As a child, I remember sitting next on the floor next to my Grandma Betty, listening to the hum of her sewing machine as she worked. Today, that very machine is in my GBD workspace. Betty taught me how to sew as a child. She would let me and my sisters help as she worked, pinning pattern pieces and when we were older cutting and sewing. She also taught my mother, who provided me with plenty of opportunities to test out my skills, even if she didn't have the same patience with me.
When I moved out on my own it was Betty who provided me with a tool box to help me take care of my first apartment. In the toolbox, of course, was a sewing kit. Not long after, I got my very own sewing machine. I started making simple bags for myself and my friends (they were really terrible), some simple quilts (less terrible), and some even more simple curtains for my various apartments (not terrible, but let's face it, it's a rectangle). When I got my first teaching job I needed some clothing for work, and with Betty on the line, I muddled through.
Many times, she came to visit and we would take over the kitchen table with my foldable cardboard cutting mat and sew together until she had to leave. Over time my skills improved and I got comfortable using nicer fabrics and taking on more complicated projects and getting beautiful results. When my daughter was born, Betty was the first one to send baby clothes. I on the other hand, waited until she was a bit older before I started putting my now very limited time into something she would inevitably grow out of.
With a wealth of independent pattern designers on the web providing inspiration and support, I moved into making clothes for kids. I didn't like how major clothing stores were turning my kids into walking advertisements, or how the little girls' clothing borders on sexy. I just wanted cute, hard-working clothes that my kids would love wearing. Over time people started noticing the things I was making for my own children and encouraged me to take the leap.
Betty passed away in January 2016. It's disappointing that she will never get to see the company in action, but I know she would be pleased and I hope you will be too.