Name: Louisa Mae Voisine
Company Name, Title and Description of Business:
Louisa Voisine Millinery is a collection of ladies designer hats, fascinators and whimsies.
Designed and handmade with quality trims from France, England and around the world they are made with great care and attention to detail.
Using vintage hat blocks they are shaped into beautiful hats that frame a ladies face.
The designs can be seen internationally and nationally. Locally they are seen at major fundraising events and in large audiences annually at Churchill Hill Downs Kentucky Derby in Louisville and throughout our valley.
LVM designs are seen throughout the year at charity fundraising events, spring fashion shows and ladies high teas. No event is complete without a pop-up boutique for such occasions as Dress for Success, PBS, Awareness Is Prevention and the annual fundraising derby event at the M Resort.
The Chapeau Society of Las Vegas is always a sea of LVM designs and ladies select their Chapeaus from new collections months in advance to be seen in the latest and best Chapeau designs.
Dozens of designs are donated annually to charitable silent auction events and always draw ladies in hopes of being the lucky winning attendee.
1)How long have you been in business:
I have been designing hats for over 30 years and began my business in Las Vegas in 2012
2) How did you get into your business:
After completing my education in Boston I began working and traveling with an international tour company while designing privately. In 1982 It was time to focus on my design career full time and I began work in Los Angeles designing for film and television projects. Designing for mostly period films which required many hats I fell in love with millinery. While in Los Angeles I also developed the Banana Republic image in film and television and soon found myself as the Director of the Film and Television Division of Banana Republic.
3) What is one of your biggest challenges running your business:
The biggest challenge I face in running my business is in finding the right employes to fit the job task. As an artist there are so many variables in creating my collections. In order to execute a new collection every detail of the design is imperative to the vision and final product. Transfering the vision of a creation to someone else seems almost impossible at times.
4) Tell us about a big achievement:
--In your business:
I am fortunate to have had more than one and I value highly the input each achievement has had on my business and my vision in design.
The honor was graced upon me to be the featured milliner for the Pre-Academy Awards events in Los Angeles. The feedback from so many individuals have been instrumental in my different forms of design for each collection.
Gracing the magazine of Hatalk for Hat of The Month during London Hat Week was an unexpected achievement and very exciting as I was entering the international market.
The Kentucky Derby is every milliners dream not only have their creations appear on as many ladies as possible but also to have a design featured in the prominent Churchill Hill Downs Kentucky Derby Museum Hall of Fame.
Having accomplished that is truly an honor as well as an achievement.
--In your personal life:
The greatest achievement in my personal life has been an ongoing fulfillment of a dream I had since high school. The deep desire to study Theology has been in my heart for over forty-four years. Last year I decided it was time to do something about this dream. I spoke with my Pastor on where to start and he graciously guided me to the beginning of the road. I researched many seminaries and finally decided upon the one my pastor attended in Louisiana. It was an arduous application process and halfway through all the requirements I almost hung it up. Then one morning in prayer I realized “if you think this is hard wait until you begin classes.” so I marched on meeting every possible obstacle imaginable to gain acceptance.
I really never imagined I would be accepted and the day the acceptance letter arrived I cried.
Classes began in September of 2018 and although it will be a long road and surely with many difficult studies it is truly the greatest thing that has happened to me in my life.
I thank God for the inspiration to fulfill this dream and for the many Earth Angels support and guidance.
5) Tell us about your family and personal interests/activities:
My family which pretty much covers the entire state of Maine is just about the funniest, heart warming, loving group of French Canadians this side of the Canadian border. Although I don’t see them often when I do it’s as if I never left.
In Las Vegas my husband and I have two beautiful German Shepard dogs and three very fat cats.
My hobby is birds, all kinds of birds because I simply adore birds. I collaborate with two local Veterinarians in healing and releasing injured birds. I adore each one and the feeling of releasing a bird from your hand knowing they are returning to the sky is unimaginable and very difficult to describe.
My other hobby is teaching sewing classes to adult women who have always wanted to sew and never had the opportunity or time to learn. I adore my sewing students because they become like little girls. Their excitement to sit in front of a sewing machine for the first time and know something great will come from it is heartwarming.
6) What is on your desk:
A holy candle with a picture of Jesus
Engraved marble tile of my previous three dogs living in Texas
Books and binders
Stacks of seminary assignments old and new
New Orleans lamp
A footed porcelain 1920’s bowl with you name it I can probably find it in the bowl My computer
7) What resources do you use in business:
Trade shows are the number one resource and happily most of them take place in Las Vegas and Los Angeles. I work with suppliers in France, England, Australia, New York and Los Angeles.
8) What books have you read recently:
The Holy Bible for the second year in a row front to back and I still learn something new every day.
Women Leading Women authors Jaye Martin & Terri Stovall
Truly one of the best books I have ever read regarding helping women find their place and passion in life.
The Feather Thief author Kirk Wallace Johnson
The story of the Natural History heist for the plumage of rare and exotic birds from around the world. This book is very important as a milliner to never forget that any feathers we use in hat making must be a by product of a bird and not the killing of a bird for its beauty.