How We Got Started
Our Coats of Many Colors is a small operation: I am everything from lead designer to janitor. I have friend who helps me with the sewing and another friend who helps in the office during our peak season (September-October). I started in my dining room, moved to two finished rooms in our basement, built a small building on our farm and recently purchased a church that was vacant. I purchased 35 yards of fabric to complete my costume orders in 2005. In 2014, I ordered nearly 10,000 yards of fabric!!
I started sewing at about ten years of age. My mother knew how to sew and as a little girl I looked forward to Mother's Day when I knew she would make us matching dresses. But most of my sewing memories are of Granny, my maternal grandmother. I remember coming home from school and telling her about a dress a classmate was wearing. Immediately, she started taping pieces of newspaper together, holding them against my body and then drawing on the paper. The next day, when I came from school I had a new Kelly green dress with a Peter Pan collar and a colorful pinafore with a black background! In my mind she could work magic.
My clothes were never thrown away. They were cut into squares for
quilts or they were transformed into Barbie clothes. I never did get too
excited about playing with Barbies, but, oh how I loved opening a shoe
box full of Barbie clothes Granny had designed. Like the musician who
plays by ear, Granny never used a pattern, but there wasn't anything she
couldn't make after it had been described to her. I, on the other hand,
was always afraid to leave the security of the pattern with its
illustrations and written instructions. At 102, Granny doesn't sew
anymore, and I am no longer able to go to her with my sewing dilemmas. I know she would be proud to know that I am still sewing and that she is my inspiration!
Our priority is in providing high-quality religious garments and dress-up clothes at a reasonable price. We have spent many hours searching for the right fabrics: fabrics that will last, that will launder, and that will catch a child's eye. Once I have a fabric, I hold it in my hands and consider the possibilities. It is so exciting to be able to do what my grandmother did so many years ago, to start with a fabric or an idea and then create a garment.