The story of Madge & Me - A Milliner’s Tale

Madge & Me offers unique hand made hats for men and women, designed and crafted at the Madge and Me Studio in San Anselmo. Each hat is shaped and trimmed by hand using traditional techniques, the finest quality materials, careful attention to detail, and oodles of love. A “Madge & Me” hat stands out for its timeless beauty, playfulness, and fine craftsmanship.

Laurie Berliner, Milliner

I was born and raised in San Anselmo, California.  After 20+ years in public service, I refashioned my life to pursue a lifelong love of handmade clothing and hats. Beginning in 2013, I honed my sewing and pattern making skills at Apparel Arts, Oakland and vintage tailoring and couture techniques with master tailor Thomas Von Nordheim, in London, U.K. On a whim, I took a weekend workshop with Bay Area milliner Deanna Gibbons, and this marked the beginning of my millinery journey. I did a deep dive into millinery techniques at the London College of Fashion under the tutelage of Chloe Scrivener, formerly with Philip Treacy. On my return home, I bought my first set of handmade wooden blocks from Guy Morse-Brown hat blocks, from the village of Bromham, U.K. and the rest is history! Recently, I learned straw braid hat making from Suzanne Warfield of Marine & Deerfield, Brooklyn, NY. 

My designs are informed by my tailoring and pattern making skills, British training, and the lifestyle of the San Francisco Bay Area. Madge is my beloved Cardigan Welsh Corgi and constant companion. My shop is located in the space formerly occupied by Mel Bridges, the San Anselmo Barber Shop. Mel cut hair in the shop for 70 years, including my father’s! 

I am grateful for the many people who have guided me on my millinery journey; neighbors, friends, and family. Their boundless love and kindness, together with mine, is sewn into every hat made in my tiny shop.