You are never too old to set another goal or dream another dream.
Why I Created Cotton Collective: A Dream Come True
Clothing has always been a passion of mine. I took my first apparel job in 1988 and fell in love with the industry. I worked as a design assistant at a company in downtown Los Angeles. In 1993, I became a single mother, and I spent the next 15 years doing everything from searching the back streets of the Los Angeles garment district for zipper samples to flying to New York as a national sales manager for product development meetings with big brand companies.
In 2005, I remarried, and my husband and I opened a clothing showroom of our own in 2006. In 2008, I became pregnant with our first child. Due to pregnancy complications toward the end of my pregnancy, I was put on bed rest and tried to run our showroom from my bed. That is when my husband and I decided to make a life change: We chose to leave Los Angeles and return to my husband’s farming roots in Arizona. Leaving the garment industry was difficult for me, but it was the best decision for our family at the time. My husband started working at the family dairy farm, and I became a stay-at-home mom.
Stay-at-home moms are superwomen. We cook and we clean. We shop at the market and keep the refrigerator full. We get the laundry done and still manage to help the kids with their homework and get them to their practices…mostly on time. To unwind from all of this, one of the things I love to do is have a girls’ night. But with all of these responsibilities, who has time to go shopping for an outfit for that girls’ night? One day, while trying to schedule some fun in my life, this very question struck me. Then, I started thinking: “What if I could have a girls’ night AND do some shopping at the same time?”
That’s when Cotton Collective was born…
For years, I’d wanted to start my own company, but timing is everything. I was raising four children, including one with special needs, and my husband worked from sun up to sun down nearly every day of the week. I knew God was telling me to wait. Sometimes, the hardest decisions we make in our lives are the right ones. Now that my children were older, I knew it was time.
Women love clothes, and I’d always wanted to return to the fashion industry, so a clothing company made a lot of sense to me. Given that women don’t often have time to shop for clothes, designing a company that helps them maximize the time they do have was important. I also wanted my business to be about creating an environment for women to be with their friends in a fun and relaxed setting, maybe share a cupcake and a cocktail or two. I felt home parties were the perfect way to do this: shopping and a girls’ night at the same time! Because my family is so important to me, I knew I also wanted to be able to work from home and create my own flexible schedule that worked around my family. Last but not least, I love seeing women succeed and be in charge of their lives, so I wanted to design a company that would also empower other women to do these same things.
In creating Cotton Collective, the design and production elements were also very important to me. I know that when I’m out for date night with my husband, I want to wear something that is feminine and flattering, yet still comfortable. I’ve worked diligently to create designs that are complimentary to women of all shapes and sizes. All of my styles are designed and made in the U.S., something that’s becoming increasingly harder to find. Because my husband comes from four generations of farmers, it was important for me to use natural fibers, such as cotton, to make my garments. Being in this family has given me a whole new appreciation for farmers and dairymen. They are some of the humblest and hardest working people I’ve ever met. Incorporating cotton into my designs is my way of both supporting and paying homage to these amazing people.
All of these things are what Cotton Collective represents.
My heart and soul have gone into creating Cotton Collective. I am very excited about this company and everything it represents. I hope you will join me on this journey of making dreams come true.
It isn’t what we say or think that defines us but what we do.