About the writer

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I have a beautiful granddaughter who was born with Down syndrome. She has enough challenges to face in her life and I want to make sure that finding appropriately fitting clothes will not be one of them.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Back to Work

The next morning I was too exhausted to go back to work at our medical practice, so I took the day off to recover from the trip and to get a head start on the laundry.  I was still on China time, which was exactly 12 hours later; I was like a newborn with my days and nights mixed up.

At this point, I was still working full time running my husband’s medical practice, I also had a very busy weight loss business and I spent many hours working with Jillian on our clothing line.  I also spent two days a week with my 85 year-old mother, found time to visit my two daughters and my eleven grandchildren and worked out at the gym about 3 or 4 times a week. Busy????  Mmmm, just a little!

To add to my already busy schedule, I decided I was going to write a book about my journey.  I thought the blog page on my website was the perfect venue to collect my thoughts.  I tried to find time every week or so to write another chapter.  I didn’t want to forget one thing about my experience while creating Downs Designs.

My day usually begins around 3:30 am.  My adrenaline must be in abundance because I rarely feel tired.  At age 61 most would think I would be exhausted but it’s just not the case.  I feel motivated and driven every day and wake up with enthusiasm to see what each new day will bring.

Well to get back my story:  From the very early stages of creating Downs Designs, I began posting our progress on Facebook and my Downs Designs' page continued to grow more “fans”.  I felt it was important to keep people aware of what we were doing at all times.  Development was a slow process and people seemed interested in its progress.  I also loved to hear input from parents who had children with Down syndrome, young or old.  Their feedback was so helpful and informative for us; we needed to listen to their comments and suggestions.  Facebook had become an incredible media and I was amazed at the attention Downs Designs received.

People from over 25 countries slowly joined my Downs Designs Facebook page.  It was amazing to meet people from all around the world.  The problems were all the same; clothes just don’t fit their kids.  They were desperate for someone to come to their rescue.  It drove me even harder when I would hear their struggles.  And their kind words and sincere appreciation for my efforts gave me encouragement and strength.  Their support kept me going. 

I wished I could have worked faster, but the process was very slow.  I only had a pair of jeans and a plain, long-sleeve T shirt.  It wasn’t much but it was a start.  We really needed to establish a proper size that fit a person’s body with Down syndrome before we could move on to other clothes. 

I was also self funded.  I had no investors nor did I want any.  I was determined to do this on my own.  I poured everything we had into this business and I was borrowing the rest.   I was going to make Downs Designs a full clothing line for all ages of people with Down syndrome.  
But truthfully, I knew people didn’t understand why it was taking so long.  I myself never realized what it took to make an article of clothing.  Who would know unless you were in the industry?  I’ve learned a lot since I started my journey.  I realized the difficulties involved in creating a clothing line, but creating a size that never existed before was even more daunting.  But with the help of my dear Jillian, we forged on.

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