Our Story

Kathleen McAuliffe steaming a cheetah coloured hat.

Kathleen made her first hats to pay her way through College in the late 80s. On a trip to 1993 to her family home In Ireland, Kathleen met her husband and now business partner Niall. To cut a long story short she never went back to London. They bought a falling-down cottage in 1997 in Castlegregory which they completely renovated and built and workshop from that old cottage.

Today we make more hats than ever along with a range of Bags, clothing, and Jewellery. The Dingle shop and this online store sell the full range of goods we make aswell as selling other brands we love.

We sell a lot of Irish designers but do not limit ourselves. If the design is something we would like to own ourself, we are happy to sell it.

We are lucky to live in such a beautiful place on the Dingle Peninsula, The day normally starts with a walk on the beach, maybe with a bit of Surfing or Windsurfing at some point in the day.

Collage imagine of Hats, Kathleens sun windsurfing, Kathleen out walking and some more hats.

Some History

Probably the longest-established Milliner in Ireland Kathleen has been making hats since 1986. Millinery is in Kathleen's blood as Her great Aunt Ms. Maud Legg was a milliner to the Queen's Mother and other English royalty while working in Winchester England.

Kathleen studied Fine Art Painting at Camberwell  School of Art, London. Later going on to do Millinery at the London School of Fashion where she studied under Marie O'Regan who now makes the queen's hats. To pay her way through college Kathleen worked at "Browns" of South Molton Street and later the "Hat shop" in Covent Garden with Carol Denford. On Sundays, she sold her first hat designs at Greenwich Market.

Tired of London Kathleen moved to Ireland where her father came from and wanted to fulfil the dream of living in Ireland. She met her now husband and fellow milliner Niall Mellon in 1993. Surrounded by the stunning beauty of the Dingle peninsula they set up "Kathleen McAuliffe Millinery"  from a tiny old studio on the edge of the beach, later moving to a purpose-built studio in Castlegregory. They Supplied Stores in Ireland, Germany, Paris, The Hat Shop, Covent Garden and Arnotts in Dublin, and various Irish and English boutiques.


Press Coverage

  • Nationwide TV feature
  • Irish Country Magazine
  • Hot Press. Best of Ireland
  • Profile in Image magazine.
  • Irish Times
  • Xpose Tv
  • Maire Clare,  One of only 10 shops recommend in a feature on Ireland
  • Five pages in the UK Country Living Magazine. A long time ago!
  • Irish accessories designer of the year. 2009