In December of 2014, Courtney Ellzey, a creative and mother of two, launched Vanner Hats, a Ventura-based hat line with a resonant message about women empowering women, one hat at a time. Ellzey lives and works in Ventura, CA and harks from the intrigue of the Texas panhandle where she grew up surrounded by vast prairies and open grasslands. Memories of her grandfather, a master carpenter and builder and her grandmother, a free gypsy cowgirl, gave form to a creative obsession that burned in Ellzey from a young age. Throughout her life, Ellzey has delved in photography, interior decorating, interior styling, and floral design--creative practices which forged the path that have led Ellzey to the intersection between fashion, design, architecture and storytelling; to Vanner Hats. When Ellzey first decided to "throw her hat" into the millinery business, she understood that she was designing more than hats. Vanner is a brand that transcends fashion. "There is an undeniable connection to people and their stories," says Ellzey. "Making a difference in people's lives is at the heart of this business." From its inception, Vanner aspired to be a conduit to share people's stories, to empower women, and to celebrate the struggles and accomplishments of those who remain true to themselves. Out of this mission, the Vanner Ambassadors were born. As a former military wife, Ellzey understood, first-hand, the grueling challenges presented by long absences and frequent deployments associated with ones work . Naturally, the first Vanner Ambassadors were her kindred-spirit, military wives. Ellzey currently divides her time between Vanner Hats, running after her toddler and discussing philosophy and politics with her 20-year-old son. She is an avid lover of books, interior design, architecture and cinema; enjoys music, a good laugh and is a self-proclaimed introvert.
Oh, and she loves coffee; really good coffee .