How did you get your start?
As a kid I loved being in retail, especially in my grandfather's store. At age 15, he let me sell my jewelry there, and I would take the bus to NYC to buy findings and beads. In college I was in the art program at Syracuse, and one time, had a Halloween party during a weekend stay at my parents' house. My roomie left her hand-made mask there, and I thought to myself...I could sell these and make some money.
The following year I transferred to FIT and made my masks with items I found at garage and estate sales. Then, I sold them on the sidewalks of Soho. After that, I decided to make hair accessories (I had long red hair so it was a natural progression). By 26, I had a small shop in Soho on the corner of West Broadway and Broome.
Over the years, I've sold wholesale to stores all over the world, my designs have been on runways, celebrities, in movies, and in dozens of magazines.
What is the biggest highlight of your career so far? Community theater. I designed, made costumes and staged The King and I with over 50 kids.
What's your fondest memory of being at Artists & Fleas? I love meeting people from all over the world. It makes me so happy when they send me photos.
Where do you see yourself in 10 years? Making my accessories on a farm that my husband and I bought two years ago. In our spare time, we're restoring our 1860's house. Hopefully, I'll be making things well into my 80's. I never plan to retire.