Hat's off to this bespoke fashion designer!

“I’ve got nimble hands, a great sense of fashion and years of work still left in me,” laughs Anne Jaworski.

The designer hat and beanie maker operates her successful business from her room at Uniting AgeWell Hawthorn Community, where she creates her high-end fashion headgear.

The 83-year-old often heads out in her car, parked in the basement of the the residence, to browse through the boutiques in Hawthorn and get a sense of what’s happening in the fashion world.

“It’s all about colour,” Anne explains. “I create hats from pure wool and fur – and right now forest green shades are all the rage.”

Anne sells the hats as fast as she can make them to select stores in Hawthorn and Tasmania, and says she also loves blending materials to create the perfect look. “I enjoy working,” she says. “It gives me a great deal of happiness to know that women feel beautiful wearing the hats that I create.”

She’s also delighted she has the time to be as creative as possible, with all the meals and entertainment on tap at Hawthorn Community.

“I came here for respite care during COVID-19 a few years ago and really enjoyed it. So I decided to move in permanently. It’s wonderful to have everything done for you – the laundry, the housework … there’s nothing to worry about!” Anne explains. “The staff are very caring and it’s comforting to know they take good care of me. It’s also good to have the company of other residents – there’s always someone to chat to.”

Beauty is important to Anne, who still boasts a flawless complexion and over the years has modelled and has worked in Melbourne’s fashion scene.

She is quietly proud that all that she has achieved, has been done through her own efforts. She left school early, was married at 16 and went on to have three children who are the light of her life. Anne divorced her husband when she was in her late twenties and started a new life as a solo mum, determined to do the best for her girls.

“I learned from the ground up,” she says. “I had no option but to make a success of my life.” And she has. Over the years she worked multiple roles in retail while working evenings at the ticket box in the theatre, doing whatever it took to provide for her children.

“All three of my girls are not only wonderful people but also very successful in their careers,” says Anne. “My grandchildren are also very successful. I look at them and I realise I must have done something right for them to have turned out like this!”

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