Meet Robin

Robin

We didn’t have much money growing up, and I knew if I wanted attractive clothes, I had to make them myself.

My earliest memories of stitching are at age 6 when my Mother taught me to cross stitch. At that time my Grandmother also tried to teach me how to knit. I didn’t really embrace any of these crafts until about age 13 when I developed a thirst to learn to sew, so I could keep up with the fashion of the wealthier girls at my school. As a teenager I sewed to clothe myself, but that necessity turned into a hobby. Boys didn’t notice me when I was younger, so I’d spend my Saturday evenings learning the trade.

A few years later, after undergraduate school where I received a bachelor’s degree in painting and sculpture, I felt the urge to go to Art School and study Jewelry Design. The matriarchs of my family taught me the secrets and showed me the fun that can be had by creating with my hands, and jewelry design was the next skill for me to tackle. After an apprenticeship with a famous jeweler, I started my first business. For 15 years I designed and sold the jewelry I painstakingly made. This labor of love allowed me to build a design firm into 75 galleries carrying my work plus Saks Fifth Avenue and I Magnum in Chicago. Unfortunately two car accidents three years apart made me think about changing careers.

After the crash and recovery, I decided to study business and received my MBA from Tulane University.

After graduate school I began picking at things. I picked at painting, some needlework and then my muse of sewing returned loud and strong in my head and in my heart. I began sewing again. First simple things to get my chops back and then more difficult projects and even quilting. If you’ve ever fallen in love with a handicraft, you know the feeling. I had to have a project going or I feel empty and anxious. I was given the opportunity to start a chapter of the American Sewing Guild as New Orleans had nothing for sewing here, and I took that charge on. Growing the chapter to over 70 women, it became an incubator for my passion. After Hurricane Katrina, a majority of the sewers left the city, leaving me to define the next chapter of my career.

In the following years, I formed a dress company with a partner. We produced prom and evening dresses, which allowed me to hone my skills working on intricate, beautiful garments. It took me a few years of learning and working daily, but I decided I wanted to solve a bigger problem than just prom dresses. I wanted to fill the void the fashion industry has left… to clothe the successful businesswomen over age forty, who wants to look attractive, but not too young. To look strong and confident, without resorting to what the fashion industry foists on us.

I am excited to finally be free enough to design those things which are in my heart and in my head and bring them to customers who feel about clothing the same way I do. Unencumbered by other tasks, as I’ve retired from teaching after 25 years, I am putting all of my effort, love, passion of the needle and thread into my very personal clothing line Robin DS.