Tarrawanna's Pamela O'Brien is turning heads in the racing world.
Mrs O'Brien recently placed second in the Vogue and GQ Style Stakes at Randwick on Derby Day and then celebrated that weekend by watching Black Caviar win her final race.
Mrs O'Brien, of Locopa Design, competed against more than 100 women and achieved success wearing one of her own-designed hats that have become increasingly popular on many racetracks around Australia and overseas.
The mother of identical twin boys Sonny and Randy, 20 months, has been busy in recent months preparing a large range of fascinators and hats for the autumn carnival.
She also won the millinery award on Sensational Sunday.
"I actually made my hat from scratch and have sold over 400 fascinators in the last 12 months," she said.
Mrs O'Brien has been designing and creating fashion for about eight years.
"I am self-taught but my mum [Louise Tarrant] used to make swimwear [including surf club costumes] and I just branched off from there," she said.
"My husband [Aaron] and I have a passion for racing. When we started going to the racing I started getting into the fashion. That is how making the hats came about and now I am just addicted to it."
Mrs O'Brien still makes other clothing such as singlets, ladies wear and baby wear.
She also attends markets, such as the monthly Kiama Seaside Markets, with her clothing line and recently attended the Thirroul Seaside Festival.
But despite the growing success of her business she sees herself as a full-time mum first and does most of her designing and manufacturing when Mr O'Brien gets home from work.
She started making hats and fascinators about five years ago.
"I send them worldwide - to America, New Zealand - and last spring carnival I sold more than 300 fascinators, which was a lot of work," she said.
Mrs O'Brien also made many hats and hatinators for spring racing at Flemington in Melbourne.
"They are called different things but it is basically all millinery," she said.
"You can almost make anything to match any outfit. People usually send me a picture of a dress and I will create something to match their dress. Some girls buy six at a time. I get plenty of repeat business but there is also a lot of new business coming through."
No two items are ever the same and once she makes a hat or fascinator she sends it to each client. Most of the materials are sourced locally within the Illawarra.
Melbourne Cup is the biggest day of the year for women wearing her hats at Flemington and other race tracks and events around Australia.
Demand is so great Mrs O'Brien has already started designing and making hats and fascinators for the 2013 Melbourne Cup and the 2013 Spring Racing Carnival.
"I am hoping to have at least 300 fascinators ready to go by September 1," she said. "That is when I usually have them all online."