name that kept coming up was Jack Fry's and I can tell you, I was not disappointed. In spite of the crowd, I was lucky to snag a seat at the bar and it was here that I learned the third amazing thing about Louisville, the people are beyond gracious. I shared some great conversation, food and more amazing cocktails with groups of total strangers who love their city. It was a super fun way to end my trip and if you ever find yourself at that bar, the shrimp and grits is heaven.