Friday, May 06, 2011

Ava's Fashion and Compassion (interview)



I have been wanting to interview my dear friend for a long time now and finally did it.  The last time I saw Suzi was about four years ago.  She had flown with her four children (two of which were 1 yr old twins) by herself from Florida to Chicago to visit family.  I remember thinking how calm, patient, and together Suzi was (especially after traveling with four children and being away from home).  I was barely holding it together with my one one year old and a drive to the burbs.  Suzi had just been through a lot too with her daughter having gone through several heart surgeries and recovering from the challenges of watching her baby suffer.

While in Chicago, Suzi's sister-in-law hosted a flip flop party to promote Suzi's new line of flip flops, Ava's Twinkle Toes (now Ava's).  Ava's began as a way to raise funds and support Manasota Buds, a local non-profit organization that provides programs and services to individuals with Down Syndrome and their families.  Suzi's daughter, Ava is the inspiration behind the creations.  And leave it to Suzi to find an immediate way to give back and support other families with children in need.

I am going to get right down to the interview....I should note that since the flip flops, Suzi has expanded her line to include belts, headbands, jewelry and other fab accessories.  All full of sparkle and joy....much just like Suzi and her family.

Suzi with Ava


How did you come up with the idea for Ava's Twinkle Toes?  
After Ava and Max were born they were 4 1/2 months old.  Ava was in the hospital having her heart surgery.  During that very stressful and traumatic time I started creating my own pair of flip flops.  I started with the classic style with the ribbons.  Everyday I wore them and received a lot of compliments from all the nurses and staff.  I had lots of people asking for a pair.  Once Ava was home and completely recovered I decided I needed a new challenge.  That is when Ava's Twinkle Toes was created.


You are pretty much super woman!  What's your secret to managing it all?
Thanks!  I am definitely not super woman.  I love being a Mom and it keeps me very busy.  I have to have a routing every day for both home and work.  It is the only way to juggle it all.  My kids are my #1 priority.  I feel very blessed to have four children.  Also am so glad to have a business that is very dear to my heart!


Do you ever have time for yourself?
That is the hardest part for me.  Especially with 4 children you feel guilty not being with your kids.
I do though try and carve out a little time for myself.  Even if it is just closing off a room to myself to read a book or watch a movie.  I say 1 hour away and you feel like a new person!


Do you have a a favorite item in your new spring line?  If so, what inspired it?
Honestly I am very excited about our new straw hat line.  I love to go to the beach with the kids.
We spend a lot of time outside.  I love wearing hats for sun protection.  My Business Partner Kim Speaker and I created this new line and we are very excited about the collection!


All your items (other than the jewelry, right?) are hand-crafted.  Do you make them all or do you have help now with the expansion of the line?
Actually we just started another jewelry line that is hand-crafted.  Kim came up with this line and it really is amazing.  We are starting with  bracelets and rings.  Lots of bling!!  We have hired in help but we still are very much a part of the custom creations that we are making!
And here are some of my favorite items from the line.....
 
For adults:
  (I have a black pair with square buckle and black&white ribbon...love them!)




The children's flip flops are adorable too with corresponding headbands!





-xo-
bestie

3 comments:

Diana Mieczan said...

Aww...she sounds so wonderful and I really adore her designs:) Totally emotional after reading ths interview. Wish you both a lovely day, Kisses, my dear

Dawn said...

I THINK SHE IS SUPERWOMAN...AND THE FLIP FLOPS AND JEWELRY ARE BEAUTIFUL..VERY INSPIRATIONAL STORY AND INTERVIEW..I THINK THIS CALLS FOR DOES IT COME IN MY SIZE POST. HAVE A GREAT WEEKEND! DAWN SUITCASE VIGNETTES XO

Torrie said...

This is incredibly inspiring (said as I hear my kids screaming outside... playing? fighting? no idea).

HOW does she do it??????????????

Happy Mother's Day! :)