In collaboration with the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture, this stylish, illustrated set of twelve note cards celebrates the life and work of Mae Reeves, one of Philadelphia's first Black female business owners.
Mae Reeves was the founder of Mae's Millinery Shop, the renowned hat design store that Mae started in 1940—a portion of which the Smithsonian recreated in the National Museum of African American History and Culture. Mae's Millinery Shop Note Cards features illustrations of Mae Reeves’s most iconic “showstoppers,” as she called her hats—with twelve note cards (six designs that each repeat), envelopes, and a foldout pamphlet detailing the history of the hats and the impact Mae had on African American history.
Whether they were covered in vibrant flowers, adorned with delicate beading, or emblazoned with a brooch, the hats created in Reeves’s shop were nothing short of wearable art. Her shop served the nearby residents of Philadelphia as well as some of the most famous African American women of the day, such as Ella Fitzgerald, Eartha Kitt, Lena Horne, and more, who traveled to procure one of her legendary, custom-made hats. But Reeves was not solely a trendsetter in fashion. She was a business pioneer whose lasting legacy was to empower and enfranchise African American men and women across her beloved Philadelphia.
Now you can celebrate and honor Black history with this artful note card set featuring six full-color images of Reeves's famous designs—a wonderful gift for a fashion-forward friend, history buff, or any trendsetter's desk.