Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Local mother's passion has message for all of us

I shot a story today on an Akron mother who really impressed me with how she's taken an idea at home .. and turned it into a home business that helps her family financially while creating zero waste. (Videographer Mark Smilor records as Devona makes a new creation.)

Devona Brazier has combined her keen eye at the thrift store with the sewing skills handed down from her grandmother to create unique kids clothes that she sells from home on the Internet web store.

Her story will be featured Monday as part of our "30 Days, 30 Ways to Save" series.

Devona started what she calls "the perfect mom business" 18 months ago .. and sells just enough to pay for her daughter's gymnastics lessons and at least one tank of gas per month. Yet, with word of mouth and positive feedback, she's already earned more this year than all of last year.

I was amazed at how she took a men's dress shirt and with a few cuts and a some basic stitches turned it into her favorite creation: "daddy's old shirt"; it's a transformation from a man's dress shirt (figure a $2 shirt at the thrift store) into a cute little dress for a toddler daughter sold on her site for $35. Not bad, eh? She actually makes about 20 different products from thrift store clothes and sells 7-8 of them on-line.

My point here isn't so much as a commercial, but as a wake-up call to all of us to say "hey, isn't there a way we can use our hobbies and talents a few hours a month to make either a side income?"

I can't really sew .. make that I don't sew .. nor can I make birdhouses from pine ... nor can I write an advice column on how to make your life better.

But maybe if I look hard enough, I can find my own "daddy's old shirt" that can help me put a tank of gas in my car too. With so many struggling to make ends meet, I just wonder how many are trying to find a way to make/save more money versus just accepting economic defeat.

It's nice to be inspired every once in a while .. and today I was certainly that.

By the way, I don't have daughters, but I spoke to a friend of mine here at the station who has two teen daughters and told him about "daddy's old shirt." He said, "oh I would have been all over that when my girls were younger."


Anonymous said...

Some moms (including me!) aren't crafty at all. I would enjoy taking some classes from this mom. My daughter would too! How inspiring!

Anonymous said...

I love what Devona does and how she does it. Many times I have also heard her mention that her daughters are helping out some how on her projects. I have seen on her blog pictures of them learning right along with her. She is helping to build a future generation of inspiration! Yay Devona! and great story Eric!

~Jamie :)

Devona said...

Thanks for the post and encouragement, Eric. I have felt so motivated since this story to really focus on how to make what I'm doing a bigger part of my life.

Maybe next year I can fill up the gas tank twice a month. ;)

Anonymous said...

Devona is such an inspiration to me as a new mom! While we shouldn't strive to be SuperMom we sure can use our hobbies and talents to help our families! Great article and information!