Harman Hay Publications Inc. is a US based company that supports and inspires the work of re-enactors, costume and corset makers, and theater and fashion designers worldwide with the award winning magazine websites Foundations Revealed and Your Wardrobe Unlock’d.
Founded in the UK and moved to the US in 2013 where the majority of our customers, helpers and writers are, we are proud not only to support and educate beginners and improvers, but to challenge the most passionate makers to drive the relatively new field of accurate historical costume and corsetry forward.
Wardrobe came first, borne out of a grand wish to help seamstresses to stay inspired and positive, maximise their skills and realise their sewing dreams. Within a few months after its launch in November 2007, over a hundred costumers from around the world were enjoying regular, in-depth, practical articles that helped them improve in their favourite hobby.
By late 2008, a steadily growing readership of both amateur and professional seamstresses were now enjoying a growing archive and an expanding wealth of talent on the writers’ team, thanks to Editor Marion McNealy.
In late 2009 we were delighted to win the Nottingham Creative Business Award, in the category of Digital Media, for our innovative use of new media to disseminate and develop lost textile arts from history.
And so it was that we expanded in October 2009 to include the second, even more successful site Foundations Revealed, catering to the fascinating new world of corsetmaking, revived after a hiatus of almost a hundred years.
As practitioners of the new wave of corsetry develop their skills and rediscover lost nuances to the art, Foundations Revealed remains at the forefront of research and best practice, inspiring new artists to begin their exploration as well as challenging seasoned professionals to take the field forward by discovering and unlocking the secrets of the past.
A small number of members began to enjoy meeting each other, making new real-time friends and swapping enthusiasm, tips and advice in a series of Harman Hay Publications museum visits, taking in most notably the Bath Fashion Museum and Museum of London. Annual costuming and corsetry competitions were beginning to build the confidence of a number of talented artists, some of whom became writers.
By late 2012 the team had expanded again to include Elizabeth Licata and Noelle Paduan in roles related to layout and formatting, and we soon added Polly Aron in the role of Assistant to Cathy Hay, with responsibility for the smooth running of the administrative side of the business.
A third project, History Unstitched, developed Wardrobe‘s stash of pre-1700 costuming knowledge in 2013, adding further wisdom, talent and best practice to our archive, and as of October 2013 we now feature the work of over 100 writers between our sites as a whole.
Harman Hay Publications is an innovative 21st century project that operates entirely online, allowing its team of five the geographical freedom to live in more than one place (in Cathy’s case) or to move frequently without career disruption (in the case of the military family amongst our number) and the ability to work flexibly and part time from home, an arrangement that seems to splice particularly well even with the early stages of motherhood.
Around 750 regular readers enjoy our work, and we are particularly proud to watch both them and our writers grow as artists – and businesspeople, in many cases – partly as a result of the skills and confidence that they have found in working with us.