Barbie Beginnings

Updated: May 26, 2020



After starting my career by kneeling on a needle while sewing Barbie clothes at the age of 9, I really knew I was going to make my mark on the world of fashion. My body literally told me so.


That day I was spending the afternoon with my friend Veronica and we had decided upon making Barbie clothes that afternoon. I was always a crafty kid and we just looooved Barbie at that time. I was sitting in Veronica's bedroom on the floor, leaning up against her bed. I threaded my first needle that day and I pushed it into the plush of the carpet to rest it while I figured out my fabrics.


I'm not sure exactly why I decided to go from sitting cross legged to kneeling on the floor. I must have been looking for something, scissors, trim, or fabric. All I can remember is feeling a slight prick and thinking 'gee, that hurt.' After a moment I decided to go back to a seated position, but I had a hard time straightening my leg.


When I was able to sit myself up against the bed again, I looked at my knee and there was thread stuck to it, so I tugged on it and that was the moment I realized that I knelt on the needle that I had threaded. Why had I made such a silly mistake? Hindsight is 20/20 and but that was the day the universe decided fashion was my calling. Kind of an odd way to tell me, yeah, but sometimes the world is a strange place.


I was taken to the ER by my friend's foster mom and met my mom at the hospital. We probably waited hours because, well, we all know what happens in ERs, don't we? Eventually I was treated by a doctor, not that dissimilar from Dr. Doogie Howser himself. How do I know that? I remember my parents talking about it after the brilliant doctor cut the thread that was sticking out of my knee. The hospital did x-rays, and the doctor dug around in my knee for a little while with me screaming for more pain reliever. Eventually they decided it was pretty much a done deal and I would need surgery since he had cut the string.


Thankfully, the needle had gone in straight and it was unlikely to enter my bloodstream and kill me (but they did tell 9-year-old me that it was possible for whatever reason...) One restless night of sleep, surgery, a groggy recovery and that bad boy was out of me, but it had also become part of me. Sometimes our stories find us first and become connections that we only can identify after we start looking back at our lives.


Barbie has definitely played an important role in my life, in what I'm calling my #barbiebeginnings, as well as the title of this blog. I'm not sure I would have ever become a fashion designer without her in my early childhood. I even made a collection of Barbie clothes in college for my color theory class.


Barbie is where my fashion addiction began, whole heartedly without a doubt. She is still an icon today that is aspirational to young girls, but she's got her flaws. Which is why we had to break up, but more on that later.


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