Sew…You Really Want to be a Designer Entrepreneur? Really?

Samples in the City


On Monday, I drove up to Manhattan to see a clothing sample maker who was recommended by a friend.  Armed with yards of fabric, my patterns, sewing specs and tons of notions, I braved the traffic–OMG!  The traffic gets worse every year.  It’s like a huge parking lot.  A drive that should have taken about 20 minutes took more than an hour and a half!


And Heaven forbid you get behind a New Jersey driver, it all over.  (Sorry NJ friends…but it’s true.)  It takes you at least 5 minutes to drive one short city block.


My sample maker couldn’t make my downtown hats until I found some Visor Board for the bills of the hats…you know, the visor stuff.  Also, I was waiting on one of the prints for the western shirt.  So, I’ll have to make another trip up to the sample maker in the city to give her both the visor material and the print.  Completed samples are “supposed to” be finished by September 19th…right.  ENK Show is October 5th.

After getting sample prices (which were pricey), I got quotes for production sewing pricing from her based on 300 pieces each…umm, sorry, but there is no way I can pay $25 just for sewing while my competitors are wholesaling their shirts for a mere $24 to $28!  Yes, I expect my sewing costs to be a bit higher than my competitors, because there’s detailed cutting…but that’s way out of line.  I have a MAJOR problem.


See, without having a clear production sewing price, everything comes to a HALT.  Everything.  Without competitive sewing production costs, I can’t:

– finish my line sheets

– make my order forms

– do my mailings to buyers

– make follow-up calls and appointment with buyers

– complete my wholesale area of the web site

and so on.  Now if I had a month or two longer and a daughter who didn’t need a kidney transplant (doctors’ appointments, hospitalizations, home care, etc.), I could physically trek into the city and visit at least a dozen sewing factories on my list of over 100 places on my list of sewing contractors in NYC.  I can’t go to China or New Jersey.  I’m certified “Made in NYC™!”

My Success Emergency


So what did I do?  I wrote an email to Donny Deutsch and The Big Idea Show and told them of my dilemma (aka Success Emergency).  The next morning, I got an email from the producer!  I’m thrilled to announce they are coming to film at my home tomorrow!!!  I sure hope Donny and friends have some advice on my situation.

You Should Be in Pictures


I was able to make Earnshaw’s Friday ad submission deadline.  I secured a 1/2 page island ad for the next three months.  I don’t have photos of new line yet, so photos from previous designs had to suffice.  Mary of Confessions of a Craft Addict came to my rescue designing and submitting the ad on my behalf!  I can’t thank her enough–perhaps I can…like with a big box of fabric…LOL!  I can’t wait to see the actual ad in print!

My skyline backdrops were delivered the other day.  I also remembered to order my Ocean Blue photo paper backdrop from B & H Photo.  Hopefully that will arrive this coming week.



I have a dear friend I met on e-Bay a few years ago.  Lynn (aka 47cats) always knows when I’m struggling.  She surprised me with GO DIVA chocolate truffles…it doesn’t get better than this.  Thank you my sweet buddy!

And speaking of e-Bay friends, Eileen of Whimsy Portraits surprised me with the most awesome photo book of the NYC BBQ!!!  OMG…I can’t wait to show everyone–it needs a post all it’s own!  Thank you Eileen—it’s so unique and I will always treasure it!

My Sunshine on a Rainy Day


(photo by EMA Photography)

On Tuesday, the Sunshine Girl and I made a clinic visit in Philly with the kidney transplant doctors.  Luckily, it went smooth this time.  However, by Wednesday, Marielle was doubled over in pain.  Her blood pressure remains stable (with 4 different blood pressure medicines), but she is not doing well…all complications of kidney failure.  My sister from North Carolina is working with our hospital to get her living donor evaluation done.  Please keep your fingers crossed that she is a match for my daughter, because we are running out of time.

On another note, I fell like such a terrible blogger friend  I just can’t keep up with replies to all the comments left on my blog.  I promise you I read each and every single comment and appreciate them.  Hopefully when things slow down a bit, I can get back to being active in the blog community.  Thanks for understanding.




  1. God bless you, Diva.

    Great blogging. Love the pics. Haha re: NJ drivers.

    You’ve sure got a story to tell. Donny is going to have a great show with you 🙂

    Marielle’s pic is beautiful. Did Eileen take that? Next year, we can all look at the album she made you. So thoughtful!

    I wish the sister/kidney event weren’t taking so long. Time truly is of the essence. This is 2008, so step on it, hospital!! Sheesh! No need for this dallying.

    You are all, as always, in my prayers. I love you! Go Diva!


  2. Congrats on the Donny Deutsch! I hope he’s helpful and can give you some useful and exciting advice to get things rolling again.

    Your daughter is in my thoughts often. I do hope that your sister is a match.


  3. Don’t you dare send me a thing! Take care of the mountain of stuff on your list, as well as that beautiful bit o’ Sunshine (plus the Jedi & Mr. Diva™).

    Can’t WAIT to see you on TV this week and I hope it gets you what you need to keep Downtown Joey on track.


  4. Best wishes Lisa for the TV show (how terribly exciting) and especially for your beautiful daughter. Fingers crossed that soon she will have the transplant she needs.

  5. oh your dear daughter, it must be hard for all of you.
    good luck on the show, shame it won’t be broadcasted in the netherlands………

  6. LIsa, I think it’s great that you will be on the tv show! You will have a successful clothing line in no time, I’m sure of it. 🙂

    I have you and your daughter on my mind every day. Bless your heart, you have so much on your plate and so many things to take care of right now. Please remember to take care of yourself during this hectic time, too.

    Hugs to you and your whole family today.

  7. I cannot wait to see your clothing line! We will be watching as Levi always needs more clothes!

    That pic of Marielle is gorgeous. I will continue to pray that she finds a kidney soon

  8. *****HUGS LISA******

    I can not believe the mountains you move…. I wish I had your drive and charisma…. 🙂 You are an incredible person.

    PLEASE, post on here what channel you will be on and what day, I will definitely record it!!! 🙂

    Good Luck, and God Bless to you and your beautiful family.

    Heather =)

  9. Hi Lisa, I have been following your blog for a little while now, and you are an inspiring person.

    Maybe it sounds odd to offer this to a stranger, but I work in NYC, midtown west. If you need anyone to run over to your sample maker to pick something up or drop something off, I’d be happy to help. As a fellow mom and entrepreneur, if there is any support I can offer, please feel free to email me directly, twitter, whatever.

    Will keep an eye on The Big Idea for your “15 minutes of fame!” May it bring you business exponentially!


  10. God speed to your sister & hospital~praying for a match!
    Good luck Lisa with the show & biz…

  11. Wishing you the best- with the Donnie D. show and meeting your deadlines. My heart goes out to you, mom to mom, for all that is on your plate regarding having a child with a chronic illness. Hugs from Carla at Feathered Fibers

  12. Beautiful girl! Keeping fingers crossed for you, absolutely.

  13. So much is happening, I don’t know how you do it all. How wondeful to be a part of the Donnie D. Show!! Your daughter and your family will be in my prayers. I can only imaginge how difficult this must be for you, but I can tell she is a blessing and a joy!!

  14. WOW! Let us know how the taping goes! I have been praying for your daughter ever since i started reading this blog! She sure is beautiful!

  15. hi lisa!
    i came across your blog through google and all your posts are so interesting and inspiring =) you’re definitely one of those people out there who can touch lives. i admire how strong and determined you are despite all the things thats been happening with your daughter. ill be praying that she will get through this very soon =)

    regarding your clothing line, i wish you luck! hope you will make it big in this industry =)

    i too am interested in doing a children’s line and im still in the research/brainstorming stage. i have a few questions which im hoping you could help me with. what exactly did you do first to start? did you have to study how to sew or do pattern making?

    i hope to hear from you soon =)

  16. Oh Lisa the ad looks awesome! Mary you did such a great job! I subscribe to Earnshaws so I can’t wait to see it!! And you know that pix of Marielle was so special for me (can’t wait to see it actually HUNG in your house..hint hint..haha)

  17. Hi Lisa I read about you and your daughter on Patty’s (Modkid) blog and I just wanted to pop in and say that I will say a special prayer for your beautiful daughter. I hope your sister is a match so your daughter can get on the road back to health.

    All the best,

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