Monday, December 29, 2008

As seen in the Las Vegas Review Journal

Where has the time gone? The holidays have been a little crazy around here. My oldest has a birthday on Dec. 22nd (poor thing) and my youngest has a birthday on Jan. 6th. What was I thinking. It is like a month long marathon of birthday parties, Christmas events, wrapping presents and thank you notes. So that is my excuse for being gone so long :)

In the mean time, not much has changed on the CPSIA front. And February 9th is just around the corner. However, Glenn Cook of the Las Vegas Review Journal did an amazing job writing a column about this law and how it is effecting my business as well as other businesses in Las Vegas. If you have a second, it is a great read.

CPSIA Article

I was also just interviewed by the LA Times. Hopefully all this press will start to wake consumers up to the fact that we are about to lose a large portion of the children's apparel and toy industry. Very sad times indeed.

On a brighter note, look at this little cutie from Norway wearing her Molly O on Christmas! I love to see that little faces are lit up across the world in their Molly O's.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Huge Sale at Molly O Designs

I'm the type of person that likes to prepare for the worst and hope for the best. I want to make sure all angles are covered and I don't get blindsided by anything. I have a gut feeling that amendments will not be made to the new CPSC law until after February 9th when more consumers start to take a stand. Right now, very few journalists, business owners, consumers and even designers know about this new law.

So, I am going to prepare. Everything on my website is 50%-75% off. I think I might have just shed a tear even typing that. And I have more spring styles to put up. So, buy it now while you can! After February 10th, it will be no longer. Or at the very least we will be on a break until some kind of reasonable amendment is instated.

Take a peek. Do some shopping and PLEASE pass this on to everyone you know. Even if you don't have little girls to shop for, you might need to buy a gift for someone you know, right?

Pop on over to and have fun shopping the sale racks!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Maybe Everything Happens for a Reason

I just spent about 20 minutes writing an update on the CPSIA battle. Just as I was about to post, I lost the entire entry! So frustrating. But I feel like maybe I need to slow down, relax, take a deep breath. And maybe you didn't want to hear my ramblings any how.

So here is the cliffnote version (do they still make cliffnotes?).

1. Don't believe everything you read. There are so many posts floating around the web about how people are exempt from the law if they work out of their home, work while no one sees them, only make left shoes or run in 5 circles counter clockwise before they start sewing. The law is the law. If you make something and sell it for a child, it needs to be tested. If you don't believe me, see the 800 number from yesterday's post and give them a call.

2. There may be a little hope in regards to testing between now and August. Not a huge break through, but a little glimmer of hope. You can use "reasonable testing" between now and August 2009. That doesn't mean a hardware store lead testing kit. That means a lab (does not have to be certified by the government) that uses testing applications such as the XRF gun. Much cheaper. But keep in mind you still have to go through the regular (insert expensive) testing in August. So it just buys you a little time. Here is a great article by Kathleen of Fashion Incubator.

3. Hmmm, I forget what my third point was. See, everything happens for a reason. I guess it wasn't that important.

Now, just a little something fun to take our mind off the craziness that has consumed us. My gorgeous friend Natalie just did a photoshoot with her singing group "Swing City Dolls". And she was nice enough to wear one of my Molly O aprons (only intended for moms therefore exempt from testing). See I told you there was something to smile about.

Anyway, I don't have the original photo yet, but here is a link to the photographer's website that did the shoot. Can you believe she is the mother of 3 little ones?! Seriously, I think I should go and do about 1200 situps. Or maybe I'll just go and eat the apple crisp I just made. Decisions, decisions.

Click Here: Molly O Apron

Monday, December 8, 2008

Don't Shoot the Messenger!

O-kay, I have to say that I have received many supportive emails regarding my business and how the CPSIA applies. However, I have also gotten a lot of nasty emails as well. Listen, I didn't make up the law. This isn't a conspiracy theory that I drummed up on my own. It is happening. The impact will be wide spread. Probably beyond what we are imagining even now.

So here is what I have to say. If you don't believe me, call! Here is the number:

CPSC Hotline: 1-800-638-2772 Ask to speak to someone about the CPSIA and how it will effect your business.

Call them and give whomever answers the phone your scenario. They will tell you how the new law applies to you.

In the meantime, let's try to get along. The point of writing about this on my blog was to bring together a community of designers, consumers, moms, etc. so that we could fight as one solid team. Not to spend time fighting amongst each other about whether you think the law will apply to you.

The hard facts are this. If you make ANYTHING that is intended for children ages 12 and under, you must have your product tested by a certified lab. The government is determining which labs will be used. This does not mean buying a lead testing stick at home depot. Once you have your product tested you must have the required lead tracking label attached. If your item does not have this label, you will not be able to legally sell it.

I feel like because I have taken the time to educate myself on the new law and wanted to share it with thousands of other people who it will effect, I'm the one put in front of the firing squad. Let's just try to all get along.

And in the mean time, everyone take a moment to click on this link and write your representative. Whether you are a designer or consumer, you can use this link. The letter is already written. You only need to fill in your name and address. The website will find your representative and email the letter to them.

O-kay, I promise to go have a glass of wine and relax. Tomorrow is a new day and I promise to have a better attitude. Until then, cheers!

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Congressional Hearing Canceled

I have to admit, I have been holding out hope that on December 10th, the representatives involved in the congressional hearing for the CPSIA would suddenly open their eyes and realize the devastation that is about to erupt throughout our economy. But sadly, the hearing has been canceled.

So what is next? I really have no idea. It seems consumers are supporting this law in hopes of providing safe toys and clothing for their children. And I couldn't agree more. As a mother of a child with Autism, I'm the first to get in line for all natural toys, clothing, food, etc. But, the law as written is overlooking the fact that many of these items do not need to be tested. Fabrics for example are inherently lead free. Yet, thousands of clothing companies are preparing to shut their doors because the cost to test their designs and prove they are lead free is simply too expensive.

Several European toy companies have already announced that they will stop production as of December 31, 2008 on all toys that typically sell in the U.S. Others have announced that the cost of their toys will increase between 30-50%. Clothing companies who can afford to test will now be offering fewer styles, colors and sizes. Gone will be beautifully embellished dresses or tshirts with appliques that use a variety of fabrics, trims and crystals. Did I mention that "bling" will be non-existent for little girls. Swarovski crystals are lead based. Need I saw more. Will we survive without "bling"? Absolutely. But the children's runways in New York will have a new look and feel. Basic, simple, few options. Period.

The bigger question is did congress just open Pandora's box. Where do we stop? What about the furniture our children sit on everyday, or the plates they eat off of, the floors they walk on and the beds they sleep in. Where do we draw the line?

I want a safer environment for my children. But I also want them to have choices. Most of all I want our economy to repair itself and thrive once again. This law is kind of like kicking a horse while it is down. I'm not sure how we are going to get back up after February 9th.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Write to your representative!

Congress will be meeting on December 10th to discuss the CPSIA regulation and the impact it will have on our economy. Below is the letter that I sent to my representative. It was written by a group of industry experts. While it may not apply directly to you if you are not a designer, you can feel free to change the opening to reflect your support.

Here is the link to email your representative. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for your support!

I am writing on behalf of my self and other small manufacturers of children’s apparel and textile products throughout the United States to express our concerns regarding the lead and lead in paint standards as mandated by the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA).

We want to first emphasize that many of us are parents ourselves and care as much about the safety of our children as anyone. We welcome measures that will help to ensure greater child safety with regard to lead. However, such measures are only effective if they target the real risks.

Lead in children’s apparel and other textile products pose little risk

There is very little research to support the notion that lead in textiles presents a significant risk to children. On the contrary, in his presentation to the May 13, 2008 Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) roundtable, Understanding the Pending Legislation and the Use of Lead in Consumer Products, Mr. Hardy Poole makes the argument that the lead content in textiles is actually very low. Mr. Poole, president of the National Textile Association, is considered a leading expert in the textile industry with than 30 years of experience including working with the CPSC on fabric flammability standards.

In his presentation, Mr. Poole cited dyes, dyestuffs and pigments used in coloring fabrics as the primary source of lead in textiles and pointed out that the dyes produced by the major suppliers to the U.S. textile industry are already required to comply with the standards for trace metal impurities. These standards allow a maximum lead content of 100 ppm, which is well below the CPSC interim goal of 300 ppm and consistent with the ultimate goal of 100 ppm. Mr. Poole added that these suppliers offer no lead complex dyes and that he knows of no operation in the United States using lead-based pigments in the dyes produced for the textile industry. Currently, there is no lead added to yarns or fabrics manufactured domestically. Regarding imported textiles, Mr. Poole indicated that the testing of imported fibers and fabrics reveal none or only trace levels of lead.

It is important for the CPSC to recognize that the majority of the materials used to manufacture apparel and other textile products are inherently lead-free. Textiles (both synthetic and natural) and thread are inherently lead-free. While trace elements may be found in some dyes, those amounts are well below the regulatory limits and the consensus in the industry is that lead is not found in or used in textile dyes. Even if trace materials existed in the materials used to produce the textiles, very little would remain on finished fabrics because of the low application levels and the washing that occurs during processing.

Without prudent regulation and clear guidance from the CPSC, the CPSIA will result in unintended and devastating consequences to manufacturers of children’s products that pose little to no risk of lead exposure to children.

The costs of unnecessary testing and its impact on our businesses
Requiring expensive tests on inherently lead-free products to verify that they, in fact, don’t contain lead will only add financial burdens to small manufacturers and ultimately consumers – most of whom are already suffering from the current economic climate – while providing no improvement in consumer or product safety.

We recognize that some types of children’s apparel contain components that may contain lead. However, metal, painted plastic, and vinyl components in children’s apparel (painted and/or metal buttons, snaps, zippers, decals, etc.) are adequately regulated under the requirements for third party testing for lead in paint.

The CPSC has the authority to exclude components and classes of products from the lead ban. Accordingly, we urge the CPSC to issue guidance that makes clear that textiles and apparel are only subject to the lead and lead in paint requirements to the extent that a component presents a risk that it contains lead.

We are also concerned about the apparent requirement to test the component – both as a stand alone component and also as an element of the entire garment. This redundancy greatly multiplies the cost associated with testing.

For example, the cost of digestive testing for lead is in the range of $130 to $180 per test. A garment with two metal component parts, such as a zipper and snaps, would have to test each component separately at a cost of $360. Previously, a small manufacturer might have been spread these costs out over several styles by incorporating the same zippers and snaps into several styles. Let’s assume a manufacturer produces 10 styles. Now, with new regulations that require testing of each component part after it is removed from a sample garment, one in each style, the costs of testing increase dramatically to $3,600.

These costs multiply exponentially if companies are now required to test fabrics and threads for lead, or if different dyes also trigger their own lead tests. Going back to the previous example, if each style contains six components – body fabric, lining, knit cuff, thread, snap, and zipper, as well as 5 possible dye options – the number of tests increases to more than 300, or $108,000 to for just 10 styles in addition to the actual costs of production. Any small manufacturer that survives these costs – and there aren’t many of us that can – will necessarily have to pass them on to our customers. So, consumers end up on the losing end, too.

CPSC should exempt lead testing for those components and articles that are inherently lead-free and require testing for only those components that may contain lead.

And, what do we do with our inventories?
In its September 12 memorandum in which CPSC general counsel advised that “products that contain lead above the limit set in the CPSIA cannot be sold from inventory or on store shelves on or after February 10, 2009.”

Many of us operate on extremely small margins. We cannot sell the merchandise we currently have in stock that we made prior to the standards ever having been approved, nor can we afford the testing required for each and every component of a finished product on top of the cost for testing the finished product – the vast majority of which are inherently lead-free or only present trace levels of lead, well below unsafe or regulatory limits. Requiring us to dispose of all our inventory and imposing huge testing costs on producing new inventory to replace it will force many of us to shut down our operations for good.

What happens to us will effect the U.S. Economy

Based on an analysis of 2002 U.S. Census data, which is the most current available for the apparel manufacturing industry, the Cut and Sew Apparel Manufacturing industry, which includes most categories of small manufacturers of infant’s and children’s apparel, is comprised of more than 40,000 companies. Of these, almost 28,000, or 68%, are sole proprietors contributing a total of $900 million to our nation’s economy. Thus, while our businesses are small, they comprise well more than the majority of the apparel manufacturing businesses currently operating in this country.

In addition to small manufacturers who work with apparel industry contractors, consider also the numerous home-based businesses that produce children’s apparel and sell directly to the consumer. These businesses are best characterized as “micro-manufacturers” who commonly produce several styles but in very small quantities. For these businesses to test for lead in every textile component of each and every style would exponentially increase the costs to produce a garment, which would effectively raise the price well beyond what the market will bear. They simply cannot survive these costs.

While it is important to ensure compliance under the CPSIA, at the same time, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) must also ensure that implementation of consumer product safety standards does not involve burdensome requirements or extraordinary costs.

Unfortunately, by exempting this rulemaking from the requirements of the Administrative Procedure Act and the Regulatory Flexibility Act, which would require the CPSC to prepare and make available for public comment an initial regulatory flexibility analysis that describes the impact of the lead content testing rule on small apparel manufacturing businesses, Congress has circumvented the public discourse necessary to truly ascertain the CPSIA’s impact on small business. As written, the CPSIA ignores the wide variety of small business models that comprise the children’s apparel manufacturing industry and the fact that the majority are indeed small businesses.

Every small manufacturer of children’s apparel shares the goal of the CPSC – ensuring that only safe products are permitted to reach the consumer. We believe this is best achieved by implementing and enforcing the CPSIA (specifically the lead and lead in paint standards) in a manner that focuses on risks.

Although I am sending this letter to you as an individual, I can assure you that these comments share the support of many others who, like me, want to continue providing necessary and safe products to American consumers. While we believe there are some components in textile and apparel products that may fall under the lead standards, we believe the vast majority of products and components are inherently lead-free and should thus be excluded from the standards.

We urge the CPSC to issue guidance that makes clear that textiles and apparel are only subject to the lead and lead in paint requirements to the extent that a component presents a risk that it contains lead.

[Your name or business name]

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Support Changes in the CPSIA Legislation

The saga continues. If you are on Facebook, take a moment to join the cause.

Help over 40,000 small business that provide infant and children's products remain in business. February 9th, will either be a victory for small business owners, or a day that will cripple our economy further as we all close our doors.

If you are a designer, drop me a note at I will be happy to pass on any information that I have to you so that you.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

In 70 short days......

In just 70 short days Molly O Designs may be forced to shut our doors along with thousands of other children's manufacturers.

February 9th has been deemed National Bankruptcy day. The reason is due to the CPSIA regulations going into effect. How does this effect Molly O Designs. Well, I'm happy you asked.

The CPSIA regulations will mandate that all manufacturers of children's goods (even little ol'Molly O) will be required to have our products tested for lead. Now, at first glance this sounds like a great idea! Safety for our children. But then you look at the numbers. For Molly O Designs to have our Spring/Summer 2009 tested to meet federal standards, the testing will run us over $30,000. That is just for the testing! Not the manufacturing, or the purchasing of materials or everyday overhead expenses.

This regulation will cover EVERYONE who produces products intended for children ages 12 and under. Do you make baby blankets to sell at craft fairs? You will have to pay to have them tested. Do you sew custom boutique clothing on ebay? You will have to pay to have your designs tested. What about those cute baby bibs that everyone keeps asking you to make? If you sell them for money, they have to be tested!

Needless to say, thousands of entrepreneurs and businesses will go under on February 9th. But where will all their inventory go? In the dump. That is right. If you produced anything prior to February 9th and it has not been tested and approved, it will be considered hazardous waste on February 10th. All my beautiful spring clothes? In the garbage. I'm not kidding. And yes, this sounds too crazy to be true, but trust me, it is a very real reality.

Here is a great link that kind of sums up this mess:

So, I will stop being a selfish for a moment and not think about what I will lose personally. Let's talk about the children's consignment shop down the street that will have to close its doors because for all practical purposes everything in it will be a hazardous dumping site. What about the children's boutique that has a store full of inventory that can't be sold after February 9th? I have many friends who sell clothing and toys on ebay to make a living. Again, all garbage.

I really can't wrap my head around the enormity of this issue and what this means for our already failing economy.

More to come later. In the mean time, I could use your prayers and good thoughts. If you feel so moved as to help with this fight, feel free to sign this petition. I will also be posting a letter later that can be sent to your local congressman/woman.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

I forgot to tell you!!!

I can't believe I forgot to tell everyone that my new website is finally up and running!!! I swear this has been a work in progress for over a year. You have to go and take a peek and tell me what you think!
I have learned so much while working on this! And had a lot of help along the way. I can't wait for the day where I can hand 100% of the design, photography, editing, etc. over to someone else. But as the business is just beginning to grow, I seem to be the jack of all trades when it comes to this area of my business. I'm by no means an expert, but I think I've learned enough to get by.

So now on to the next step, marketing!! I'm so excited to start showing my clothing line at in home Trunk Shows. It is such a fun way for moms to get together, have a girls night out and do a little shopping. It is like installing a children's boutique right in your house! Every girls dream, right? So, if you know anyone that is interested in hosting a Molly O Trunk Show, send them our way.

I'm going to keep this short and sweet tonight. It has been a long week. I'm fighting off a migraine as I type, but have a little more work to do tonight. I did however just tuck in my 2 year old and sang her a lulabye. She actually put her head on my shoulder and fell asleep. We have nicknamed her Eloise because of all the shenanigans she gets into during the day, most recently painting large pictures with nail polish all over the girl's new comforters and throw pillows. BUT, when she puts her head on my shoulder, she turns into the sweetest curly haired angel ever. Those are the moments I will cherish. Good night and I hope everyone has sweet angel dreams.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Where did the summer go?

The summer went by in a blur. And I say blur because having 3 kiddies at home all day, everyday, tends to make your eyes cross. But now that 2 of the 3 are firmly seated back in their desks, I can finally get a little extra work done. By extra work, I mean catching up on email, my blog, message boards, etc. You know, all the important things in life :)

With school back in session, it seems that the Molly O customers of the world are ready to shop! I've had a sudden surge in website traffic, purchases and inquiries. I can't tell you how excited I am to get our new line in everyone's hands! Speaking of, I'm so excited to say that Molly O Designs was featured in a very fab and trendy magazine this week called BLVDS Las Vegas. If you like in Las Vegas, try to pick up a copy at Borders. It is the perfect magazine for posh moms in the area. I was excited to see that 3 of my photos/designs were used throughout the magazine!
You can go to my website to read an little blurb from the article. And maybe just to make things a little interesting, the first person that can tell me which 3 pages my photos can be found on will win one of our new Creative Clips. If you don't live in Vegas and can't get to the magazine, take a guess, you never know you might get it right! It is Vegas after all. LOL.

So what else is new? Well, we are getting ready to kick off our Trunk Show Fall season! So if anyone is interested in hosting Molly O Trunk Show (in person or online), make sure you contact us soon. Our calendar is filling up quickly!

And just for the fun of it, I have to show you the photos I took a few nights ago. Our family was having a little bonding time watching the sun set from our backyard. It felt like the last quiet moment before all the back to school activities consumed us. The beauty of the sunset quieted all 3 of our little wiggle worms. I don't know what I enjoyed more, the sunset or the beautiful looks on all their sweet little faces. It was definitely a night I will remember long after they are all grown.

Friday, August 1, 2008

For all you Trendy Moms

I found this great new site! There are so many trendy, fun, intelligent, business minded moms on Posh Mama. You need to come over and check it out! When you sign up, make sure to search for Molly O Designs and add me as a friend.

Posh Mama Online Magazine and Social Network is a positive and upbeat community made up of women from around the world. You will feel immediately welcomed as it is the sweetest spot on the 'net. Come hang out, network and make some great friends at

Thursday, July 31, 2008

The glamorous life of a designer

Oh what a glamorous life I lead. Designing clothing, meeting with pattern makers, manufacturers, sourcing new fabric, it is all very chic (insert sound of record screaching to a halt). O-kay, the reality is that I do all those things while being at home with my three wild, I mean lovely children. It is FAR from glamorous. In fact, most days if someone were to peek through my windows they would either call for back up, or hurt themselves from laughing so hard.

I don't know if this is the norm, but it isn't uncommon for me to be in the middle of a phone meeting while cleaning up the syrup that my youngest used to decorate the entire house. Really? How does a 2 y.o. empty and entire bottle of syrup (just opened that morning) within 30 seconds. Doesn't it take that long just to turn it over and start to squeeze? Have you ever tried to wash syrup out of the hair of a little girl that has curls like Shirley Temple? Oh the glamorous life I lead. I have decided to start calling our youngest Eloise because of the things that go through her little 2 y.o. mind. But when she falls asleep.........ahhh, my sweet little angel appears.

But, in the mean time, I'll go back to pretending that when all is quiet like I have a chic loft office where my designs are the talk of the towb, towm, sorry to TOWN. I guess the syrup founds it's way to my computer keys as well. Good thing I store all my designs elsewhere!

Speaking of designs, here is another sneek peek into my Fall 2008 line! How cute is my model Evie?!!!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Boutique Portraits!

I always hated the way my school pictures turned out. My hair never looked right, my shirt was looking a little off, I wasn't totally smiling...........I could go on and on. And yes, I will admit I have school pictures with the BIG bangs. Does that give away my age?! I worked on that "poof" for at least a half hour before leaving the house. I wonder if my husband has ever seen those pictures. Well, I'm guessing the answer is no since he is still married to me. LOL.

So, Bijou & Co. came up with a fool proof way to make sure your little sweetie has the perfect school picture. O-kay, maybe it won't actually be taken at school, but you can put it in her scrapbook and she will forever love you for capturing the perfect picture! In fact, she might even be willing to show it to her future husband!!

Click on this adorable artist portrait, created by Shelly of Half Pint Creations, to see the auction for our new Funky Zebra set. The winning bidder will win the set and a custom portrait of their little sweetie from Shelly!

And keep your eyes open for more Fall previews from Molly O Designs!

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Run, run, run

When you have kids, is there ever a day where you just get to rest? I have been running non-stop today. From one end of the city to the other. Whew. I just need a minute to catch my breath. My poor green shoes almost melted off my feet. Yes, it is that hot today! And, by the way, my 6 y.o. took the picture of the shoes. She loves photography and always gets some interesting shots. LOL.

Why am I writin on my blog instead of resting? This is restful to me. I love to write (have I ever told you I have a Journalism degree?) Yes, I'm full of all kinds of surprises. Writing is a skill that can get a little rusty if you don't practice. And I am definitely rusty. Like the tinman in the Wizard of Oz. I need a lot of oil. In fact, maybe I shouldn't have mentioned the Journalism degree. Now, I'm going to be getting comments about my spelling and grammar. LOL. Don't waste your key strokes, I already know.

On the business front, I am sewing my very last sample piece for Fall 2008! It will be in the mail, on the way to a sweet little model any day now. Then, I will need to focus all my efforts on MARKETING! I'm not very good at the hard sell, or the soft sell for that matter. But, I'm going to have to buckle down and really focus on getting my line out there.

I've decided not to sell wholesale at this time. I'm going to be focusing on my online sales as well as doing trunk shows. I LOVE doing trunk shows. You get to interact with your customers and get real time feedback on your designs. Sometimes it isn't always easy to hear the constructive critism, but it is always helpful. On the flip side, hearing a customer swoon over your designs can inflate your ego for days, even weeks.

So, if you know anyone in the Las Vegas or surrounding area that wants to host a Molly O trunk show, send them my way! If you know anyone that may want to become a Molly O Stylist (aka sales rep) and host their own trunk shows any where in the U.S. send them my way too! Our goal is to build a sales force nationally over the next two years. Marketing, marketing, marketing (good thing my major was Journalsim and Public Relations, I'm going to be putting it to good use!).

O-kay, who wants to see a cutie pie?! Look at this little sweetie in a Molly O original.

I love the pictures, keep them coming!!!

Got to run again! I'm late for another appointment. Run, run, run.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

I Love Customer Pictures!

Have I ever told you how much I love getting pictures of little girls in my designs?! Seriously, it makes my day, week, month. LOL. There is nothing like seeing a sweet little girl twirling, running, posing in a Molly O. O-kay, maybe it is a ego thing. But it really makes me feel good.

I was cleaning some of the files on my computer and came across this sweet photo sent in last summer by one of my customers. What a adorable little girl and a talented mommy! In fact, I just commissioned them to model/shoot some of my fall line. Don't worry, I'll post the pics as soon as I have them!

Doesn't this just make you want to pack your bags and head for the beach! I'm sitting here in 108 degree weather with smoke from the California wild fires settled in the Las Vegas valley. I'm just going to stare at this photo and pretend like I'm in a lounge chair with a nice cold drink. Ahhhhh.

Until then, SEND ME YOUR PHOTOS!!! I would love to feature your little princess wearing a Molly O on my blog.

Email your photos to

Thursday, June 19, 2008

HUGE Summer Sale!

So I just handed off all my fall samples to the manufacturer tonight! Woo Hoo! What a great feeling! I have a few more that are going out to be modeled but other then that, my fall line is out of my hands (insert huge sigh of relief).

But now I need to clear out all my summer inventory to make room for the new fall boutique lines (wait until you see what is coming for Fall 2008!). I have to say one of the dresses for fall is my all time FAVORITE dress. I hope all my customers love it just as much!

So, take a peak at my ebay store where you will find some amazing deals! All my summer inventory is 30-50% off! I will be adding more over the next day, so keep checking back.

Click Molly O Designs Store

Does anyone want a sneak peak for fall? O-kay, here is one of the fun and funky sets I have planned with tons of mix and match pieces!

Keep checking back because I have 4 full lines for fall plus some other fun holiday boutique pieces.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Mid-Year Resolutions

I don't think I made any New Year's resolutions this year, so maybe it is appropriate if I make some middle of the year resolutions. LOL. I swear I have good intentions to get so many things done. I have a list a mile long of all the things I would love to accomplish. And yet, it seems like I'm lucky to place any checks on that list at all. So, here are a few of my middle of the year, get myself in gear to accomplish a few things before another month goes by resolutions:

1. Post more then once every 3 weeks on my blog. Check! I have tons of new things coming for Fall 2008 including my ready to wear childrens boutique line! I have lots of material for my blog, so everyone bug me until I get it all posted.

2. Finish decorating my house. Wait, maybe I should break this resolution down to rooms. It seems like most of the rooms in my house are 75% done. Which means when you add them all up I have half a house to decorate. LOL. I just started taking down the wallpaper in our guest bathroom yesterday. Hmmmm, maybe not such a good idea since I have 2 chairs recovered in the kitchen and 2 with the old fabric (imagine 3 toddlers, lots of cheerios, spilled milk and all the other crusty/stickies that go with kids). Yum! Oh, and there is the newly converted playroom which still has a framed print that is from a vineyard. Hmmm, that doesn't really mix does it? Kids and wine decorations. Well, sometimes I drink wine after a long day with the kids, does that count? O-kay, I'm off track from my resolution already. Finish decorating my house. Check.

3. GET IN SHAPE!!! I know everyone says this, but really I can only use the excuse "I had 3 kids in 4 years" so many times. The baby is 2 1/2, time to get over it and stop looking like a Oompa Loompa!

4. Get ahead on my clothing line. This is a big one. I have a wonderful manufacturer that has been doing a lot of last minute things for me. BUT, I really need to get out of my comfort zone and plan at least 9 months ahead on my line. Which means, as soon as I hand off the rest of my samples tomorrow to my pattern maker, I need to book a trip to the LA fabric district to start shopping fabric for Spring/Summer 2009. Anyone in the mood to shop?

I think that is a pretty good list to start, right? Who wants to hold me accountable? Anyone else want to join me? My challenge to you is to do your own Mid-Year Resolution list on your blog. It will make you feel good to take inventory of your life.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

It's Summer Time!

Can you believe the school year is already over?! I don't know where the time went. But I do know that I am frantically putting the finishing touches on my fall 2008 line! Can you believe that I'm thinking about fall clothes in June? Well I actually started designing, looking for fabric and creating back in February! The back to school shopping season is just around the corner. So my samples are heading off to my manufacturer in Los Angeles so they can make it back in time for the Fall Molly O Trunk Shows. More to come on when and where our boutique pieces will be available.

But in the meantime, we are still thinking warm, relaxing summer thoughts! That is until the peace is interrupted by 3 screaming children who are already bored after being home for one day. LOL. Scream they may, but you can still make sure they look adorable when you venture out to summer parties and on vacation.

Take a peak at these fun and whimsical summer hair clips. Available in Little Kitty, Mr. Snail, My Frog the Prince, Little Miss Piggy and Summer Watermelon! What a cute way to make your princess look cute and put together even if she is just hopping out of the pool.

Just to kick off the summer the right way, I'm offering all 5 clips for FREE to one lucky winner. All you have to do is tell your friends about Molly O Designs and send them to our blog! Post a comment that you were here along with who you invited and you will be entered to win. The contest ends Friday June 13th. See I just made Friday the 13th Lucky! So start entering!!!

Monday, May 12, 2008

It's the little things!

Like many working mothers, I'm often in a rush to get something done. I take multi-tasking to a whole new level. What I fail to remember is that when you rush, you typically make mistakes. Which means, spending even more time fixing the new problem.

When I have a new design that needs to get photographed, all I'm thinking of is how can I squeeze in a photoshoot inbetween school pickups, homework, doing the dishes, sending out orders and answering emails? Oh, and when is the lighting just right for me to shoot outdoors? Well, as you will see my photos were not the best. I'm not saying they were bad, but I didn't take the time to pay attention to the little things.


Hmmmmm, not feeling just right. The dress is so much cuter in person (I swear!). So, let's see...........add a small pettiskirt so customers can see the fullness. Make a cute sailor hat to match and drive over to the local lake. There, that's a little better. And VOILA!


So take the time to look at the little things. They do make a difference and will save you time in the end!

To see more of this adorable Sailor dress, which would also be perfect for the 4th of July, take a look at our auction. CLICK HERE

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Have I ever told you.........

About my sweet, adorable, pirate loving, sensitive son Clay? Clay is my teacher in this world. He sees so much that I am blind to. He communicates in a way that has a much deeper meaning, if you take the time to really absorb what he wants to tell you. He has my husband's beautiful brown eyes and what we like to call his "hot lips". He wears a belt, sword and pirate hat everywhere we go. But takes the time to hug his sisters if they are crying.

April was Autism Awareness month. I feel like I have heard the word Autism more times then I care to count in the last two years. I remember the first time I really heard the word. Two years ago. Just two short years ago we heard the words, "I'm sorry, your son has autism." In my gut, in my heart, in my soul I knew they were right. But hearing that word brought out so many emotions. First, I said o-kay, what do we do now? Happy to have an answer to the thousands of questions that went through my head everyday. Why doesn't Clay talk? Why doesn't he turn his head when I say his name even if I scream? Why won't he touch his stuff animals or let the carpet touch his hands? Why won't he eat anything except crackers, pasta and bread? Why, why, why????? We finally had an answer! I almost felt happy as we left the doctor's office.

And then I woke up the next morning and started to cry. And cry and cry and cry. I did not stop crying for 2 weeks. In hind sight I think I went through a grieving process. No one tells you about this at your babyshower when you are playing "Guess How Huge Molly's Stomach Is?!". You plan for what you think is the "perfect" child. Instead you get God's perfect child. Everyone tells you to start a college fund. No one tells you that the therapy involved with Autism causes many families to sell their home or take out a second mortgage. No one tells you that instead of spending time going to gymboree classes and having playdates, that you will try to avoid all those things so you don't have to explain the tantrums that come from having sensory overload.

I grieved by crying and then going into denial and then getting really angry. And now, I just feel utter and complete love and hope. Yes, there are days that I really worry about what the future holds for Clay. And other days where I see so much progress and I see what he is capable of and say to myself, "he is going to be alright." I still don't have all the answers, but one thing I do know is that Clay was put in our family for a reason. It seems that the reason changes on a daily basis, but that just shows how much he teaches all of us.

We never say Clay is Autistic. He has Autism. We are almost ready to say he "had" Autism. Clay is in recovery. We fight Autism every single day, but he is winning. Through therapy, diet and lots of love we are meeting our son. I say that I met my son for the first time when he was 3 1/2. That is the day that we broke through the wall of autism and Clay looked me in the eyes. I will never forget that day and I will never forget the look in those beautiful brown eyes.

Autism affects 1 in 150 children, 1 in 94 boys! There are so many wonderful organizations out there that are making huge strides in finding the answer to all of our questions of "why?". I'm part of an amazing group of women on who have taken it upon themselves to raise money for these amazing groups. They are holding an online charity event right now to raise money for Autism Awareness. All seriousness aside, this is a group of fun and CRAZY women! We chat daily and even well into the night. We are a group of moms just trying to make it through the day. Because, whether you had a child with autism, or a typical child let's face it we all need a sanity check once in a while! LOL.

So I'm telling you my story and inviting you to come and check out so we can all do something so families like mine can stop asking "why". Oh, and did I forget to mention they are giving away some AMAZING prizes just for joining in on the charity event? You can either buy raffles tickets (the money going to an Autism organization) or you can earn free tickets! AND, the first month is free to join the board, so come over and check us out :)

Friday, April 25, 2008

Journal Modiste - Designer of the Week!

It is finally here! My interview on Journal Modiste is now live! If you have a second, click on over to Journal Modiste and read my interview. You can even leave a comment at the end (as long as it is nice). LOL.

A special thanks to Amy who runs JM for selecting me as the Designer of the Week. It truly is a honor.

On another note, I can't believe how fast spring and summer is approaching! I'm frantically trying to get my Fall 2008 line out. Believe it or not, even though it is only April I am LATE getting my line sheets out to boutiques compared to other designers. But, I'm just going to do what I can and see what happens. I'm praying there are a few boutiques left that haven't blown their budget for the fall. If they have, then I will just produce a limited edition line that will be available on my website. That is the beauty of growing my business slowly. I don't have a huge business loan or $40,000 in production costs to be worrying about. My manufacturer has been amazing about allowing me to produce small runs on my designs. This gives me the flexibility to grow at my own comfort.

But with all the rush of producing a line MONTHS in advance of the selling season, it makes me wonder when do "moms" want to buy their kids clothes? Do you wait until June to buy a summer dress. Or are you the mom who buys summer dresses starting in February? I would love to hear from you whether you are a mom, boutique owner or anyone in between. How far in advance to you plan your purchases?

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

I'm feeling a little Sentimental..........

As most of you know, I'm a member of an amazing design group called Bijou & Co. This week we are celebrating our one year anniversary!!! Our launch, Sentiments, started today with a rather impressive guest list. Each of us invited an outside designer that inspired us. Which really means, a designer that we tend to stalk because we love what they do! LOL. O-kay, not as creepy as it sounds. But we all have our favorite designers!

So, our challenge was to design something that made us Sentimental. My first dress was based on this sweet polka dot dress I had as a little girl. I loved this dress! I felt like a million bucks when I wore it. It was just a white knit fabric with polka dots. If I remember correctly, my mom bought it for me for a wedding we were going to. As a little girl, new dresses were few and far between. Hand-me-downs were the norm. But this dress came from a little boutique in our small town. I will never forget buying that dress.

So I came up with a design that will hopefully make some little girl feel just as special. The auction started today, but make sure to check back throughout the week as I list the matching little sister set, hair accessories and my first set that arrived from the manufacturer!! Let me tell you, it is pure heaven to open a box FULL of dresses that I did not spend hours making. LOL. They are gorgeous. Every stitch is perfect. And they are ready to ship! :) Stay tuned for photos...............

Click HERE to view my current ebay listing:

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Dreaming in Color

I often have customers ask me how I come up with my designs. They are usually surprised at my answer, or look at me a little crazy. LOL. I would say 80% of my designs come from my dreams. I will have a detailed dream about a design and wake up and sketch as fast as I can. I'm always afraid that I'm going to forget some detail. Now, I'm not the best artist in the world so my sketches are definitely rough, but they make sense to me. And as long as I can make them come to life in my design world, that is really all that matters.

But I also think that many of my dreams come from some kind of inspiration I saw the day before. I love looking through fashion magazines, vintage designs, fashion color forecasts, etc. I will see something that catches my eye and then instantly think of a children's design that could play off that silhouette, color, style, etc. Many designers give themselves a creative block by forcing themselves to come up with a design no one has ever seen before. The reality is, it is very rare that something you come up with is truly 100% original. It may have the same lines or feel as something from the 1800's, or the 1980's :) My point is, designers shouldn't stress themselves out coming up with a new look over and over. Find a silhouette that you love and play off of it. Change the neckline, sleeve, hemline or the details. And before you know it, you will have something that is uniquely yours!

Here is a sneak peek from one of my recent dreams. Yes, I'm using all these colors. How will it turn out? What will it look like? Stay tuned! You will see it revealed on April 15th as part of Bijou & Co.'s birthday launch, Sentiments.

Until then, sweet dreams!

Monday, March 31, 2008

I've been tagged!

My friend J from Jaybird Designs just tagged me! Thanks for thinking of me J and putting me on the spot! Hmmmmm, this could be interesting (or maybe really boring). LOL.

Here are the rules:
1. Link your tagger and list these rules on your blog.
2. Share 7 facts about yourself on your blog, some random, some weird.
3. Tag 7 people at the end of your post by leaving their names as well as links to their blogs.
4. Let them know they are tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.

So, here ya go! Seven random things about me:
1. My favorite snack right now is Korean Seaweed (Nori) It has to be the salted kind or I won't eat it. My 2 youngest kids are hooked on it too. You should see the looks we get at the park when we are eating sheets of seaweed like chips!

2. My DH and I are both from Michigan but now live in Las Vegas. I don't think you could pick 2 places that are further apart in lifestyles!

3. I'm a classically trained dancer. But, I have learned to never say "I use to be a dancer" here in Vegas. You get some really interesting looks and a few moms at playgroup who offer up their old "stage" name. Ummm, enough said. LOL.

4. I put myself through college by competing in the Miss America program. Loved the scholarship money! Didn't love the "sticky buns" that you sprayed on before the swimsuit competition. Yes, that is actually true not a pageant myth. And yes, I have seen girls accidentally glue themselves to a toilet after using it and forgetting they just sprayed glue on their tushes :)

5. In my previous life I had a career in corporate public relations. I wore a suit, nylons and high heels every day. I had a secretary that answered my phone and my purse matched my briefcase. Now, I'm lucky to have a shirt on that doesn't have some remnant of my children's breakfast. But I wouldn't change it for the world. O-kay, I might trade it for a few hours at the spa, but what work at home mother wouldn't?!

6.My designs are currently being produced by a manufacturer in LA and I couldn't be more excited!

7. O-kay, I ran out. I'm really not that interesting. LOL. Hmmmmm, how about they fact that I swore I would never had kids and I ended up having 3 kids in 4 years. That just goes to show you, never say never! :)

Now, who to tag........hmmmmm, I know everyone is running in fear but here is my list, some are friends and a few are blogs that don't actually know me but I really enjoy reading :)

The Mommy Designer
Boutique Buyers Blog

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

A big week ahead!

I have so many exciting things happening next week! First, I am being featured on Journal Modiste as their designer of the week. I can't even tell you how excited I am! Since I began making custom boutique clothing, I have been reading the interviews of so many designers on JM. I can't believe I get to join the ranks with so many amazing designers. What an honor! So make sure you click over to Journal Modiste to read my interview starting April 2nd.

Next, I'm listing a romantic and sweet little set as part of Bijou & Co. launch called The Hamptons. The designs are inspired by a trip to The Hamptons. I've been saving this gorgeous italian lace for the perfect design and I think I finally did just that. I purchased this vintage italian lace from a couture designer I met. She had traveled Europe studying couture design techniques and picked up some FABULOUS fabric along the way. Last year she decided to move and offered to let me go through her fabric collection so she could clear it out (at a very discounted price). When I saw this lace, I couldn't believe my eyes. I've never seen or felt lace like this in person. The little girl that gets to wear this set will feel like she is on the runways in Milan or Paris. Here is a little sneak peek!

You will be able to see the entire listing for this set starting April 1 by searching BijouCo on ebay. Or click HERE to see the entire listing.

And last, but definitely not least is that I should be receiving my first shipment from the manufacturer next week! What an experience this has been and I know I'm just getting started. More to come this week on the details of working with a pattern maker and sewing contractor. It is such and interesting, educational, fun and scarey process! LOL.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Ginger Blossom

Only one day left until this auction ends! The price is still well below my retail pricing, so if you are thinking about buying this dress, you might want to get it now for a GREAT deal!

Click here

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Creative Kids!

I love it when the children who will be wearing a Molly O custom design are involved in the design process!

I was asked recently to make a dress for a birthday party. Typically this means discussing designs, silhouettes, fabrics and colors with the mom. Not this time! The birthday girl herself had very strong opinions about what she wanted to wear for her party. So after looking through design samples she decided on a dress. Then it was time for color! We knew were going to use dupioni silk, so I pulled out over 140 color swatches. It was so much fun to watch her choose different colors and put combinations together. The end result was fabulous! She choose this gorgeous orange silk that has fuchsia threads that run through it. Then she found the perfect fuchsia to use for the trim. When the sunlight hits this dress, the orange silk turns pink. It is just stunning.

Who knows maybe in a few years she can intern for me!

Take a peak at this beautiful one-of-a-kind custom designed dress!

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Testing Out

So I thought I was going to get fancy and create this great little widget from You will see my first attempt in the post below. Hmmmmm, not sure if I did it right, but it was fun. You can mouse over the photos and click to enlarge them. They tons of templates to choose from and you can even add in music and video images. You should definitely check it out!

If the images are peaking your interest at all, then check out my newest listing on ebay. I designed this adorable custom boutique outfit with the new Ginger Blossom fabric by Sandi Henderson. Bijou & Co, the ebay design group I am a proud member of, is launching designs based on these fabrics during the entire month of March! There are so many cute designs.

Take a peak at my listing by clicking here.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Design Your Own Custom Outfit!

I have to admit, that this auction was created because I was down with that horrible flu for an entire week! And that was after taking care of 3 sick kids. So after a trip to the urgent care for some IV fluids, I became coherent again and realized there was no way I was going to have time to photograph my new designs for the current Bijou & Co. launch. What is a working mom to do? Let the customers have a little fun, that is what I say!

So, I've decided to list an auction where my customers get to design their own one-of-a-kind custom boutique outfit. The designs are based around the gorgeous new fabric by Sandi Henderson called Ginger Blossom. I will work with the winning bidder to create an adorable spring/summer set using this beautiful fabric. It's almost as much fun as being on Project Runway. O-kay, I'm going a little far, but it will be "fierce" (that is a Project Runway reference for those of you that don't watch). LOL.

Click here to view the auction and don't forget to search BJAC on ebay for all the wonderful designers in Bijou & Co. Our Ginger Blossom launch will be running the entire month of March. Check back for new designs every week!

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Designing for Fall/Winter 2008-2009

Does it seem a little strange that we aren't even out of winter and set here I am sketching designs for next fall and winter?! But I'm learning quickly that you have to be way ahead of the game. While I am frantically trying to get Spring and Summer produced right now, I'm also trying to get all my designs together for next year. I can't let you in on any secrets yet, but I'm loving what I have come up with so far.

Is there something you would LOVE to see for my 2009 line? Send me your suggestions! I love to hear from customers. Post a comment or email me at

In the mean time, here is a little peak and some fabric that was sent off to production today. It will be a limited edition run for a few select boutiques, but I think it will be so sweet for pictures at the beach, a summer picnic or even the fourth of July!

Monday, February 18, 2008

So much to do, so little time!

My life is always a whirlwind, especially when you factor in the fact that I have a 2, 4 and 6 year old at home. Add in that my husband is starting a new business venture and now I'm taking my business to an entirely new level. I've made the decision to hand over my designs to a small manufacturer. Yes, Molly O Designs is going big time. Or at least big time in my mind. I'm sure Michael Kors would holding his stomach in pain while laughing at me, but you have to start somewhere (plus I love Michale Kors so he can laugh at me any time he wants!)

When I started in the direction of custom boutique children's clothing a year ago, I never imagined I would already be at this stage. But here I am! After months and months of research, business plan developement, creating a marketing and plan and about a thousand prayers, everything is finally in motion.

Last week, my amazing pattern maker finished a few of my summer patterns and all my fabric was drop shipped to the manufacturer. Now, I wait and pray. I'm scared to death that I will have a room full of boutique dresses that will never sell. But I guess fear of the unknown is one of the biggest motivators in our life.

I also had the pleasure of speaking with Jennifer Varner from to start the development of my new ecommerce website. I can't tell you how excited I am to get started. She has the talent and business knowledge that fits perfectly into my vision for Molly O Designs.

Some of my customers have been asking me "what about eBay?" I will continue to sell one-of-a-kind custom boutique clothing on eBay and I find that both sites are an amazing testing ground for my designs. You will also be able to purchase directly from my new website as well as various online boutiques.

So over the next few months, the Molly O Designs blog may turn into "how to build a clothing business from the ground up" blog. I hope you enjoy the journey with me!

Sunday, February 17, 2008

eBay Strike Feb. 18th - Feb. 25th: Support Your Boutique Designers!

Due to recent changes from ebay, many custom boutique sellers have decided to participate in the eBay strike. That means no buying or selling on eBay for one week from 02/18 until 02/25! Many of our Bijou and Co. designers are joining in on this strike.

A large group of custom boutique designers are coming together to sell on Etsy during this week. They also plan to continue selling on Etsy, following the strike. The great thing about Etsy is they charge lower fees for sellers, which translates to lower prices for buyers! There is no waiting for auctions to end, see something you like and buy it right then! Please come check us out!

I will be running specials for buyers that purchase from my store on etsy during the strike

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Molly O Designs Jewelry has come to and end......

It is with a little sadness that I have decided to stop designing jewelry. As many of my customers know, Molly O Designs started as a custom jewelry business. Through the last couple of years, I have slowly transitioned over to children's boutique clothing and accessories. With the success of my clothing, I found very little time to create jewelry. So I have decided to sell everything!

What a undertaking this is proving to be. I'm in the process of photographing and listing all of my bead and jewelry inventory. I literally have thousands of beads to sell. Semi precious, pearls, sterling silver, bali silver, clasps, charms, etc. The list goes on and on. Not to mention all my displays and finished jewelry.

So, if you know anyone in the market for beads or jewelry send them over to my etsy store! I'm selling everything well below value just so I can clear that area of my office. I don't know about everyone else, but I feel the need to clear the clutter in the new year! Maybe I should take a picture of my office now as my "before" photo so I can show all of you my progress later on.

I just started listing, but I will be adding new items every day, so mark my store as a favorite and keep checking back!

And keep checking back here as I might even post a few pieces of jewelry as a free givewawy!

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Boutique Bow Giveaway!

Add a comment to any one of our blog posts and you will be entered to win a set of Spring Boutique Bows from Molly O Designs!

Don't forget to leave your email so we can contact you when you win!!

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Is it time to think Spring already?

It seems like I haven't even recovered from Christmas yet, and here I am launching Easter dresses! I think subconsciously I'm hoping if I design warm weather outfits, beautiful spring days will follow. Believe it or not, we had ice on our drive way this morning. Did I mention we live in Las Vegas?! Usually this time of year brings blue skies and warm days, but this year it just isn't so.

Regardless, I know some of you are in the mood to shop for Easter! This dress is perfect for Easter Sunday, spring garden parties or even a summer wedding. You will be able to wear this through out all the warm weather months.

The dress is made in the Molly O Designs trademark dupioni silk. The removable flower is set with a beautiful rhinestone circle. The matching headband echos the same accents. Take a peak! I just listed it on ebay and have started it at a price well below my retail pricing.

There are so many exciting things going on at Molly O Designs right now. You may see fewer designs in the spring and summer months, but that is so that I can get a jump on Fall/Winter 2009! I have signed on to work with some amazing companies who are helping me take Molly O Designs to the next level. If all goes well, we will be in boutiques throughout the U.S. for our Fall/Winter 2009 launch. So stayed tuned!