I have been working with fabric for as long as I can remember. I constructed doll clothes before I made my first wearable garment at 10 years old. My mom had taken home economics when she was in grade school and high school and thought I should make an apron for my first project. Being who I am, I thought this was a waste of time because I would never wear it. Peasant dresses were in style at that time, so we went out, bought a pattern, and my mom patiently taught me how to sew. There were tears and arguments, but we got the garment made. From that point in time, there was no stopping me. Patterns and fabric were relatively inexpensive at that time and I had money from my paper route. Sewing was now my best friend and I was invincible!
In high school and college my wardrobe was primarily from whatever I whipped up with my Montgomery Ward's sewing machine. I was also interested in other mediums in high school as art was one of my majors, but textiles was my first love. I was introduced to the process of batik, macrame and loom weaving by my art teacher, Mrs. Ublauer. I dabbled with these techniques and created some great macrame wall hangings and a hanging globe lamp which I still use today.
Flash forward a few years to May, 1990. My first nephew, Jeffrey, was born and I wanted to create something special for his first birthday. During his first year I took as many photos as possible and I wanted to put them in a special keepsake. While browsing in the store, probably Wal-Mart, I ran across instructions on how to make fabric covered photo albums. What a great idea! At that point, the business was started and I haven't looked back since.
As with any start-up business, I went through financial and growing pains, but it has all been worth it. My albums and frames have gone through various renditions, but I have always remained true to myself and have only designed an album or frame which I would be proud to put my name on. I have always placed a gold sticker in the back of each album or on the back of each frame which has my business name on it. If I didn't feel particularly comfortable working on a project, I would decline the sale. Some would say this is insane, but a true artist (and I'm also a perfectionist) isn't going to produce something they don't have pride.
My biggest breakthrough was when I invested in my first Babylock embroidery machine. Up until that point, I had been personalizing items with hand embroidery. This was very time consuming and limited my creativity. Once I started using machine embroidery to personalize the albums and create some specialty frames, my productivity was significantly increased and I could branch off into several other areas. Not only am I creating albums, but I am venturing into embroidery on clothes and hoping to purchase a commercial embroidery machine in the near future.