Growing up in the mountains of North Carolina, I watched my mom, grandmother, and aunts make beautiful handmade clothes, quilts and gifts throughout my childhood. It wasn't until high school that I learned to sew on my mom's sewing machine and made some of my first outfits.
In 1997 I bought my first sewing machine, a Pfaff Festival 135. I mainly used it to make items for our home and to repair/ alter clothing for our two growing boys.
After moving to Maui in 2003, I discovered my passion for sewing. The Hawaiian fabrics available here are just beautiful. At first, I found myself creating items for our home, like drapes and pillowcases, but I've always loved small zipper pouches, purses and beautiful bags of any kind. I just started creating different styles and sizes.
My friends and family have always told me how much they liked the bags I created. So, this year, my husband encouraged me to apply for the first-ever Made in Maui County Festival and I was accepted as a vendor. Island Girl Collection was born. Even though it rained most of the festival day, I received an overwhelming number of encouraging responses from the public.
I have converted one of our bedrooms into a sewing studio. You will find me there most days cutting, sewing and creating. My Pfaff sewing machine is still going strong after 17 years now and it has never missed a stitch. It has been a great investment. I use my son's old desk as my sewing table and it works great as it is the perfect size and height for me. I store all my spools of thread in a jewelry organizer that hangs from the drawer pull of the desk so it is within easy reach. I found a great project table that I bought from Costco that sits in the middle of the room and holds most of my fabrics and notions. My small ironing board and a basket of current projects sits on top next to my cutting mat.
As a long-time lover of Etsy, I have always been inspired by the beautifully handmade products that I find there. This store and the products available here are the result of that inspiration.
I cut, sew, iron, photograph and package each product myself in my studio. I enjoy creating my products using the vast array of Hawaiian fabrics, eco friendly cork fabric and an array of other beautiful fabrics. I am always getting feedback from friends on items they would like to have or need. So, I'm always working on a new prototype of some sort. I hope I can share The Aloha Spirit with you one bag at a time. You can not only see the quality of my products but you can feel it.
Relocating this past week to Florida will allow me to expand the styles I offer in my shop so stay tuned!