Instead, Dages makes a nice living making custom equestrian apparel through her home based business, Lotta Stitches, near Chandler, Indiana. “I definitely sew better than I ride,” she said. “I don’t think I’ll ever be rich. But I’m so blessed to have a job that I love: it’s my passion. As long as I can pay my bills, that’s all I care about.”
Dages’ custom chaps sell for $325. Tops range from $400 to $1,100 and pants typically sell for around $60. She says her prices are based on the amount of time she spends making the clothes. Her outfits can take up to three weeks to complete.
Dages’ customers include riders in quarterhorse, western and Arabian horse shows and they come from all over the United States, Canada and other parts of the world because of the high-quality touches and attention to detail found in her jackets, chaps, vests, shirts and other items that she makes. She says “If customers come to me once, they usually keep coming back. I have lots of repeat customers.”
Dages began making equestrian wear as a hobby in 1983 when her daughter Dana couldn’t find outfits she liked, and then started her Lotta Stitches business in 1989, which has since become a seven day a week operation.
Read more about Dages story in the Evansville Courier & Press.