The Mom Behind The Undress May 08, 2016 08:59
It's that special time of year when we take time to appreciate those amazing people who brought us into existence: our moms! I'd like to share with you the influence that my mom had on my life and in the creation of The Undress!
The biggest way my mom contributed to my life was by giving birth to me! My mom had me when she was 20 years old and took care of me and my sister (who was a year older than me) while working from home. My dad traveled a lot for work and my mom took on the amazing role of being a supermom while he was away. I always felt very supported by both of my parents. Despite the fact that my dad traveled so much, I never felt lonely because my mom was always there for us and my dad was very available when he was at home.
That's my older sister (in a Pebbles costume that my mom made), my mom and me in her belly!
Some of my favorite memories with my mom were the fun things we did together. She would read books to us all the time and take us to the library, park, and walks around the neighborhood. My mom not only did all that but also worked from home as a seamstress at the same time. She learned to sew when she was young and became very skilled over time. I was always fascinated by how easy she made it look!
One of our favorite family holidays was Halloween and my mom would make us the most AMAZING costumes. Every single year from the time I was about three years old my mom would sew together some truly incredible creations. Some of my favorite costumes included Catwoman, Tinkerbell, Princess Jasmine and Poison Ivy (anybody else a huge Disney and DC Comics fan out there??)
Some of the awesome costumes my mom created for me and my sister!
I really loved all the costumes my mom made for me. It was so great experiencing the fun of transforming into any character I wanted to be and embracing the joy of being creative and playful.
When I was in middle school my mom started working as the head of the Sample Making Department at a costume company here in San Diego. She and her team were in charge of making all of the hat and costume samples that would go out to buyers and used for trade shows, so not only did my mom have to make some crazy things but she had to learn to make them FAST in order to meet crazy deadlines. Like I mentioned in my last blog post, I actually ended up working with her as my first summer job in high school.
It was really cool witnessing the production process of each costume. It would begin with the sketches created by the in-house designers, who then handed their creations to the pattern makers. From there, the pattern makers would make digital patterns of the design and print them out on large sheets of paper. The patterns, sketches, and technical details of each costume would then be passed along to my mom in a Manila folder. Her job was to use the pattern and information in the folder to create samples of each costume. I remember being so excited to see new folders on her desk in the morning and couldn't wait to see the sketches of the projects she was going to make that day. My job was to help her cut the paper pattern pieces, find the fabric she needed, and then cut the fabric using the patterns as a guide.
My favorite part was seeing the end result after my mom and her team had sewn everything together. It was so awesome to see what had once been nothing more than a drawing and scraps of fabric turn into amazing things like colorful fairy dresses, pirate coats, and harlequin hats.
My 8th grade Pink Witch costume was one of the many creations made at my mom’s work
I learned a lot from my mom from watching her work. My mother, as well as my dad, are the two hardest working people I know. My mom would stay at work until 8 or 9 o’clock at night just to finish a project. If a problem ever came up, she would keep working on it until she found a solution. I learned the importance of being resourceful, hardworking, and never giving up when a challenge comes your way. I also learned that I enjoyed being around creative people and the experience of seeing something go from idea to reality with the help of a team.
My mom has always been incredibly supportive of both me and my sister, especially when it came to our passions. She has always been willing to go above and beyond to be there for us. I am very grateful that she was open to our aspirations and, despite having occasional concerns, always was there to help us in any way possible.
An early sample of The Undress, made by mom
When Dennis first shared his idea of The Undress with me, I thought it was brilliant. I was so excited to help him and told him that I would ask my mom if she would help us make a sample of it to test it out. I'm pretty sure she thought the idea was a bit odd at first, but then again she's made weirder things before. She made the very first Undress on her small plastic sewing machine at home. I couldn't believe how well she could sew on that tiny thing! It's way tougher than it seems, especially since those machines are NOT meant to sew complicated garments. Nonetheless, my mom sewed sample after sample whenever we needed one.
My mom was also there to provide advice and answer any questions I had about making the dress. Her guidance helped me get through a lot of rough patches, especially in the early days of production. Outside of my summer jobs helping her cut patterns and fabric, I had no experience constructing or producing garments. The massive issues we encountered during manufacturing didn't help either. It was a huge undertaking for me and having her support made me feel more at ease. Thankfully I remembered what I learned from her about never giving up–no matter how tough things get! There’s always a way to figure it out or ask for help.
I am so grateful for my mom’s generosity and support. I wouldn't be the woman I am today and The Undress wouldn't be the company it is now without her! I am very happy that she has been, and continues to be, a big part of this journey and I look forward to continuing to make her proud. It's a crazy adventure and it makes such a huge difference to have my mom on my side. Thanks mama! And a huge hug of appreciation to the all the moms out there for all that you do! Happy Mother’s Day!
Me and the very first sample of The Undress in Royal Blue made by my mama :)