About Niav Riley

Niav Riley Millinery label was established in 2003.

After many very successful years in the business with many Race Meeting Winners, and a steady flow of returning and new clients, the label Niav Riley had secured a strong position in the designer marketplace.

However an evolving business must always listen to what the clients wants, and about 5 years ago many enquiries started to trickle in asking me if I taught Millinery. I had never considered this as a direction for the business to travel in, but I listened and provided.

5 years later business is thriving in a completely new direction. Originally I provided weekday lessons, which expanded into weekend workshops as demand grew. As a result of these classes and workshops another aspect of the business grew – competitively priced Hat blocks to help aspiring Milliners get started. Over the past couple of years I have worked closely with a local woodturner to develop a well priced quality product, and that range is constantly expanding.

Looking to the future, I plan to develop the 1 to 1 tutoring service that I offer into live online tutoring through platforms such as Skype and Whats App.

I have realised that teaching Millinery is something that I love to do. I like to make it easy and enjoyable, and as you will see so many of my students are thriving with their own Millinery businesses. I look forward to meeting you at one of my classes soon!

After many very successful years in the business with many Race Meeting Winners, my students are starting to take over!

About Niav

I was raised in an artistic household. My mother was an art teacher and landscape painter, and my father a freelance writer and entrepeneur. Art and craft, combined with business, were very strong influences in my childhood. It was always a foregone conclusion that this would be the path that I would follow.

In 1995 I graduated with an Honours degree in Fashion Design from the National College of Art and Design, Dublin. Since then I worked as a children’s wear and women’s wear designer for a few Irish companies. I worked as a women’s wear designer and stylist on photo-shoots for 3 years in Sydney, where I also studied Graphic Design, allowing me to work on brochure and magazine layout.

In 2000 on my return to Dublin, I decided to follow my interest in Graphic Design and worked in Animation for 3 years. During this period I missed the ‘hands on’ enjoyment from Craft work, and I developed an interest in making headpieces for myself and friends.

I attended a variety millinery courses in London , before taking a big Leap of Faith into setting up my own business. It is a decision that I have never regretted.

Hats for Racing

“The thing about the Races for hat lovers is there are no limitations on what you can wear, every colour is acceptable, the more dramatic the better, it is all about mixing a bit of fun with glamour and style. Unlike weddings where people don’t want to stand out, at the Races it is a must, and a chance to go wild”.

Sandra Divilly, Owner, The Galway Hat Shop.

Follow the link to see a history of my hats at the Races.