Two weeks ago I was interviewed for the school newspaper. I was completely caught off guard by the interview...I was in the costume shop one day and Theo (a theatre teacher) points to me and said "there she is." A girl walked in and said she wanted to interview me for The Journal because she heard I was "interesting." I don't really think of myself as being that interesting, but I guess I'm a lot different from other people my age because of my crafting.... Below is the much requested newspaper article. It was located in the Q&A section of the weekly university newspaper.
"Costume Creator Turns Entrepreneur
BY NAOMI BREMER
Fletcher’s mother was her sewing inspiration.
Fletcher Starts Hat Making Business
Whitney Fletcher, Mounds senior, has been busy lately—not only does she make costumes for the theatre department, but she recently started her own hat making business. Fletcher is a mass communications: electronic and print media major and a theatre minor. She will also be assisting with costume-making and fitting for the upcoming play, "Cinderella."
Q. How is your hat making business going?
A. I started making hats probably about two months ago. I made 10 in seven days, and the first few sold like hotcakes because I wore them all the time, which is great advertising. I started a shop online and sold my first hat online to a girl in the U.K. I have orders for two or three more.
Q. What do you do at the costume shop?
A. We make sure that everyone has costumes that are fitting to the play itself and fits [the actors and actresses] appropriately. Sometimes we have to make things. We had to make Klan [Ku Klux Klan costumes]—that was an adventure. Lots of scary research. We’re about to start working on stuff for "Cinderella." We are not sure if we’re going classic fairy tale or picking a fashion decade.
Q. What got you into costuming and hat-making?
A. I wanted a hat and I was too cheap to go out and buy one. My mom made all my clothes growing up because we were Pentecostal. It’s hard to find proper clothes that fit and everything, and not having much money. I’d watch her make my clothes all the time. Eventually I was like, "Hey Mom, I want to sew!" I made little pillows. A few years ago, the trend of T-shirt reconstruction came out. I started making skirts out of T-shirts. They’re really cute and fun. I made some other clothing for myself. Then I heard there was an open position up here and jumped for it.
Q. What’s the hardest part of your job?
A. There are 40-second costume changes. We helped with two [plays]. It was a little intense, but once it’s over, it’s "Hey, I accomplished it." Dress rehearsal is pretty hard. Is the director going to like it? They haven’t seen it all on stage, and stage lights make things look a little different. You just don’t really know until it’s up there, then it’s "Why did I pick that shirt?"
Q. How do you make a hat?
A. I found a generalized pattern online. I make newsboy hats. It has six basically triangular-shaped top pieces, a hat band, and the brim. I don’t usually do it in one sitting, but if I just sat down and did it, it would take one or two hours.
Q. Do you have plans to expand your hat making business?
A. I want to, but I haven’t found any more basic ideas—like how I found the newsboys on the internet. Other styles are a little harder. I tried to make the Army-style hat, but it was without any sort of pattern so I wasn’t able to finish it. But that’s how you learn!
Q. What’s the most unique costumes you’ve ever made?
A. The Klan robes and hoods. Hoods are hard to keep up—we had to starch like crazy, every night. We had three [robes] already, so we had to make four or five, and we had to make all the hoods.
Q. What do you plan to do after you graduate?
A. Probably news reporting. If not, then maybe producing for television. I interned last summer at KOTV Channel Six in Tulsa. I followed the reporters around, I got to write a few stories, did editing, sat in the booth with the producer. I ran the teleprompter one day—that was scary. I never had to make coffee! When I was in the 9th or 10th grade, there was a new news anchor at Channel Six. His name was Craig Day. It was because of watching him that I thought, "I want to go into news." When I interned, I got to intern with him. To me he was like a superhero.
“I [would] love to costume at Silver Dollar City. I love Silver Dollar City, I’ve gone there every year but one since 1996. They have adorable costumes and they also have a nighttime show where they do a variety of music, like country, rock and roll and Gospel. Those would be modern costuming, and then they have historical costumes, so that would just be so fun to do.” -Whitney Fletcher"