Thursday, April 17, 2014

Easter Dresses for the Eastside

Back in 2008, I walked a creative path that I had considered only as a child: to design and make girls clothing. Truly, the last time I even considered this career was when I was 16! Its been a developing effort, and last year my small business--GirlyGirl Productions-- went wholesale!  It was a "go big or go home"  year and after five trade shows I'm still learning the timing and logistics of designing, showing, selling, producing and distributing seasonal collections of girls clothes to wholesale customers.  I'm not going home yet!

Part of GirlyGirl's narrative is that "we dress and adorn girls 2-10 in bright, fun, age-appropriate, retro-inspired clothes." Although my end user has no problem affording one of my dresses, not all moms can--especially in parts of my inner-city neighborhoods. So an idea was inspired....

A couple of years ago I participated in "Little Dress for Africa".  I was supplied with a pattern, made a dress and sent it to an organizer in NC who then sent the dresses to girls in need in Africa.  It was great fun.  But that got me thinking about my neighborhood and my philosophy of keeping life--church, shopping, school, work--local. The thought has been stewing this long! But recently the thought bubbled to the surface as a need as the Easter Holiday approached.

Every little girl needs a pretty little dress for Easter.  What a perfect time to show the girls in my community how much they are loved and how much God and their neighbors truly care for them.  

I presented the idea to my missional community group at church and was amazed with the supportive response I received! Five to 12 ladies on four separate occasions got together at City Church Eastside in March and April and we made 60 dresses!  Not everyone knew how to sew, but everyone contributed--cutting, running ribbon through casing, tagging, etc.  It was so much fun and so rewarding. I felt such a sense of truly being in community.

The dresses were delivered to the Atlanta Dream Center, which serves the needs of  homeless, commercially sexually exploited and at-risk, underprivileged men, women and children. 

We are hoping to receive photos of girls in their dresses soon.  I will share with you when I do.

Happy Easter!

Friday, March 15, 2013

Too Much Inspiration!

I really don't believe one can have too much inspiration.  I feel so energized and focused when another artist's work has struck a chord in me or has inspired me to approach my work in a different way.

Canadian illustrator Helen Dardik does this for me.  Her work is whimsical, colorful, happy, quirky, energizing..... I'll stop drooling now.  Last year she created a fantastic collection for P&B Textiles called Too Muchery (now sold out). I purchased the whole collection and have finally put together pieces that I think do it justice.

The patterns are so "Helen Dardik"  with funny shapes, quirky flowers, butterflies, geometric details--very colorful.  So, the clothing pieces I designed are very simple and almost traditional in shape focusing on skirts.  I wanted the fabric to lead and the shapes of the clothing to follow.

These piece will be available on line soon at and at my Spring Trunk Show on Saturday, March 23 at the Beehive, Atlanta.

Friday, February 8, 2013

What is Love?

What is Love?

"Love is when a girl puts on perfume and a boy puts on shaving cologne and they go out and smell each other."

Karl--Age 5

Thursday, February 7, 2013

What is Love?

We are working on home-made Valentine cards this afternoon.  The kids will be distributing them to their class mates next week.  During our discussion of what Love is and how we express our love, they came up with some sweet answers.

My boy wonder said, "Love is when you help me with my projects, mom."  True.

"Love is when you cuddle with me," said my girly girl.  Absolutely.

I found some fantastic, funny and poignant responses by some other kids who were asked the question:  What is Love?

I'll post a quote a day for a week in honor of St. Valentine.

"When you love somebody your eyelashes go up and down and small stars come out of you."
(what an image)
Noelle, Age 7

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Inspirations in Technicolor

When I was eight  I watched New York, New York , the 1949 MGM musical starring my "dream boat" Gene Kelley.  I saw American in Paris, Singing in the Rain, and Brigadoon many times over!  I decided then, when I grew up, I would marry him.  I had the very cool fortune of actually meeting Mr. Kelley when he came through Atlanta in the mid-70's, but you probably guessed, I did not marry him.  Sigh.

When I started playing with fabrics for a new collection of girly skirts I wondered if the colors I was gravitating toward were too "technicolor".  But the word made me think of Gene Kelley and the vibrant films he made that took place in magical cities all over the world (mostly Hollywood back lot studios).  But that's beside the point.

The Girl in the World Collection was born!  There will be ten featured cities on adorable, vibrant, fun skirts with an all-important pocket for collecting and keeping treasures! There will also be coordinating reversible Peter Pan collar "necklaces" that can work with any simple top!

The cities featured will include:

New York
Mexico City
There might be others ....

You'll be able to find them on my Etsy shop and at

You can also see more about the collection as it develops on my Facebook page.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Ready.. Set.. Goals!

Happy Monday!  Happy New Year!

No more excuses now.  The decorations (with the exception of the outdoor lights) are down. The kids are back to school. I'm OFFICIALLY back to work now.  Friday I cleaned my studio space and sat down to make a list of everything I wanted to accomplish--develop new designs, sew, photograph, blog, write press releases, work on my website, do bookkeeping... I was immediately overwhelmed.   Deep breath.  One step at time.  I had to take all the thoughts and ideas in my head and turn them into business goals with a plan of action!

Knowing that the help I sought was out in the bloggosphere, I searched, and voila found a great outline and simple guide to writing  down my business goals for 2013.  Marketing expert Laura McCulloch-Carter has created a simple and straightforward worksheet that can help you write down those goals and then identify the steps required to achieve them with quarterly milestones.

My top three business goals are to develop my website into a viable sales and marketing tool, establish five new wholesale customers and be featured in five blogs and two magazines this year.  Are these goals too lofty?  Not enough?  I don't know.  Its what I feel is part of a successful year for my small hand-made business.

As someone who has been a successful business owner at times, and a not so successful business owner at other times, I do know that establishing goals and identifying the steps to achieve those goals are critical to my vision. Knowing I have a plan calms me.  I don't feel so overwhelmed now.  Breathe in, breathe out.  All is good!

From my blog post for the Beehive.

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Crafting New Year's Resolutions

We are about to embark on a fresh new year, and as I sit and watch the fire blazing this morning, I find myself lost in thought of what I want to accomplish personally and professionally in 2013.  I'm making notes.  Designing and printing my own fabric is on top of the list.  Revamping my internet site and sales follows.  Then I think.... my kids should be doing this!  At 8 and 9 they are perfectly capable of  reflecting on their achievements and setting new goals for themselves (not just my goals for them).

Well, of course there is a blog post out there for just this task and I found it! Thank you thirtyhandmadedays. Mique came up with a downloadable sheet that kids can complete and keep to reflect on throughout the year.  It's so to the point, I plan to complete it myself and post it in my studio to look at everyday.  Happy New Year! I wish for you the blessings of health, love and happiness and the fulfillment of all your goals and aspirations.