A Glimpse into the Artist
I'm going to tell you a little story about how I came to be a Fashion/Costume designer and Teddy Bear artist.I began sewing when I was 9 years old. (I won't tell you how old I am now, but I suspect you'll figure it out) I desperately wanted a Willie Wear shirt (Willie Smith was the hot designer at that time). My parents wouldn't buy it for me (ok, fine. Maybe it was a bit much to pay $125 for a shirt for a 9 year old). But my sister came to my aid. She told me I could make the shirt for just under $5.00 dollars.
After all the other time my Mom and my Sister had dragged me to the fabric store (often kicking and screaming), that was the very 1st time I wanted to be there. I spent hours picking out just the right fabric and the right Willie Smith designer Shirt pattern. Since the pattern came with shorts, I bought enough fabric to make both. I made my very 1st outfit in just in two days. Over the next few years I went thru all the male patterns the pattern books had to offer and started designing my own patterns.
In High School I made over 200 prom dresses and 130 tuxes, all of my own design. (and went to 26 proms!) I had no plans of becoming a Designer. At that time it was just a hobby for me, a way to pick up some extra spending money.
In college I studied to become a veterinarian and paid my way through college with my designs. I also became very involved in designing costumes for my college's plays and musicals.I opened a veterinary practice in Florida with a college friend and regrettably discovered I had a severe allergy to cats.
It had never occurred to me that I could make a living as a designer, but I found myself entertaining the idea. (After all I paid my way through college doing just that). So I moved back to NYC and opened Siro's Fashion In Design I Went back to College FIT to see if I really knew anything about designing and running a business. It turned out that I had a distinct affinity for the business.In my early years in the industry, I worked at different costume shops, building costumes for Broadway shows, Films, and TV. I progressed to working in the shows as a designer and wardrobe person, where I became acquainted with an organization called Broadway cares. I volunteered from time to time building costumes for the Easter bonnet fundraiser.It was here that I discovered my love of teddy bears. Every year Broadway Cares gives The Broadway Bear Auction. If you are not familiar it's where teddy bears are dressed in the style of the current year's Broadway show's costumes. The bears are auctioned off and the money donated to charity. It is truly a wonderful event. The next one will be March 2004. It was my honor to design the bear costume of "Kate" from the Broadway show Kiss Me Kate.
I truly went around the barn to find what I have always loved to do, but I would not have changed one thing.