The women from the Emerald workshop farewell Neil Grigg at the airport.
The women from the Emerald workshop farewell Neil Grigg at the airport.

Creative genius takes his hat off to Emerald

WITH clientele including Princess Mary, Megan Gale, Tara Moss and Jennifer Hawkins, Neil Grigg is certainly mixing it up with the A-listers, but on a recent visit to Emerald he showcased his skills to some of lucky local ladies.

The Sydney-sider has been designing and making hats for the past 30 years and said his trip to Emerald was one of the most enjoyable he been on in a long time.

Neil was joined by eight women who all have a passion for making hats and coming up with new creations.

Based in Paddington, Sydney, Neil has made hats and fascinators for theatre shows, boutiques and shops including David Jones and did a roaring trade during Melbourne Cup time.

Raylee Clothier hosted the four-day workshop at her family’s Borilla Park property, where Neil and the girls all stayed for the duration of the course.

“It’s sort of almost a fantasy to go out and stay on the farm to people from the city,” Neil said of the country-based workshop.

Raylee has been making hats for about five years and said the workshops were good fun and that it was great to learn from someone with Neil’s experience.

“I have been to several of Neil’s courses in Rockhampton and Buderim and a few of the ladies mentioned they would have liked to have the next workshop at our house so that’s how it came about.”

Neil holds about six workshops each year and usually it is the same women who travel around for his expertise.

“It’s wonderful seeing the girls all have new ideas,” Neil said. “I get all these pictures sent to me from the girls of things they have done and it’s really wonderful, it sort of stimulates me.”


Skate park the place to be

Skate park the place to be

Emerald Skate Mates free clinics draw in the crowds.

BnS Ball raises $10,000

BnS Ball raises $10,000

Organisers heap praise on crowd.

Breakfast at Tiffany's in Comet

Breakfast at Tiffany's in Comet

Blackdown Seniors dressed up Monday for for a brunch at Comet Rest.

Local Partners