Designer of the Week - LaBoutique Elite

This week get to know Cori Gammon & Joyce Purnell - aka "MeeMaw " of LaBoutique Elite. Cori lives in Danville, Virginia with her two daughters, Alexandra, 3 and Brianna, 13 months.

Joyce lives in Rock Hill, SC and has 3 adult daughters: Melanie, Meredith, and Cori; also 2 granddaughters: Alexandra 3 and Brianna 13 months

See their current eBay auctions: la*boutique*elite and add la*boutique*elite your favorite eBay sellers list: Click Here:

JM: When did you get started sewing and creating?

CORI: Mom comes from a long line of talented seamstresses but I just picked up the hobby in the past year. I sew mostly for hobby though and let mom do the sewing for our business. Since she lives several hours away from me it can be difficult for her to 'teach' me to sew on the phone so most of what I have learned is through trial and error. However, I have always enjoyed design and can remember coloring pretty sketches on notebook paper when I was 10 years old.

JOYCE: I've been a creative spirit all my life, even before I started sewing my own clothing at age 12. My dear mother had always made most of my clothes, but when I entered my preteens and "fashion" became so important I wanted to make them too - just to be sure I dressed the way I wanted to dress which was not always what my mother had in mind! I learned how to sew from her, but I attended a sewing class in Home Economics too. That proved to be a very good idea since I learned a lot of specialty techniques that mom didn't practice, and my love affair with handwork/needlework was born.

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

JOYCE:We gave birth to La*Boutique*Elite 1 year ago - June of 2005 - after 2 years of Cori begging me! :)

CORI: Mom and I both juggle LBE business with our own full-time 'day' jobs as well as our personal and family lives. However, over the course of the next year we have plans to expand our business to some local and online boutiques and are currently in the process of stocking our own website,

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

CORI:Yes! The first set that we ever sold was last June. It was a OOAK 4th of July set. It sold for about $38. We were so excited!

JM: How did come up with your name, LaBoutique Elite?

CORI & JOYCE:Every business decision we make is a joint effort and this was no exception. We determined the type of message we wanted to convey and we both threw in words to describe it. Wanting to keep it as brief as possible, we narrowed it down to two words: Elite and Boutique, and threw in the "La" to associate it with a recognizable fashion capital of the world.

JM: Do you belong to any boutique group?

CORI & JOYCE: We are both members of TheChicks (formerly The Stitchin Chicks). We were invited to join them just a few weeks ago. These ladies are so enthusiastic, talented, and fun and we have been so inspired by them. And they're so supportive to each other, it feels like family.

We are also members of the accessory group D2MA and just recently joined the graphic/template designers in TM2.

JM: Do you have a favorite item to create?

JOYCE:Soft, sweet little dresses or sets that your little girls can wear anytime, anywhere. As a matter of fact, I'm working on a new line we are calling EveryDaysies for just that purpose.

CORI:As far as clothing design, I love to embellish denim! I enjoy the process of distressing a pair of jeans just to see how far I can take it. I am the exact opposite of Mom in taste as I prefer a funky and trendy look. We truly enjoy bringing these two totally different perspective's together and seeing what we can come up with. I also love to create the templates, graphics, and layouts for our auctions. Mom laughs at me because when we're in the fabric store I'll pick up a fabric and say, "I'd LOVE to create a template to match this."

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

JOYCE: I'd love to learn to smock - probably the only needlecraft I have no experience with.

CORI:Definitely heirloom sewing skills. I'm in awe of those who hand-smock and hand-embroidery.

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

CORI: Somewhere warm and tropical and very quiet.

JOYCE:Italy - especially Florence.

JM: What other things do you enjoy besides sewing?

CORI: Graphic/Web design, Scrapbooking, Reading.

JOYCE:Embroidery, cross stitch, drawing, painting, decorating.

JM: Anything else you would like to add?

CORI & JOYCE:We would just like to thank all of our wonderful customers who give us so much support and who have become amazing friends. You and your children are our main inspiration and without you we would not be here. Thank you, Amy, and Journal Modiste for all you do to promote the boutique world and the individuality of each designer that is in it.

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

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Cori (La*Boutique*Elite) | Saturday, June 3, 2006 10:28 AM | flag
Thank you all so much!

Carmen | Friday, June 2, 2006 11:29 AM | flag
You're outfits are gorgeous!

Kirsten | Thursday, June 1, 2006 6:41 PM | flag
That was a FUN interview! You two are a great team!! Best of luck to you with your new website. Keep up the good work :-)

| Thursday, June 1, 2006 11:41 AM | flag
Hey Joyce and Cori--you girls rock!! We're so proud of you! Lorie & On The Avenue Designs

| Thursday, June 1, 2006 9:49 AM | flag
Congrats Cori! We love our Cherry set! Anj Anjboutique

ilovetoselltoys (Alisha) | Thursday, June 1, 2006 8:49 AM | flag
We LOVE Cori and MeeMaw!!! Their designs and clothing are beautiful!!! Absolutely stunning details... Keep up the fabulous job girls! Alisha ilovetoselltoys

jaybird/jennifer | Thursday, June 1, 2006 6:19 AM | flag
we happen to own two sets from these wonderful ladies!! And LOOOOVe them!!!!

Some past LaBoutique Elite Designs

To view past Designers of the Week
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