Dea Koepfle's small business is called Hair Art to Die For. Koepfle creates unique works of "hair art," including headbands and fascinators she calls Floozies.
A fascinator is a delicate head decoration worn instead of a hat, popular for formal events, weddings, costume parties or for fun. the term "fascinator" once described the heavy veils worn by women but has, in the modern day, come to represent a wider array of hair ornaments. Internationally they are very popular, as seen in the recent Royal Wedding.
To make her Floozies, Koepfle uses a felt base with a hair comb sewn in. She takes pride in seeking out interesting buttons, feathers and ribbons to use in each original piece. Koepfle makes dozens of fascinators a week by hand.
“I love to use skulls, skeletons, glittery birds, butterflies, anything fun, or unusual,” Koepfle said in an e-mail.
“No one is going to be seen wearing the same style. I’ll use the same color tones but never make any exactly alike,” Koepfle says. “So if you see one you like buy it quick, you won’t find another like it.”
Koepfle began her artistic career in the early 90’s.
“I started with drawing at San Bernardino Valley College,” Koepfle said in her e-mail.
Koepfle explores her creative side using various media.
“I've painted on canvas, furniture, sculpted and thrown with clay, even did a bit of costuming for Society of Creative Anachronism (S.C.A.) and Renaissance Fairs,” Koepfle said in her e-mail. “I even made costumes for tribal belly dancing groups, including tribal head dresses.”
Koepfle decided to make fascinators to challenge herself.
“A friend of mine was making and selling mini top hats and I thought they were cute, so I tried to figure out an original "hat" that wasn't a top hat,” Koepfle said.
“I took that idea, made it my own style using ribbons, feathers, lace and tulle and poof!—a fascinator was born.”
Koepfle’s small business reached new heights two years ago when she met fashion designer Maggie Barry at “Pink Parlor,” a craft show held at the Santa Anita Race Track.
Koepfle credits Barry with coming up with the name “Floozies.”
“She fell in love with my fascinators,” Koepfle said. “She asked me if I'd be interested in having them in a Hollywood fashion show she was participating in. I, of course, said yes!”
Since then Barry and Koepfle have done several shows together, including Maggie's Rock Siren Fall 2009 Collection in Hollywood, a photo shoot for Regard Online Magazine, and some cover shots on California Apparel News in May 2011.
“My Floozies were featured with Maggie’s designs at the Art Institute of California Casino Royale Fashion show in June,” Koepfle wrote.
Koepfle brought her products to the 'Mega Mixer' put on by the Waste Management at Elegant Affair in Banning Thursday.
Koepfle’s Floozies were also used by California dance group Twitch on Paula Abdul’s show “Live to Dance” this past spring.
Writer, radio personality, and musician Tequila Mockingbird is one of Koepfle customers.
Koepfle claims Mockingbird “owns many of my Floozies and uses them in her music videos and photo shoots.”
“It’s fun when people are excited about my stuff,” Koepfle said.
Koepfle has a Floozies wedding line featuring veils and birds She said she is eager to do custom work for people who share her love of fascinators.
“They are a good price and people just love them,” Koepfle said.
Her custom Floozies are available at www.myfloozies.com; the Edward Dean Museum in Cherry Valley; Chic Little Devil in Los Angeles; local craft fairs, and on ETSY.com under the name “hairart2die4.”
“Fascinators are quite the rage now with the Royal Wedding,” Koepfle said. “People have fun wearing them and hearing the good comments they get when they wear an original Floozie.”