20 Years of Headpiece.com

It feels like yesterday that I opened Headpiece.com. Twenty years has gone by in a blink. I still love unlocking the door with my purple key every day. Each twist of the key produces new ideas and brings me into the lives of so many unforgettable brides.

Headpiece-com.jpeg

Headpiece.com beginnings

While Headpiece.com opened its doors in July of 1999, many don’t know the story behind its inception. I began my business by chance. I married in 1982 while in my second year of fashion design studies at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City. I designed everything for my wedding; my wedding gown and veiled hat, my mom’s dress, my flower girl’s dress, centerpieces, bouquets, etc. Shortly after that, friends began asking me to design for them. My dear friend Maureen Corrigan was the first to honor me with her headpiece and veil design in June of 1983.

What appears to be a pouf at the top of Maureen’s veil was actually a soft cowl that served as a light face blusher as she walked down the aisle. I love this design idea to this day and wish to revive it in the cycle of wedding fashion.

What appears to be a pouf at the top of Maureen’s veil was actually a soft cowl that served as a light face blusher as she walked down the aisle. I love this design idea to this day and wish to revive it in the cycle of wedding fashion.

My niece, Keri, married in 1995. Her headpiece took 22 hours to create. Each silk flower petal was hand cut and gathered to form a flower or a bud. Tiny buds were then hand sewn to her cathedral veil as though they were falling from her head.

My niece, Keri, married in 1995. Her headpiece took 22 hours to create. Each silk flower petal was hand cut and gathered to form a flower or a bud. Tiny buds were then hand sewn to her cathedral veil as though they were falling from her head.

I designed Dawn’s headpiece in 1999 before our opening. Her headpiece frame was custom made and created from buckram and wire. The silk flowers on her headpiece were cut from pastel-colored silks to tie in softly with her bouquet.

I designed Dawn’s headpiece in 1999 before our opening. Her headpiece frame was custom made and created from buckram and wire. The silk flowers on her headpiece were cut from pastel-colored silks to tie in softly with her bouquet.

The Mayor attended our Grand Opening in July of 1999, along with 100 guests. I had no idea where my design talents would take me. All I knew is that I loved creating. I loved the tedious tasks that made my designs exceptional. My goal was simple. I wanted Headpiece.com to become a destination place for brides who were looking for unique quality designs in the world of bridal accessory fashion.
— Marie Hunt
My children Schuyler, 13, Brielle, 10, Aubrey, 5, and husband, Jeff were just as excited as me. Through the years, they have all contributed their talents to help me take Headpiece.com to the next level.

My children Schuyler, 13, Brielle, 10, Aubrey, 5, and husband, Jeff were just as excited as me. Through the years, they have all contributed their talents to help me take Headpiece.com to the next level.

Jeff and I found a space right in our town to build out the shop. I knew it had potential the first moment I walked through the door. The challenge was to take it from an old auto parts store and make it into a dream accessory salon for the bride-to-be.
Before we could build out the space we had to completely rid it of grime and dirt. This job required encapsulating vents and replacing the ceiling.

Before we could build out the space we had to completely rid it of grime and dirt. This job required encapsulating vents and replacing the ceiling.

We transformed Headpiece.com into a pristine showroom filled with antiques to display the most beautiful designs created from luxurious fabrics, silks, and laces.

We transformed Headpiece.com into a pristine showroom filled with antiques to display the most beautiful designs created from luxurious fabrics, silks, and laces.

Our first professional photo shoot took place in 2000.

2019-08-12_152633.jpeg
I had worked on commercial photo shoots in New York City when I was a fit development designer for International Playtex. Their goal was always striving for a structured perfection in bra design. The message I wanted to come across for my first photo shoot was a feeling of relaxation. I wanted my brides to know they were in the right place.
Bride exhausted 4lsuper glow Mac.jpg

The Fashion Cycle

Witnessing a fashion cycle comes with age and experience. When I opened in 1999, fabric headpiece styles were nearing an end and tiaras were coming in with a roar! The more fabric and volume in a veil, the better! When I reflect on those days, I often say you could hardly see the bride through all of the tulle surrounding her face. But the truth is fashion is always cyclical.

headshot E001 copy.jpg

Marcella saw this headpiece design in our window in 2003. She was the first to wear it and has since passed it down to her daughter for her holy communion.

Marcella.jpg
Lace has seen an amazing comeback in wedding fashion. We designed this gorgeous French Chantilly lace mantilla in 2006.

Lace has seen an amazing comeback in wedding fashion. We designed this gorgeous French Chantilly lace mantilla in 2006.

Tiaras have had the most extended stay in our 20 years. They come in and go out, but I don’t think we will ever see them disappear completely.

Tiaras have had the most extended stay in our 20 years. They come in and go out, but I don’t think we will ever see them disappear completely.

Volume and layers were popular for years after our initial opening. Slowly brides began to yearn for sheerness and soft draping for their wedding veil.

Volume and layers were popular for years after our initial opening. Slowly brides began to yearn for sheerness and soft draping for their wedding veil.

This headpiece was one of my earliest vintage headpiece re-designs and also the beginning of my love and passion for working with family heirloom wedding accessories.

This headpiece was one of my earliest vintage headpiece re-designs and also the beginning of my love and passion for working with family heirloom wedding accessories.


HIghlights

I have the best job in the world. I get to create, meet amazing people, and have some fun and unique experiences. I always laugh when I think back to the phone call I received from a man asking me if I designed for any gypsies. He said they were creating a show about gypsy brides and they wanted to feature my designs. I thought it was a prank and hung up. Little did I know My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding would become a popular show on TLC.

I have never been too interested in fame or popularity. Most of my clients know I hardly watch tv and have no idea of the current movies. I design many nights into the morning hours listening to music. Designing is my love, and having my designs loved is all I ever want!
Photo by Antonietta Henry Photography

Photo by Antonietta Henry Photography

It is always fun and exciting no matter who I design for. I have had the opportunity to design for a few brides my followers might know.
Actress Tara Reid came to us 2001 to design her headpiece and veil for her wedding to Carson Daly. I sketched and created her headpiece with an antique pave’ diamond pendant as the focal point. Her veil was 157” long with hand-beaded crystal drops. I received an invitation to the wedding, but the wedding was called off just weeks before her walk down the aisle.

Actress Tara Reid came to us 2001 to design her headpiece and veil for her wedding to Carson Daly. I sketched and created her headpiece with an antique pave’ diamond pendant as the focal point. Her veil was 157” long with hand-beaded crystal drops. I received an invitation to the wedding, but the wedding was called off just weeks before her walk down the aisle.

Sara posed for a photo shoot with renowned fashion photographer,  Chris Evans . This shot has to be one of my all time favorites. This pic graced the front page of our website for quite awhile. Sara is seen on American Beauty Star on Lifetime.

Sara posed for a photo shoot with renowned fashion photographer, Chris Evans. This shot has to be one of my all time favorites. This pic graced the front page of our website for quite awhile. Sara is seen on American Beauty Star on Lifetime.

Dina Laurita came to Headpiece.com in 2007 when she was engaged to Tommy Manzo. We designed a beautiful European net veil with French lace edging to compliment her hand-beaded rhinestone knit top and silk skirt wedding separates. VH1 came to film in our shop for the premiere of My Big Fat Fabulous Wedding. Shortly after her wedding, Dina became a cast member on The Real Housewives of NJ.

Dina Laurita came to Headpiece.com in 2007 when she was engaged to Tommy Manzo. We designed a beautiful European net veil with French lace edging to compliment her hand-beaded rhinestone knit top and silk skirt wedding separates. VH1 came to film in our shop for the premiere of My Big Fat Fabulous Wedding. Shortly after her wedding, Dina became a cast member on The Real Housewives of NJ.

Marissa Lopez is one of the sweetest brides I ever designed for. Marissa became a cast member on Cake Boss after winning the second season of TLC’s Next Great Baker. She was also featured on our blog  Fourteenth: Designing for the Next Great Baker .

Marissa Lopez is one of the sweetest brides I ever designed for. Marissa became a cast member on Cake Boss after winning the second season of TLC’s Next Great Baker. She was also featured on our blog Fourteenth: Designing for the Next Great Baker.

The Audrey Hepburn photo shoot we did with Something Bleu Bridal for Saratoga Bride magazine will always be among the best. This edition recently won its fourth award and our Breakfast at Tiffany’s inspired headpiece made the cover.

The Audrey Hepburn photo shoot we did with Something Bleu Bridal for Saratoga Bride magazine will always be among the best. This edition recently won its fourth award and our Breakfast at Tiffany’s inspired headpiece made the cover.

When Modern Bride calls you and asks you to send veils for their cover shoot, you design what you hope they are looking for. This veil is a simple European net design and this shot captured the cover as seen in the collage below.

When Modern Bride calls you and asks you to send veils for their cover shoot, you design what you hope they are looking for. This veil is a simple European net design and this shot captured the cover as seen in the collage below.

Headpiece.com designs have been featured in many magazines during our twenty years.

IMG_8594.jpg

The best highlights in my career involve my family! They have remained supportive and giving since the day I opened. Brielle and Aubrey have modeled over the years. Schuyler has helped me with my website and creative ideas. Jeff has always been my number one fan and is the genius behind the name Headpiece.com

I28A0523a copy.jpg
When I opened in 1999, Brielle was just ten years old and loved to come to the store to help. I imagine coming to help your bridal designer mom is every little girl’s dream. She had many opportunities to try on headpieces and veils. Then one day she grew up. Brielle will always be my one and only bride until the day her sister marries.

Brielle’s wedding day October 14th, 2017

Photography by Allison Kuhn Creative

AKC-hunt-maffett-wedding-10-14-17-0158 copy.jpg
AKC-hunt-maffett-wedding-10-14-17-0163 (1) copy.jpg
AKC-hunt-maffett-wedding-10-14-17-0335 (1) copy.jpg
AKC-hunt-maffett-wedding-10-14-17-0543 copy.jpg
Reception Headpiece Design AKC-hunt-maffett-wedding-10-14-17-0838 (1) copy.jpg

The Celebration

I am not one to ever celebrate me. Twenty years in business called for a celebration. I wanted to celebrate with a gathering of my brides and vendors. I also wanted it to be personal, so I chose to invite previous brides to my home to mark this special event. I was delighted to find guests would come from afar; Charleston, SC, Gettysburg, PA, Saratoga Springs, NY and the entire tri-state area. Brides came who were married in 1983 and just recently married. Marissa Lopez came while waiting to give birth any day, and Ashley Micceri came awaiting her veil design for her September wedding. I have always viewed Headpiece.com as a family!

Molly Gregor, Editor of New Jersey Bride Magazine, gifted me with this display designed by her art staff. It is proudly displayed in our window at the shop.

NJBCoverHeadpieceJ.com.jpg

Brielle created a beautiful book collaborating photos and memories of so many wonderful clients, vendors, and friends. So many new clients at the shop have enjoyed flipping through.

IMG_0480.JPG
Celebration.jpg

Aubrey and Brielle opened the shop for those guests who wanted a tour of all that is bright and beautiful at Headpiece.com. Marissa Mackay, owner of Something Bleu Bridal, and previous owner, Denise Eliopulos were thrilled to see our latest designs.

IMG_8329.jpeg
IMG_8326.jpeg

The party ended with custom designed purple and gold cupcakes by my sister, Suzie. The day couldn’t have been any sweeter.

IMG_4684.jpg

So here I sit at the end of twenty years thinking of what is ahead. I am just as excited as the day of my Grand Opening. Those who know the full story of Headpiece.com know that it began with a dream of a store with four quadrants and a purple and gold sign out front. Well, I am still dreaming, and I can’t wait to tell you more!

Designer-Marie-Hunt.jpeg

Next month on the Fourteenth:

A Fairytale Bride