Designer of the Week - SLS Designs

Name: Sheree

Where do you live: Ballston Lake, NY

How old are you? 33

Do you have any children, if so what ages? Do you have any children, if so what ages? I have two--Leah will be 4 in March and Lucas is 16 months old.

Current auctions: SLS Designs

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1. When did you get started sewing and creating? Who taught you?

I was 12 years old. I told my mom one day that I wanted to make myself some clothes, so she pulled out her old sewing machine and took me to the fabric store and I have been sewing ever since. Up until 2001 when my daughter was born, I had exclusively sewn for myself. I have really enjoyed sewing children's clothes. They use alot less fabric and are much faster to complete! And you can do fun and whimsical things that adults can't really get away with!

2. When did you start selling your designs on eBay? Do you sell anywhere else besides eBay, if so where? (example, web site, local boutique) What did you do before eBay?

I started selling in January of 2004. I used to sell at local fine arts and crafts shows. I currently sell to two local boutiques and I recently started selling on Blossomst.com. Before ebay, I worked as an inorganic chemist for General Electric Global R&D. I have a PhD in chemistry--experimental inorganic chemistry. I miss the lab work alot, but sewing and cooking help to feed my desire to experiment!

2a. Do you remember the first outfit you sold on eBay. Do you have a picture? What was it and what did it sell for?

The first sale I had on ebay was actually a baby blanket. The next was either a dress or a baby doll style top and pant set for valentine's day. I can't remember which. I don't have those pictures on my current computer. The blanket sold with 1 bid at 24.99 and the dress was probably around the same. I think that pant set sold for about 34.99 or so? Since then, I have listed pretty sporadically and am recently trying to list on a regular basis.

3. How did you decide upon your name?

It is just my initials. When I first started, I always knew I would want to sell boys clothes if I had a boy and I knew I wanted to do a line for ladies and possibly some items for the home. So I wanted a name that would be general enough for all those possible avenues. I thought of some really fun names, but they would have only been appropriate for children's clothing.

4. Do you belong to any boutique group and if so which one? How did you get started in that group? What do you like most about your particular group?

I was invited to join the Boutique Dreamers a few weeks ago. I have enjoyed getting to know the ladies and I like that it is small and very relaxed. And all the ladies are very supportive one another.

5. What is your favorite thing to create? (example: vintage style dresses, totes, overalls, etc) Why?

My absolute favorite thing to make is a dress! I love dresses and so does my daughter! I love both vintage and modern styles. I like them feminine, but not too frilly. I think I love to make dresses because all my life I have loved wearing them myself. As a kid I would ride my bike, climb fences and trees, whatever, all with my dresses on. And my daughter is exactly the same way. It is a struggle to get her to wear pants, even if it is with a dress! Recently I started selling some of my boys designs, and I have to say, they have been alot of fun as well. I primarily make clothing that is meant to be worn everyday! My goal is for the clothing to be beautiful, stylish and unique, but also practical--wearable, durable and washable. I do on occasion make fancier sets meant for special occasions.

6. What are your favorite types of fabrics or fabric designers?

I really love florals--of all kinds. I adore vintage fabrics and vintage reproduction prints. I also love some of the mod/funky/retro floral prints. I love to combine the florals with stripes, plaids or polkadots. I also love fine fabrics like linen, silk and wools--I use these for special occasion wear and for ladies wear. For boys wear, I am fond of anything retro and graphic combined with very classic linens and cottons. I love alot of fabric designers--at the top of my list are Jennifer Sampou, Alexander Henry, Amy Bulter and Robyn Pandolph. My husband is European and we travel there once a year to visit family, so I love to shop and find treasures from there as well. I am building quite a nice collection of European fabrics, linens, yarns and trims from all these trips.

7. Where and when do you do most of your sewing? Are you neat about it or do you have fabric covering the floor!

I am not a neat person! I wish I could be. We have a finished basement that I have completely taken over! I have an enormous fabric stash and I would say that about 50% of my stuff is very organized and neat. I have a nice shelving system that houses most things. The other 50% is not!LOL I don't have fabric on the floor, put I have lots of bins and the tapletops and cutting table are typically holding things as I decide what to do next. I usually have several projects going at once. I have so many things I want to do and I can't wait until one is finished to start the other. I wish sometimes I could, and I have tried, but it just is not my style. Also, I really love fabric and I love to have it out so I can see it and think about it and imagine different things. I am realizing now as I type this that perhaps I spend a bit too much time looking at the fabric! I don't get much time to sew since I am home raising my two kids. I typically squeeze in time when they are sleeping (early morning, naptime and bedtime).

8. What other things do you enjoy besides sewing?

I also love to knit. I am slow at it, but hope to offer some handknits soon on ebay. I also love to sing and dance. My husband and I acutally have a band with some friends which we enjoy very much. I like to cook and eat. I also enjoy traveling and doing various outdoor sporting activities with my family. We live just south of the Adirondack mountains and have lots of lakes and nature preserves around, so during the 6 months that it is actually warm around here, we are outside hiking and canoeing and kayaking and things like that! And most of all I really love to spend time developing my kids and teaching them about the world. I feel fortunate to be home with them and so I try to enjoy every minute of our time together!

Anything else you would like to add?

I'd like to thank you Amy for thinking me and giving me this wonderful opportunity. I would like to thank my wonderful husband for all the support and for putting up with all the fabric and clothes everywhere! And of course a huge thanks to my sweet kids for being my models. I'd like to thank all the Boutique Dreamers for welcoming me into the family. I would also like to thank all my friends on the CBC and Boutique Designers and Buyers Board for all the fun chatting and for all the support, especially Jen, Lisa, April and Tiffany!!! And finally I would like to thank all my wonderful customers that have allowed me to dress their kids over the last year! I would not be here without them.

Some past SLS Designs

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