From her chateau in Redwing, Minn., Sheena Cruz Whitlock is partial of a flourishing village and enlightenment of work-at-home-moms crafting their possess lines of children’s wardrobe by hand.
The former Dededo proprietor is a mom of 4 and mother to a U.S. Navy veteran. Whitlock non-stop her tiny business, Cruz by SW, in 2015 during a support of her husband, Ron.
“I started with sham box dresses when we were stationed in Georgia,” she recalled. “I went to a sewing eventuality a church hold and they desirous me. There were grand immature women my age who were slicing fabric and sewing dresses.”
It was usually in 2012 that Whitlock began training herself to sew.
“I watched YouTube and review blogs to learn me how to sew,” she said, “Then, for Christmas that year, my relatives [Raymond Mendiola and Norma Cruz] sent me a sewing machine!”
Whitlock’s knack for formulating kids’ dresses competence even be a genetic trait.
“Growing adult on Guam, my grandmother would stitch hula outfits for my sister and cousin’s dance groups,” she said.
By 2013, Whitlock was sewing dresses for her children. Her daughters started wearing her pillowcase and farmer dresses. Soon, others started to notice her aptitude for conform and offering to buy her creations.
“I done a integrate of dresses for friends and there was only a lot of seductiveness from Facebook,” she said. “[Business] started slow, though amicable media is a absolute tool.”
Shortly after, Whitlock was formulating whole concurrent outfits for her family. She would use a same fabric or patters to emanate Easter outfits for her 3 girls and son to wear.
“I’d take a square of fabric and settlement and incorporate it in to pants and shorts for my son,” she said. “And now we do concurrent collections with prints.”
Even after relocating to Minnesota for her husband’s job, Whitlock continued to build her brand. Cruz by SW saw expansion on Etsy, and she was frequently promulgation tradition systematic packages via a U.S. and as distant as Hawaii, Guam, and Australia.
“It can be overwhelming, though we keep going for my children,” Whitlock pronounced of being a work-at-home-mom. “I also home-school my children, so there’s a lot of balancing to do.”
Her passion for her work shows in a courtesy to fact she has for any dress she makes. She sews in pleats and ruffles, and adds buttons for only a right volume of embellishment. She creates relating headbands for any dress, as well.
Her Summer 2016 collection enclosed tea party, cosette, and nictitate strand dresses. For a Fall collection, Whitlock has combined pleaty and raglan dresses, relating weave hoodies, breathe sets, and has combined prolonged sleeves to her strand dresses to accommodate a anniversary change.
“I emanate garments for children from 0-8 years,” Whitlock said. “it’s formidable to do tiny baby sleeves, though we adore saying babies in a outfits.”
“I pattern and select patterns to emanate things that don’t go out of character too quickly,” Whitlock said. “I try to keep a ignorance of tiny girls and emanate wardrobe that is honeyed looking.”
Whitlock already has Christmas celebration farmer dresses accessible in her emporium and is now meditative about her Spring 2017 collection. In a future, she hopes to strictly deliver a Harry George collection, a boys’ line named in respect of her grandfather, Harry “George” Tajalle Cruz.
Family is critical to Whitlock, and it shows in tiny sum via her business.
“Sometimes a kids collect out fabric choices,” she said, “and competence ask me to make them special dresses for special occasions, like a piano recital.”
“The orchids in my trademark paint a adore for orchids my grandma Sylvia had,” she added.
“I adore what we do and wish to be a good purpose indication for my children,” Whitlock said. “I adore creation people happy by formulating that special square of wardrobe for their tiny ones.”
Betty Rose Cortes is a Seattle-based match for a Sunday Post. She was innate and lifted in Guam and focuses on stories relating to a Chamorro diaspora.