Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Guest Writer ~ Maddie*Kate ~ Teamwork

For this months Guest Writer, we asked the dynamic duo of Maddie*Kate to join us and do a piece for the blog. It has been such a pleasure getting to know these lovely ladies better. Below is their article...partially written by Kandy, the other part by Kacey, and one part they did together. Enjoy!


I have been sewing for as long as I can remember. I used to sit and watch my mother sew by the hour when I was very young. It just fascinated me to watch her sew and make such beautiful things for my sister and I. When I was in 7th grade I made my first real wearable item. It was a pair of shorts and even had a zipper! I was so proud of those shorts! I didn't sew for myself throughout junior high and high school, nor did I allow my mother to, as the word "home made" was frowned upon. But eventually I took it up after high school and fell in love with sewing all over again. My first part-time job after high school was working for a fabric store called Cloth World. I did a little sewing for my two girls when they were small but once they got a little older, they too wanted nothing to do with "home made" or girly things. Neither of my two girls showed any real interest in sewing so my sewing machine sat idle for quite a few years. I sewed a little bit for my oldest granddaughter, Morgan, when she was young, but she soon too didn't want anything "home made". When Mallory came along, out came the sewing machine once again! Kacey expressed an interest in learning to sew almost 3 years ago. I had the joy of teaching her a little and watching her bloom into a fabulous designer and seamstress. I now have another little granddaughter Sydney who is just 2 months old. I figure she ought to be ready for some twirly-girly things about the time Mallory starts turning her nose up to them :)


I just started sewing about 2 1/2 years ago, right before Mallory's big 2-year old birthday party. I wanted to make some cute party favors that were themed around a pool party. I went to the store and bought 22 (yes,22) towels and rummaged through my mom's fabrics for cute boys and girls prints to make each child a towel with their name sewn on it. I had never really sewn anything, with the exception of pillow back when I was 8 or 9. It took me about 2 weeks to get through all the towels. I can't say that the appliqué work was top-notch, but everyone loved them. I had 2 small children at home and wanted to have some extra "fun" money for us to go do things during the day with, as my husband was the only one bringing in a paycheck at the time. My mom had just recently stopped working, so we decided to give eBay a try.


When we made the decision to start selling our designs on eBay, we knew that we couldn't do it without each other. Other designers will write to us periodically and ask us how we are able to list so many things consistently, so here's our answer. We have made hundreds of trips to the fabric stores together. We walk up and down the aisles with our shopping carts full of fabrics talking about what other fabrics we have at home that would look good with this or that and mentally see the design come together in our heads. Since we only live about a block away from each other, we are always at each other's houses bouncing ideas off each other or asking for opinions about which pattern to use, fabric combinations or appliqué designs. There are at least 2 or 3 trips back and forth between houses when we are both sewing, looking for patterns, trims, threads or buttons for the project we are working on. Once an outfit is complete, it is DEFINITELY a team effort to get Mallory to just try it on to make sure it fits, get her hair just right and her shoes on. There always has to be some sort of "special treat" in the house for bribes! Our neighbors must get a good chuckle if they happen to be looking out the window when we are taking pictures out in the front yard. Just picture this, it's the middle of August, 98 degrees outside, Mallory is wearing a long-sleeved outfit with a huge Santa on it, tights and boots.Kacey is chasing her around with the camera; Kandy is trying to make Mallory smile, making sure her outfit and hair look right, while keeping Jack from getting in the pictures!! While Kacey is editing the pictures, Kandy will usually watch the kids to make the process go a little faster. Kacey designs the templates, and Kandy writes the descriptions of the outfits. Once the items sells, we both work with the customers to make sure all the measurements are correct and get out the door in a timely fashion. Whew!! This truly is an amazing hobby that we share together. Knowing that we are not only creating memories for our own children/grandchildren by designing them a special outfit for an occasion, we are creating memories for other people as well. We can't imagine doing it without one another, heck, I don't think we could!

Here are some of Maddie*Kate's past designs:


Patty key*west*kids said...

I REALLY REALLY enjoyed reading this and learning all about Kandy and Kacey! I am soooo envious of how you two design and sew together! I am going to have to send my mom this link and see if she gets the idea! LOL! I love how you described the photo taking process! LOL!!! You girls need to have that videod hehehe!!

Bellabebeco said...

You both make a terrific team!! I was laughing at the picture taking ... You sound like me!! I see neighboors looking out the windows and also I am allways making sure my son or dogs don't go into te pictures!


Sweet Sunshine Boutique said...

LOVED this interview with 2 of my favorite gals designing on ebay!! Love ya girls!!


Clara said...

Oh what a great article ladies!!! I think it's wonderful how you work together!!!!

AND, I also admire your designs!!!