Rae & Bean – 2016
RaeBean Collection is a combination of my daughter’s name and my nickname (which I HATED as a kid):
Rae – aka Rachel (Rae-Rae) – 9 Years Old in 2015 – Designer
The Bean – aka Laurene or Mommy – Older than 9 – Creator
One day I decided I needed a small purse to carry just my phone and id/credit card with me to run errands, drop of the kids to school, etc. I browsed Pinterest for ideas and found a cute little owl purse. I made it and after looking at the finished product, Rachel went off to color and came back with several drawings that sparked the animal phone purse line. She created not only an updated owl, but a penguin with a tuft of hair, a cat, dog, frog, and mouse. Each bag has evolved and all include a little something on the back of the bag – cheese, birds, bones, fish, lily pond or whatever strikes her fancy. That was the first purse I made and re-sparked my love of sewing. We’ve moved on from the animal purses, for now.
First Drawing by Rae
Penguin, Cat, and Dog
I love the backs! Fish for the Penguin
I learned to sew when I was little girl, probably around 8 or 9. I spent my summers in Italy with my grandparents and being the typical bored kid, I wanted to make a dress for my beloved doll, Picola Cathy. My grandmother, or Nonna Ausilia, taught me to sew on her treadle sewing machine. I thought it was so cool to pedal and sew at the same time. I still have that dress somewhere, along with the doll.
Prom Dress Mom Made
My mother was a seamstress by trade, running her own seamstress shop for as long as I remember. She also made all my high school dance dresses – home coming and prom. She also made dresses for my best friend and her older sister. They still remember the dresses to this day, 30 years later. I would sit with my mom at night (only 5 channels on tv) and picked up a lot of what I know now just by watching and asking questions. My first machine made project were pillows in the shape of letter. Later in life, while I was at my first professional job, I made custom ordered stuffed bears with jointed arms and legs made from fabric that matched bedrooms. It was a hot market back in the early 90s!
I started making patterns when my kids wanted to update their pencil cases for school, but there was nothing out there cool enough or big enough. I found an awesome pencil cup idea, but it was SO boring in color and SOOOO small, I set out making a bigger and better one. Since I had to have the pencil case perfect and meet the needs of both my kids, it took me almost a year to get it just right. Then, after all the work and at least a few dozen prototypes, I didn’t want to make anymore. So, the idea of pattern making was born. That was an experience! I hope as I make more I’ll become better!
Before being a mommy to my son back in 2000, I was an Interactive Media Developer for AOL Canada and for several America Online Channels. I loved to program because it was a way to be creative and make some pretty cool web pages.
As a mom, I did lots of odd jobs. My most memorable was as an Instructional Assistant in the computer lab in elementary school and as a Special Education Instructional Assistant at the high school level. I loved those kids! The kindergarten kids were my favorite. Every day was an adventure for them and they were ALWAYS happy to see me, runny noses and all.
My daughter, Rachel, is my muse, giving me ideas, picking fabrics and approving the final products. While I sew, she keeps herself busy with crafting, drawing, reading, playing video games and playing with all her stuffed animals.