You know the saying; "When life gives you lemons, make lemonade!"
My 'lemons' came in the form of losing a job I had loved after 26 years. It was kind of a Cinderella story-local girl gets first job, and over time gets promoted to ultimately manage just over
$1 Billion in retail sales.
The job loss came with a full year off with pay. So I made one of the best decisions ever - don't get caught in the madness to immediately get the same kind of job. That said, I'm not good at being inactive, so I hatched the idea to start my own mini-business where my creativity and lifelong love of sewing could keep me out of trouble while I decided my future.
I've always tried to predict new trends and saw Aprons as an incoming new form of personal fashion.
Apron Strings was 'born' in my brain somewhere close to the Magic City Plaza in my hometown of Barberton, Ohio in the fall of 2006. I spent the winter designing styles and sewing stock. Since then every item has been handmade by me in my sewing area, affectionately dubbed 'The MoleHole" by my husband PJ.
The actual evolution of my company is a twisty-turny kind of tale-check out my blog page, and I'll continue to share that adventure. Suffice it to say that I love the creativity fabric and thread afford, and the personal gratification that comes from someone loving what you've made is hard to beat.
Thanks for visiting the site - come back soon!
~ Dotty Grexa
Meet the Team
Even though I make every item, Apron Strings has some pretty fantastic behind the scenes help.
This is my mother-in law Bev! Early on, I was complaining about the time it was taking to snip all the threads once an item is complete, and this wonderful woman said, "Bring them to me -
I'll do it for you!" (so I did!)
Then I started sneaking in buttons to be sewn on the potholder towels, and she took those willingly as well. This lovely lady passed away in January of 2020, but I estimate that she has hand sewn over 3,000 buttons, and is likely smiling from Heaven as I sew them on now!
"The Shopper and Setter-upper"
This is my sister, Kathy. She is a shopping genius, and can spot a find from a mile away! She is especially good at helping me buy fabric I don't 'need', haha. In addition, she helps me set up and tear down at shows. It's hard work, but somehow we manage to laugh our way through it.
This is my sister Becky. She made "the girls" (see below) when I first started out, and before my 1st show sang the song "Happy Trails to you", but made it "Happy Sales to you". I make her sing it still - before day one of every show! It's kind of like when the pitcher in a pro baseball games does all those crazy gestures...
This is Matt. He lays on the outskirts of the MoleHole and makes sure work is done in a timely manner and is high quality. He's also pretty good at photo-bombing when I attempt to take pictures of stock, as evidenced here...
Named for the counter-part to Barbie from when we were little (she had the best hair flip ever)
"The Selling Staff"
"The Girls" - Midge, Vic and Betsy have been standing in front of my booth modeling since the beginning. My sister Becky made them by making me lay on plywood and tracing around me like a crime scene chalk outline.
Used to be Vicki, but everyone thinks she's a guy, so we changed her name to a more androgenous 'Vic'
Named because she just looked like a Betsy!