There are some items of clothing that when you put them on, you just feel a million dollars. This is exactly what happened to Rachael Nixon a few years back when she bought a hat for a day at the races in Saudi Arabia, where she worked as a children’s nurse.

She loved that hat so much, and it cost her a lot of money, that she carried it home in her hand when she was coming home to Scotland on the plane. On the way home it was damaged, and she decided to try to make her own hat to replace it… and there’s no surprise that is went well as here we are talking about her millinery business, Chanix Millinery.

Rachael, has been making hats for around four years as a hobby and it was in July last year that she took the leap into making them full time. And so far, she has been delighted with the constant word of mouth recommendations she has received, and going by the lists of testimonials from her clients on her website, there is a host of ladies who are delighted with their hats.

Rachael says: “I just want my clients to feel the same way I did when I put that hat on in Saudi Arabia. A hat can really complete an outfit, whether you are the mother of the bride or groom or you are planning a day at the races, then a beautiful fascinator or hat can make all the difference.”

Rachael uses traditional methods when making her hats, and even though she was self-trained for a long time, she has recently completed a certified course on millinery just in case there were some procedures she could do more efficiently.

At the moment, she has a wide range of styles in stock, at her home studio in Kirkcaldy, and she loves having client visit to make decisions about what style of hat they would like to have.

This season she tells me that blush pink is the chosen colour, although the navy blues and fuscia colours are also very strong.

For a bespoke hat, clients come along with their outfit and she will colour match the hat to it, either by sourcing the material or dying material to make sure it is perfect. The client then tries on different styles to see what suits and Rachael will truthfully advise them what suits, and what can be added to make the hat the stunning head-turner it should be.

Rachael is aware that many of the ladies who attend ladies’ days are younger and may not be in a position to buy a bespoke hat, so she has started a hire business, which has really taken off. This offers a stunning hat or fascinator at a fraction of the cost, some of them start from as little as £15.

Her success has been recognised when she won the award for the Fife Visual Artist and Craft Maker award last year, the first person to have been awarded it who hadn’t been formally educated in the subject.

She is also in the running for Best Wedding Accessory Provider, for the Scottish Wedding Awards and is excited to hear the outcome of that in February. She has also been placed first in an international millinery competition which had entries from all over the world. She is delighted with the way in which the business is going.

Just recently Rachael was accepted to be a Harris Tweed artisan maker, which means she has been making a range of flat caps and baker boys hats with both the Harris Tweed logo on them and her own. They sold out within days, and she is now in the process of making more.

Her clients hear about her through word of mouth, and also, through her Facebook and website page, and she is delighted that they keep coming back. She invests lots of time and energy into making her hats, some of them can take two days of hard work, but she loves experimenting, particularly for the ones for ladies’ day at the races, as they can be fun and extravagant.

Rachael also enjoys seeing the joy when the mothers of the bride and grooms find the perfect hat. “It’s their big day too,” she says. “They want to invest in something that they love and that complements their outfit.”

I asked Rachael about current styles, and she tells me that styles are very much influenced by what the Royals are wearing. If Kate Middleton or Megan Markle are wearing a cocktail size hat, then she knows that is what will be requested. Apparently, smaller hats are the style of choice at the moment, but Rachael can turn her hand to any style, as her many happy clients will attest to.