A Little Something for the Ladies
In honor of the close of Women's History Month, I thought it was appropriate to write a little bit about some of the women who've helped make KD into what it is today. These are only a few on the long list of amazing women who have supported KD along the way.
As some of you may know, I've always been rather on the creative side, especially when it comes to fashion. I vividly remember my brother once begging my mom to make me change (I was maybe 4 or 5) because I was wearing Every. Single. Piece. of jewelry I owned. I'm talking a ring on every finger, bracelets up my arms, and at least 4 necklaces. My little girl costume jewelry collection was amazing (thanks to both of my grandmothers!). I don't remember exactly why I did this or what the occasion was, but I do remember thinking that I looked damn good and he was just mad that he didn't have amazing jewelry like me. I also remember hearing my mom say "She's not hurting anyone, let her wear what she wants." WIN! (Full disclosure: I'm sure my mom may have regretted letting me be in charge of what I wore so young because I developed very clear opinions on what I would and would not wear). Suffice it to say that being able to have that choice was important to me, and my pickiness in part led to this career.
I also grew up spending a lot of time with grandmothers who were very creative. My Mom-Mom was wonderful with crochet and made me Barney themed purple and green slippers that I will never forget. Watching her turn a ball of yarn into a blanket or slippers was like magic. We spent afternoons using puffy paint on fabric where she dazzled me with her ability to perfectly draw Betty Boop on a piece of scrap silk. She even let me paint along with her and Bob Ross, though my happy trees were a bit more on the abstract side at the time and I couldn't figure out what the heck a burnt sienna was. We had a blast, and her house was always full of grandkid creations.
My Grandma was just a magician to tiny me. From before I can remember she was making me dresses. Not just dresses, but the most beautiful dresses I had ever seen types of dresses. I used to sit next to her and hold her pincushion while she sewed and just watch her work. If you were to ask me what my absolute favorite piece of clothing is, I would go to my closet right now and pull out a cape that she made for me when I was very small. It's burgundy with gold accents and a soft velvet lining. It went perfectly with my mom's old prom dress that she converted for me to wear as a princess costume in kindergarten. I will hold onto that thing forever because it is awesome. Anytime I wanted something special to wear she was on it. My very first tutu, play clothes, dance costumes, she made it all. One year my siblings, cousins and our moms dressed up as M&M's for Halloween with all the kids being a different color M&M and the moms being the pouches. It was THE BEST and Grandma made it happen. It felt almost like a superpower to be able to think of something you want to wear and just create it.
I don't remember exactly how it came about, but one day I asked Grandma to teach me how to sew and she said the magic words "make whatever you want with the fabric in the scrap closet". I still love a good pile of scrap fabrics to this day, so many possibilities! I started with hand stitching and before long I had my own machine and there was no looking back. There's not much in the way of technical sewing skills and tailoring that I learned in fashion school that I didn't first learn from her (she will deny this, but it is very much true). She is still my first call when I need another opinion on a sewing problem.
My mom is to creative ideas as Leslie Knope is to gift giving, she always comes up with the best, most special things. Her Easter basket finding riddles and surprise party abilities are legendary. But I've heard her say before that she is "not creative" (spoiler alert: LIES). She may not have been the one painting or sewing dresses but she is amazing at making things special in the most creative ways. She taught me about being practical while thinking outside the box. She is also the first person I told about starting KD, and while some parents might have said "Hey, how about you focus on getting a real full-time job" to their soon-to-be college grad, she helped me think through the steps to make everything legal, set up my accounting system, manage taxes and beta test my very first website. All that on top of fully supporting tiny me's questionable fashion choices & 17 year old me's decision to go to art school, what a gal.
Lastly, I couldn't post about amazing ladies without a mention of Monika. She is the offical unoffical KD brand ambassador, blog post typo-finder, sanity-checker, cheerleader and an overall ray of sunshine. She spends her days both personally and professionally encouraging people to be their best selves and helping people to be better than they were yesterday. She always has positive things to say and will never let anyone around her give up.
So, all this is to say that I have spent my life being influenced by some pretty amazing women, without whom I wouldn't be doing this. The support from them in all things creative and otherwise have helped me immeasurably. Women are important, women are strong and the women who make up our communities are invaluable and should be celebrated every day.
Ladies, this one's for you!