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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, March 27, 2011

Finding Cara

The holidays came and went very quickly.  Jillian was frantically working on the children and youth size jeans and tees.  She needed help!  In China, they celebrate their Chinese New Year for almost the whole month of February.  During the month of February everything shuts down and nothing can be manufactured during that time.  So we had to see if we could finish the children and youth size patterns in time for them to make our samples before they went on their month-long holiday.  

So, in January, 2011, I hired another designer, Cara Junker.  She and Jillian knew each other because they both went to the same design school and Jillian spoke very highly of her.  I trusted Jillian’s judgment and brought her on board.  What a great addition she was with many unique skills of her own. She was well trained using the Illustrator program so I put her to work designing some unique graphics for our young-age T shirts.  She got to work right away.  I could see she was going to bring another dimension to Downs Designs.  I was amazed by her creativity   Anything I ask her to design, she would come up with a really unique graphic.  I wanted the kids and youth line to be fun and I wanted them to have some choices besides solid colored shirts since all I was making for now were jeans and T shirts.  I’d certainly found the right person for the job.
The girls worked very hard to get our patterns and artwork completed so they could be sent off to the jeans and shirt factories where samples could be made.  Time was running out and every day was valuable.  In making the children and youth sizes, we really didn’t have any models.   We had a  12 year-old girl and a 13 year-old boy but that didn't give us enough different body shapes.  Jillian had to base her calculations on other things.  One way was by scaling down the adults sizes.  The other way was buying pants and shirts from a store in young children and youth sizes and taking their measurements.  Then we could modify those measurements according to what we knew about the unique body of shape of a person with Down syndrome.  We knew these clothes from the store would not fit, but using the proportion differences that we knew from the adults, we felt we could come up with a pattern that might be appropriate. 
Finally the first patterns and the artwork for the children and youth size jeans and tees were completed.  Off they went to the factory.  Again we wait. 

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