Designer of the Week - HollysMama

This week get to know Beth O'Donald of HollysMama. She lives in Cedar Falls, Iowa and one daughter, Holly, age 4.

See Beth's current eBay auctions: HollysMama and add HollysMama your favorite eBay sellers list: Click Here:

JM: Beth, when did you get started sewing and creating?

BETH: My mother started teaching me how to sew when I was 7 or 8, but I didn't pay attention too well back then. Since she could make anything, I would just hand her a sketch and have her make me what I wanted. Shortly after Holly was born I decided to start sewing again.

I started with making pillows (calling my mom for instructions every 5 minutes) and moved onto pants and shirts for Holly since she was so tiny. I found that I enjoyed sewing and have really moved forward with the design side of outfits. I continue to call my mom, but it is now to ask if I can come up and show her the new designs I've made. She laughs that I am now a better seamstress than she is, but I still have a lot to learn from her and others in the profession.

JM: When did you start selling your designs on eBay?

BETH:I started selling my barrettes on eBay in April of 2003 and started selling my clothes in July or August of 2003.

JM: Do you sell anywhere else besides eBay?

BETH: I do not at this time. My husband thinks that I am too busy with just eBay to have my own website.

JM: What did you do before eBay?

BETH:Prior to eBay, I was a busy mom (I'm an even busier mom now). Before motherhood, I was a Planning Assistant for a financial advisor with American Express.

JM: Do you remember the first outfit you sold on eBay?

BETH: Yes, it was a pumpkin man overalls and it sold for $33. I remember designing that one and how I worked so hard at matching up the fabrics. I do not have a picture of it anymore, as Holly was bawling in the picture. This was all prior to her actually enjoying the modeling side of my business. Hee hee.

JM: How did come up with your name, HollysMama?

BETH: I'm Hollys mama so I just left out the space. :) Holly is my one and only gift from God and she inspires so much of what I do. If she doesn't give me a sign of approval I keep working.

JM: Do you belong to any boutique group?

BETH: All4One Boutique is the group I work with. We are a group of four friends who simply enjoy designing together and doing M2M. We all design clothes, but can also do jewelry, totes or bows as well. I love working with these ladies, because they challenge me to think outside of the box. I know I can count on the ladies to be there when I'm in a slump or to cheer me along when I have something exciting happen.

JM: Do you have a favorite item to create?

BETH:This is a good question, since I've finished the rest of the interview and am still stumped. Recently I listed my "Audrey Dress" and found that was my favorite design from head to toe. It took me a month to complete it, since I took a lot of time researching the 1950's era and consulted both my mother and my mother in law in the overall design.

So, I am thinking my favorite aspect is the overall design of creating. When you take the time to design and it shows in the product the result is priceless.

JM: If you could learn some new skills, what would they be?

BETH: Heirloom Sewing. I want to work with more vintage fabrics and laces. Prior to the birth of Holly, my mother and I designed a baptism dress for her. The fabric was taken from a vintage wedding gown I was gifted many years ago. The laces and satins were very fragile and unique, which created the most beautiful heirloom baptismal gown. It is such a detail oriented art that I would love to start designing heirloom pieces in the future.

JM: If you could travel anywhere, where would it be?

BETH: Limiting question, since I love to travel. However, I am planning to return to Germany (Switzerland and Austria as well) when Holly is older to show her why I love the country and language so much. I would also love to travel throughout Europe and Asia someday, but right now Germany is the main destination.

JM: What other things do you enjoy besides sewing?

BETH: I LOVE to play with my beads. I've been pushing my sewing so much this past year that when I get the chance to design barrettes I spend hours playing with my beads.

JM: Anything else you would like to add?

BETH: I would not be able to design if my husband wasn't so supportive. He has allowed me to take over the dining room table for my sewing, the living room ottomon for my beads, the webserver for my graphics and pictures, and a room in the basement for my fabric storage. He truly has supported me with my business and I am very blessed to have him.

Also I would like to thank all of my customers over the past 2 years. You keep me thinking and dreaming up new designs and I greatly appreciate each one of you.

Do you have a question that you are dying to ask Beth? Comment about something she said or designed? Post it here and she will answer it!

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Beth - Hollysmama | Friday, February 17, 2006 9:20 AM | flag
Thanks for the support ladies! I find my fabrics either online, the local quilt store and the fabric stores in town. I prefer top quality quilt fabrics, so I'm getting more picky these days. Thanks again Ladies! Beth

| Monday, January 30, 2006 9:10 PM | flag
Where do you find your fabrics? They are so colorful and unique! THanks! Keep up the good work!

Alisha (ilovetoselltoys) | Friday, January 27, 2006 10:56 AM | flag
We LOVE your designs, and are thrilled to see you honored!

Robin (my3luvbugz) | Thursday, January 26, 2006 4:42 PM | flag
Beth, I loved reading your interview! I have always admired your work! Great getting to know you a little better :)

Crystal | Thursday, January 26, 2006 2:47 PM | flag
Wow Beth. It was fun to read your interview! I LOVE your barettes and I also think that Audrey dress was pretty special! Keep up the great work.

Teri (princesstomato) | Thursday, January 26, 2006 8:50 AM | flag
Love your designs. And I enjoyed reading your interview. Gotta love our supportive husbands! :) Teri

Some past HollysMama Designs

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