Designer / Co-Owner of Twirly Girl
I didn’t have a childhood. Seven years of abuse took that away. I felt ashamed, invisible, ugly, and unworthy of feeling joy. So when my two daughters were little, I decided to give them something that I never had: a happy childhood memory.
My idea was to sew them a beautiful, super-comfortable twirly dress. Something that would make them twirl with joy. I enrolled in some sewing classes and came up with a design for a reversible dress. Fortunately, I live close to the Los Angeles Fashion district, so I was able to find some amazing fabrics. Everything about my creation was costly: the high quality fabric, the 4 thread stitching, the way the itchy seams were sandwiched away from their bodies… but so what? This was a special gift, so no expense was spared.
My daughters absolutely loved their reversible twirly dresses (the Original Reversible Twirly Dress®) and wore them to school every day. Soon other moms were asking me to sew dresses for their kids. I told them how much I’d have to charge, but they didn’t care. They immediately recognized the quality and the joy my dresses brought. A business was born. I called it “TwirlyGirl.”
It didn’t take long before a local boutique heard about my dresses and called to place an order. At first, I hand sewed them all on my dining room table. When demand took off, I found local sewers to do the work. Things were getting serious!
The first time the sewers delivered samples for my approval, I wasn’t too happy. Even though they were professionals who had sewn for major brands, I found their construction techniques to be a little shoddy. I told them how I wanted my dresses sewn with the same love and attention to detail I used on my daughters’ dresses, even though it would surely increase labor costs. They were a shocked. Most brands look for ways to cut costs by creating disposable clothing. But I’m not most brands. I never set out to create a children’s clothing line. I set out to create a happy childhood memory.
Today, TwirlyGirl is worn by children all across the world. Even though I didn’t have a happy childhood, I get to experience that joy through the photos and videos that customers send us.
People sometimes say there’s no reason to buy quality clothes for their children, because they’re just going to outgrow them. We use stretchy fabrics and design our styles with growing room. Most customers tell us their kids are able to wear our clothes for 2+ years. But yes, eventually they will outgrow their TwirlyGirl dress. They’ll also outgrow fairies, cardboard rocket ships, and the magic of wearing a twirly dress. This thing called childhood is all too short. I say, let them enjoy the magic of their favorite dress while they still can.
I’m grateful that my daughters got to experience the joy of a TwirlyGirl dress, and I hope your children will too. I believe it will be the dress of their childhood.