This image of my mother was created at a party in the late 1950s. The hosts supplied various media and scrap paper (this piece of paper has notes from a garden club meeting on the other side). Painted in watercolors and crayon, my mother placed it in the discard pile when downsizing to move to a condo.
I “saved” this image, framed it and hung it over my sewing desk, where she has kept an amused and stylish eye on my miles and miles of stitches in both clothing and in creating the prototypes of the Purse Perfector. It was my mother and her mother who taught me to sew at age 5 and sewing has remained an art, a passion, and a fascination for me for decades.
In fact, it is because of my mother’s instruction and encouragement of my sewing that led to the creation of the Purse Perfector. Sewing had allowed me to create new clothes on my modest salary as a nonprofit development professional for decades, striving to apply the couture techniques I admired in designer clothing but could not afford.
When I made the first dozen prototypes of the Purse Perfector as a solution to the un-managed mess in every handbag I used while traveling in Europe in September 2001, my mother was eager to see my hand-tailored solution to purse organization, whether for use as a travel purse organizer or as a daily purse organizer in women’s handbags nationwide.
As one of my biggest cheerleaders for the success of Purse Perfector, she was thrilled when I received the utility patent for my invention (her father was an attorney, as is my husband). Unfortunately, my quest for an American manufacturer to produce my handbag organizer was not successful until two years after her death.
In 2009, my friend and sewing teacher Sandra Betzina, introduced me to a San Francisco-based manufacturer and within months, hundreds of friends, relatives and strangers were using this American-made purse organizer on a daily basis.
I’d have to say that a thread – a theme – runs through my life. My grandmother taught my mother to sew and they both taught me to sew, encouraging me to learn more. In turn, I met Sandra and continued to my interest in molding cloth and stitches into garments and ultimately, to construct the Purse Perfector.
My mother’s smiling image near my sewing machine always reminds me that it all starts with one stitch. And I’m grateful to have had those hands help guide my stitches.
Happy Mother’s Day!