Everybody’s got to have their pedigree, so here’s . . . Ahem, mine.
I made my first period costume for a Junior High Shakespeare Festival in 1977 (Junior High aka Middle School). Based on what I now know four decades later, to say it was bad would be kind–I used a printed polyester crepe for my faux “underskirt,” partlet and sleeves. But I was 14 and had a budget of $25 because that’s all the school would reimburse and my Dad was victim of yet another aerospace migration and did the best I could. Little did I realize that the burgundy colored brushed denim that I chose to work with would become a staple many years later. the one I made the following year for a high school trip to the Renaissance Faire was much better, but still had some issues because it was very hippie chick rather than a right and proper 16th century peasant.
Truly though, it’s thanks to my Mother who started me sewing at the tender age of 9 and sharing her love of history and the historical productions of the BBC, that started me down this path to madness in the first place.
The idea for the business was was hatched in 1983 as a response to a glowing compliment and referral from the Guild Master of St. Helena. (Yes, I am a refugee of the grand dame herself, the original Renaissance Pleasure Faire formerly in Agoura, California.) In 2005-2006, personal events rocked my world and derailed my mojo and after two really frustrating clients, I “retired” . . . so I thought I had until quite recently.
I have a degree behind me as well — an Associate of Arts Degree in Fashion Design from the renowned Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising in Los Angeles. Furthermore, I have hundreds of hours in independent study into historical costumes, both during school and since then. I’m always willing to research what I don’t know and I’ve got the bookshelves to prove it. Over the years I’ve made cyber friends with fellow costumers (semi-professional and otherwise) who have indirectly compelled me to further my research into period clothing instruction, observe the “5 foot rule” and help make the business more than just another place on-line to get “faire costumes.”
Clients stretch across the globe and can be found in such far flung locations as our hometown of Palmdale, California to Singapore and England itself . . . and all things considered, that ain’t too shabby for a girl whose storefront is solely on the good ole WWW.
However, this could not have been done without the help of a few super people that helped my occasionally overworked a** out with the sewing and my ever so loving (and sometimes way too distracting) spouse . . . and now three four-legged sons and one furry daughter that most people call “cats.”