Growing up in the small Southeastern Utah town of Monticello didn't teach me a whole lot about fashion, but it did teach me to work hard and to pursue dreams worth fighting for. The greatest exposure I had to fashion in this small town was the gossip magazines in the beauty shop and the four hour trek to the mall for our annual school shopping trip. I saved up my entire earnings from working at the local burger joint and from cleaning the Silver Scissors hair salon over summer break in hopes that I would have enough to load up on enough clothes for the year--or at least until I got a new sweater or two for Christmas.
In high school I felt as if my clothes defined me, that if I was able to afford the latest and greatest on the racks, that I must be pretty great too. It wasn't until I went to college and later married that I realized what folly this form of thinking was. I could no longer afford an "annual" shopping trip and soon I had to get very creative with what I already had in my closet or what I could salvage from the local thrift store. When my budget for clothing changed, not only did my sense of style change, but my self image began to change too. I became more focused on improving my inner self and not putting so much emphasis or worth into my outer appearance.
I never knew for sure what I wanted to do when I grew up, but I knew that whatever I chose, I wanted to be able to make a difference. I went to college and studied to be a teacher, but after my first child was born I chose to stay home and take care of my son.
About two years after he was born, I became restless. Staying at home was hard for me because I was so used to working and feeling as though I was making a difference in someone's life. I became determined to explore other passions of mine and to discover what I might pursue from within the walls of my own home. So as a stay at home mom, I picked up my sketch book again and began to doodle during my son's nap time or late at night when everyone had gone to bed or basically anytime I had some "free" time.
I started sketching dress designs when I discovered Shabby Apple's Dare to Design contest. I was sick of never being able to find a dress from a department store that I didn't have to wear a cardigan or tank top with or that was too short. "Why not design a dress that I would like to wear?" I thought. The Shabby Apple contest opened my mind to all kinds of possibilities. I sketched about eight designs and finally chose one to submit for the contest. I prayed that I would at least make the top ten designs. I don't think that I even came close to making the top 20.
I was discouraged, but I didn't put the sketch pad down. I started afresh with new designs and continued to work and re-work them for a few months. I didn't know what I would do with the sketches until I read the fine print on Shabby Apple's website about the Emerging Designers Program. I hesitated to submit my sketches for approval as they were not near professional grade sketches, but I finally decided that if I didn't submit them, I would always wonder what could have been. I put my insecurities aside and submitted my sketches. A couple of weeks later I received the astonishing and surprising news that my designs had been accepted. I was ecstatic!
Nearly a year later my designs have been brought to life and my dreams are being played out before my eyes. I never imagined that I would be introduced into the fashion industry this way. Going through this process from start to finish has made me realize that just because I choose to stay at home and raise my kids doesn't mean that I have to give up on strengthening my talents and pursuing my interests. I've learned that the key is balance and once I learned balance, I felt that anything was possible.
Inspiration For My Line:
I have always said that I wish that I could have lived in the 50s and 60s when women wore dresses nearly every day. I love the clean, simple lines and cuts of the dresses from that era. I love that simple can be so elegant and becoming to any woman of any size. Dresses didn't need to be low-cut, short, or overly form-fitting to be attractive on a woman. I feel that clothes should not accentuate a woman's body, but her strengths, personality, and abilities. I wanted to design dresses that not only helped a woman feel beautiful, but to feel confident in herself and her abilities. I wanted my designs to flatter any shape, which is why I favored the slimming pencil skirt design, longer sleeves, and the option of sashes. My designs are classic, simple, and flattering on any wearer.