Weaving Women's Words Baltimore Stories
Frances Berman Sulsky

Making hats is creative. There's a beauty when you make someone happy. I did it without money—and I grew. It made a certain kind of human being out of me. And I, in turn, could share it all with my parents and siblings who needed it desperately.

Frances Berman Sulsky

Frances Berman Sulsky, born in New York in 1910, was known for over half a century as Baltimore's leading milliner and trendsetter. She took chances in the retail world of women's fashion that distinguished her both as a merchandiser and a businesswoman. While a young girl, Frances was sent to live with her father's family near Patterson Park, where she received millinery training and worked in department stores. After returning to New York, she worked as a designer, becoming a significant force in the women's wear world. She returned to Baltimore, married Moe Berman in 1929, and had three daughters, Barbara, Natalie, and Rikki. A working woman throughout her life, Frances worked for several downtown milliners before opening her first store, Frances Berman Fashions, on Park Avenue. After the death of her husband, she opened a successful hat and accessories store in Northwest Baltimore. Frances later married a family friend, Louis Sulsky. Surrounded by her artwork, Frances lived in Pikesville and was an avid painter. She died on September 2, 2007.


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© 2004 Jewish Women's Archive. Photograph by Joan Roth