From Texas, we have Tara Braddock, “momtrepreneur” and designer of aprons and retro-inspired clothing.
Tell me about your aprons!
I’m Tara and I’m the owner/designer/”Stitch Bitch” at Tara Braddock Designs. I have currently been working on vintage inspired aprons, but I also do custom garments, costume design for film and theater, alterations…pretty much anything involving thread, needle, and fabric.
I have my aprons in 2 shops locally, here in Austin, and I also have them on Etsy.
I started sewing when I was 9. My mom was a seamstress and so I would watch her and then take scraps of her fabric and make “better” clothes for my dolls. It was something I always loved. I had my mom teach me to crochet, embroider, cross stitch, and quilt. I could not get enough. By the time I was in high school, I was making a lot of my own clothes.
As I got a little older, I made costumes for Renaissance Faires and Halloween. It’s something I’ve loved since childhood and I find my greatest happiness in taking a piece of plain fabric and a little bit later wearing it, or seeing it flatter someone else and make them feel beautiful. For me it’s like putting a puzzle together after you cut out your own pieces. It’s fantastic. I love the challenges of working with women’s body types, since we’re all unique.
What Domestic Accomplishments are you most proud of?
I’m a single mom, so my favorite accomplishment every day is raising my daughter, Chloe. I am so lucky to be able to work my “regular” job, bartending at a great restaurant, run my business, and have ample time with my child. She’s my whole world. She’s super smart, funny, and a generally wonderful human being.
Thanks to the support of my friends through word of mouth, I was able to get enough business to send Chloe to Austin’s Girls Rock Camp this summer. Sometimes, I feel like I can’t do enough, and other times I feel like I should be wearing a cape. I cook, I clean, I sew, I raise my child, I work, I run my business, I bring home the bacon and fry it up in a pan.
My muse is my dear friend Hailey Pfingsten of Wicked Hailey Photography. She will randomly ask if I could make something, just to see if I can do it. She challenges me and makes me flex my muscles as a designer and a seamstress. She’s a pin-up photographer, milliner, jewelry maker, and artist. She inspires me every day. I’m also a huge fan of Caroline’s Kitchen Online. She has some amazing designs and ideas. I think everyone should have one of her aprons. I really aspire to her level of success. She’s fantastic. Stop Staring Clothing is also one of my faves. So many pretty things to wear!
Any projects you want to tell us about?
I’m working on diversifying to include pencil skirts, swing dresses, and other vintage inspired ladies wear.
Working in the service industry, I noticed how many of my coworkers would bring an extra bag of clothes to change into so they could go out after work. About a year ago, I got the idea that I could make something that not only service industry people would appreciate, but that all of us need. A reversible, separating zipper-sided pencil skirt. I called it the Mullet Skirt: “Business in front, party in back.” I think I want to work on expanding that.
Right now having a versatile wardrobe is something people are looking for, to get more bang for their buck. I think getting a 2-in-1 skirt with a solid color on one side and a fun print on the other would make a lot of ladies happy.
I LOVE the Mullet Skirt! What other pearls of wisdom do you have for us today?
I think that a lot of ladies are overwhelmed by the pressure to be a Domestic Goddess. It’s really just a matter of taking pride in your life and who you are. You don’t have to be a master chef, an organization expert, Jean Paul Gaultier, or Doris Day, for that matter. Finding joy in your life and your home and celebrating all the little rewards you get each day are what it’s all about.
Amen, sister! Where can we find you online?
All apron images courtesy of Wicked Hailey Photography