Living in a remote area where the closest town is 160km away, with no phone connection and even your closest neighbour feels a million miles away can be a challenging situation to find yourself in. For Danica Erard this was her life. She used this determination to her advantage to become one of Australia’s most sought-after milliners.
During the Spring Carnival of 2002, Danica embarked on a journey when her neighbour at the time approached her to make a fascinator for Oaks Day.
“What’s a fascinator?” Danica laughs, as she remembers questioning her.
So impressed with Danica’s creation, her neighbour offered her $300 for her efforts, which was flatly refused. Danica did take her advice though and continued down this path of creating hats. A moment in time that lit the fire and created the brand - D.E Millinery ©.
Her business has evolved quickly from craft markets to gaining momentum on a global scale, thanks to boutiques taking on her innovative range and creating custom couture designs.
“Building good business relationships and working hard has let my business evolve to what it is today.”
Danica takes all praise for her work in her stride, but admits when she received news that Lady Gaga loved the hat she made for her, she popped a bottle of champagne that night to celebrate.
Lady Gaga is just the beginning of a very long list of A-List clients that Danica has had the honour and privilege of creating amazing head pieces for. Zara Phillips, grandchild of HRH Queen Elizabeth II and also Australian socialite and influencer, Rebecca Judd, have embraced Danica’s unique designs and continue wearing them year after year.
When asked where her unique creations come from, Danica tells it’s a talent inherited from her Mum and Dad.
“My father was a tailor and such a creative soul, while my mother was a window dresser for Grace Brothers back in the day.”
“They’re no longer with us, but I credit them for my uniqueness. I also see myself as a risk taker.”
Danica prides herself on using Australian based businesses to source all of her millinery products and is a strong believer in supporting other small businesses in the industry.
Danica and her family currently reside in the North Queensland town of Mackay, where her work continues to inspire and evolve. Danica has worked solely, for the last 10 years, to build her brand to where it is today.
Danica continues to push the boundaries in the Millinery world year after year.