Sunday, May 8, 2011

Ode to My Sweet Antonia

  Daisies are my Mom's favorite flower

My mother, Antonia emigrated to the U.S. from Greece with her husband, two young daughters and $75 in her pocket in 1971.  What a bold and daring move!

She worked in a men's shirt factory as a young woman, so when she came to the States and had to work, she took the first job she could find--making cloth napkins for the National Linen Co.  As she learned English (without any formal schooling) she was able get a job at Rich's Department Store--the finest store in the South--as a seamstress doing alterations for  some serious society  belles!  It was a real learning time for her and as her craft flourished she became one of the best seamstresses at the store.  She would fit models for the annual fashion shows, and would be the preferred fitter and seamstress when designers like Bill Blass came to dress "special" store customers. She sewed for society ladies, beauty queens, educators, politicians and celebrities. 

I remember her clients bringing dozens of fabrics to our house to meet with her. I was mesmerized by the colors and textures as they spread fabrics out on our dining room table and went through fashion magazines.  She created entire wardrobes for several clients!

Obviously today, my love of fabrics and sewing goes back to my childhood. My sense of style, love of texture and color and the need to create with my hands comes from my mother. I will never be as brilliant a seamstress as she is--and I make sure she knows this. She is a critical part of my small business--the one I always go to for construction and fit ideas--and the one who tirelessly helps me when its time to amass inventory!

Happy Mother's Day. Thank you Mama.  I will love you forever and ever--no matter what.

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