Katrina Hollon had an epiphany when her second child, a daughter, was born. “My second child was born with peanut allergies which changed my idea of heading back off to work anytime soon,” said Hollon, 38, who was a teacher at the time. So instead of returning to the classroom, she started making children’s clothes in a home business that she calls Strawberry Farm. More on the name in a minute.
Hollon was born in Dunedin, Florida and says she has lived back and forth between the beaches “and my family’s old strawberry farm my whole life.” She currently is living in St. Petersburg, although she travels to the farm in Plant City a couple times a month. “I try to always be there when my aunt is making her famous strawberry jelly,” she said.
To find her online, go to www.sugarsandwich.etsy.com to see a selection of her delightful girls clothes. After her daughter’s first birthday in February, she listed a wide selection and had begun sewing at least a dress a day.
Hollon says “my family has sewn for generations. I was always too impatient to thread a needle, but with the birth of my daughter (Tenzin), my mother bought me a sewing machine and I was determined to sew up a square blanket with these amazing fabrics I found online. After months of struggling with tiny little parts and things to figure out, it seemed to suddenly become easy.”
“Now I feel confident about the pieces I make and moreover, I genuinely enjoy the work. Its art to me, because I create my own patterns, I draw them out on paper and then make it. I usually get it right on the third try. So my own daughter has all the first and second tries.”
“I started making them just for my own daughter. Everything in the stores just seems so typically pink and frilly. My daughter is closer to a firecracker than a princess.”
She says she “started with pillowcase dresses, taken from the vintage ones my grandmother used to make from flour sacks. I also have blanket sets, peasant dresses, reversible pinafores, pajamas, little matching Scrappy Dolls, and a mod looking, 60’s inspired dress. I usually stock smaller sizes but will make any size by request, the pillowcase dresses are $25 each and the others vary.”
To read the full interview with Katrina Hollon, visit the St. Petersburg Times.