Hats off to Mary as she opens her new shop

Irish Examiner - County - - News - Áilín Quin­lan

At 77, most peo­ple are tak­ing it easy — but not West Cork hat dy­namo, Mary May­bury, who’s just cut the rib­bon to her new shop.

Or rather, the youngest of her 11 grand­chil­dren, three­year-old Ella O’Dono­van did the hon­ours — the lit­tle girl proudly snipped the red rib­bon to the en­trance of the new hat em­po­rium, sim­ply named The Hat Shop, on Dun­man­way’s Park Road.

The Dun­man­way en­tre­pre­neur, who has 11 grand­chil­dren and is look­ing for­ward to the birth of her first great-grand­child in June, en­joyed a highly so­cia­ble gather- ing of fam­ily, friends — and hat-fans — at the of­fi­cial open­ing of her new premises.

“It was a great fam­ily gath­er­ing and a great cel­e­bra­tion,” re­ported Mary’s daugh­ter San­dra, who re­called how her mother started her hat ser­vice in the garage of her home some 25 years ago.

M a r y h a d p r e v i o u s l y worked in the fam­ily busi­ness — the well-known Park­way Ho­tel — un­til her re­tire­ment in 1991.

The hat busi­ness came about af­ter a se­ries of fam­ily wed­dings, for which Mary had amassed quite an amount of beau­ti­ful head-gear — so much so that a friend pre­sciently quipped that Mary now had so many hats she could hire them out.

For some years, Mary rented out hats and head­pieces, gar­nered through trips to top Lon­don bou­tiques and else­where, from the con­verted garage of her house. Af­ter a few years, she moved to the town shop­ping cen­tre, where clients had the op­por­tu­nity to choose from a col­lec­tion of some 1,000 sep­a­rate pieces of head­gear for oc­ca­sions from wed­dings to a day at the races.

Now, with her ninth decade beck­on­ing, this dy­namic West Cork busi­ness­woman and her hats are en­ter­ing a new phase.

The Hat Shop is open Tues­day to Satur­day 3pm-5pm and also by ap­point­ment.

Friends and fam­ily gath­ered to cel­e­brate with Mary May­bury, at the open­ing of her new Hat Shop in Dun­man­way.

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