Have you ever noticed how names get popular? The year my daughter was born, there were an excess of Ashley’s. One summer at Drama Camp, we had 12 girls named Jennifer and 6 sets of identical twins- never did get the names straight! I tease my husband about being part of the “Bill” club. Yup- lots of guys named Bill. So, at Angel Gowns we have a plethora of ladies named Kathy! Don’t get me wrong- I happen to like the name- a LOT, but when I say “Kathy”, I get at least 3 heads turning around. Kathy #1 is one of the people who helped found this group, and she is wonderful at sewing and getting every scrap out of a wedding dress. Every dress gets laid out after being dis-assembled, and Kathy lays patterns out on it and figures out how to have the least waste. Every dress is different- style, fabric, embellishment, age, etc. It is rare that we would have a piece larger than 4 inches that can’t be used in an Angel Gown. And then we sometimes create “Franken-gowns”, where we use material from one dress for the body of the gown, trim from another and buttons from another. The Angel Gowns are as different from each other as they can be!
Kathy #2 doesn’t sew, but she is the life-blood of the group. She is fun and upbeat and energetic. I have kept her busy using the vacuum type storage bags to store some of the wedding dresses until we can get to them. She does packaging- and though it sounds simple, it is not. There are a lot of components that go into each Angel Gown packet- gown, enclosure card, gift bag with a gift for each parent, stuff the gown with our special blue tissue and sealed into a cellophane bag, and an Angel Gowns of South Bay logo sticker on the front of the bag. Sort by size, by gender. She is great!!!
Kathy #3 is one of our dedicated seamstresses. Today she completed 4 gowns by herself. I know her eyes had to have been crossing by the end of the day, being over a sewing machine all day. Well, we DO feed everyone lunch- but other than that, I never saw her face lifted from the machine. And her gowns are gorgeous! We have a tight standard and quality control for the Angel Gowns, and every lady who works on them scrutinize each gown and we currently have a “re-visit” pile for gowns that need more TLC before being sent out. Never, ever, has this Kathy made anything but a perfect Gown! And she will take one of the re-visit gowns and do all the finishing touches to bring it up to our standards. (Even our packaging goes through scrutiny to make sure every packet has EVERY ELEMENT it is supposed to have.)
Each of these wonderful Angels has a story. All have had rough patches in their lives. This group of Angels has stepped it up to make sure everyone feels included, to patiently teach newbies and regulars new techniques, then listen to all the issues the Angels have and never judge. They make the studio where we work into a safe and loving hive of activity. Thank you Angels!!!