Hello everyone and thanks for stopping by my brand new blog! In case you don’t already know me my name is Crystal. I was born and raised in the suburbs of San Diego, Ca. Since this blog will primarily be about my small tutu business I will start with some of my back story. Here goes!
Both of my maternal grandparents were tailors. My grandma had her own tailor shop, part of a small chain of shops in San Diego, each owned by one of her siblings. My grandpa worked for another company in Carlsbad and still does to this day. Naturally I grew up around sewing machines and always gravitated towards them. I quickly fell in love with sewing and creating brand new things, like stuffed animals for my relatives at Christmas time or fun clothes for my Barbie dolls. I always had an entrepreneurial spirit and would set up shop on our front porch and I would sell things I made to the other neighborhood kids, sometimes to the dismay of their parents. (Giggle.) I sold them ridiculously giant hair bows, scrunchies (ah, the 90’s!), doll clothes, friendship bracelets, you name it. Those are some of my fondest childhood memories.
My grandma fostered my love of sewing from an early age and helped me sew my first “project” at the tender age of five. It was just a collection of 100 buttons for a kindergarten assignment teaching the concept of “one hundred.” My collection of 100 things was buttons hand-sewn on to some fabric in an embroidery hoop. I was so excited to be entrusted with a needle and thread (under supervision, of course) and from that day forward I was hooked. My grandma gave me a sewing machine intended for kids, which I quickly outgrew and then she upgraded me to a vintage Singer sometime in elementary school. Because she owned her own tailor shop and had extra machines around I always got her hand-me-downs. Flash forward to my awkward middle and high school days. Sadly my sewing projects slowed down and I gave it up for a very long time. I would occasionally hand-sew quick skirts or handbags in high school but that was the extent of it.
It wasn’t until I was pregnant with my second child—a girl—that my love for sewing was rekindled. Suddenly I remembered how crafty I used to be and started making frilly things for my daughter-to-be. Because I was well known for always wearing flowers in my hair I of course had to make my daughter lots and lots of flower hair clips, with the hope that she’d have hair. (She didn’t really, but at almost 2 years old it’s coming in beautifully and I’m having a ball, but I digress!) One day I saw on Facebook that my favorite baby boutique was offering a class on no-sew tutus and I jumped at the chance. I went to the class, had a blast and fell in love with tutus. I started making my yet-to-be-born baby girl tutus in all sorts of fun colors and I’d post them for all to see on Facebook. It wasn’t long before people started asking me to make them for their kids or for baby shower gifts, birthdays etc. That’s when I decided to open up a shop on Etsy.com. I was already a devoted buyer there so it was the perfect fit for me.
I opened a new account for my business-to-be in July of 2010, and of course I named it after my soon-to-be-born daughter Chloe. Chloe Michelle’s Closet was born, but I didn’t officially list anything until February of 2011. Before long I realized that the tutu market on Etsy was extremely saturated and I needed a way to differentiate myself, so that’s when I decided to start sewing my tutus rather than doing the no-sew, slipknot around elastic method. That way is beautiful and works great for a quick tutu, but I did find that the sewn ones hold up better over time and that I am able to pack on more tulle for over-the-top poofy, fluffy goodness. They do take quite a bit longer to make but in the end it’s worth it to me to deliver a delicious, ridiculously cute, fluffy product. Additionally I pride myself in using only USA made, CPSIA compliant tulle. That just means that it is apparel-grade and meets the safety standards for children’s clothing. Children’s clothing is heavily regulated and although I am just a tiny business I didn’t want to take any chances. You will not find any made-in-China or craft tulle in my tutus.
Recalling my love of sewing and wanting to get into it again on a larger scale I made sure that my shop name would allow for expansion, which is why I didn’t have “tutu” anywhere in my name. I knew that eventually I would want to create and sew more than just tutus, and that’s why I called my shop “Chloe Michelle’s Closet.” People in conversation often refer to it as “Chloe’s Closet” but that is not correct. While that was my first choice when I started out, it was already taken, hence the addition of baby girl’s middle name. I love the name now. It’s so chic, so boutique. Of course I am biased. 🙂
So that’s my (not so) little introduction. I hope to be blogging here on a semi-regular basis, probably shop related stuff, balancing life as a work-at-home mom, possible guest posts, etc. How often I blog will depend on how busy my shop is and how cooperative my two little ones are. My kids are 3 1/2 and 22 months at the moment, so as you can imagine life can get pretty crazy around here! At the end of the day my babies come first so I apologize in advance if I ever have any long lulls between posts. If I’m not blogging a whole lot you can always check my Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/ChloeMichellesCloset. I try to update it pretty frequently, and if for whatever reason I’m not engaging you enough there you can always go directly to my Etsy shop at http://www.etsy.com/shop/chloemichellescloset and start a convo with me. Thanks again for reading this and bless your heart if you read the whole thing. I have a tendency to say way more than I need to. See? There I go again. Until next time!
Love & Lollipops,