I remember evenings, sitting with my mom and watching re-runs of The Carol Burnette Show. For the most part, this was always just something my brother and I had to endure, but one night the skit “Went with the Wind” showed. When Carol came down those stairs with a curtain rod strung across her shoulders and a valance rolled into a hat, it sparked something in me. I wanted to do that. I wanted to have the creative freedom to create that.
It was some years later, when I was in high school, when that spark started to really catch fire. The marching band performed a Halloween show every year in costume, but we could not afford to go out and buy a costume for me to march in; I had to make one. Mom, not wanting to spend money on fabric that could be wasted, set me loose in the garage sale box. There I found a sheet and a pair of curtain sheers. I used these to make myself into Cleopatra, with a hand sewn fitted sheath dress and flowy sheer overlay that caught the wind as I walked. My mom was so impressed with what I had created, that she scraped together money to buy me accessories to really make the costume pop.
From there I bought my own sewing machine and started making clothes to wear to school. An aunt adopted me for a summer and taught me some of the finer points of industrial sewing and garment construction.
It was 2003 when I got my first break and found a consignment shop to sell my costumes. This is where my love affair with corsets started. In 2005 I began making my own corsets because I was so disgruntled by what I could find in stores. Over the years I have learned different techniques, and modified some, to make my original creations. In 2014 I started making corsets and costumes for pin-up model and photographer Jess W. as well as Cin City Burlesque. Now as well as an Etsy and SquareUp store, you can find my work at the Pendleton Art Center in Middletown. I have definitely found my calling, and it is my desire to design for every woman I can reach, in order to help them see themselves as beautiful and desirable, regardless of their size and body shape or accessibility needs.