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Garter Belt Designer Enjoys Successful Niche Business

Ouida Davis in Salisbury, North Carolina has carved out her own little niche business by making fancy garter belts and selling them online at her Originals By Ouida website, as well as through her mother Ruby’s formal wear shop.  Ouida says her frilly accessories are a growing trend for proms and other occasions and that they’re no longer just for brides.

Although the business didn’t happen overnight, Ouida is now shipping wholesale orders around the country and formal wear shops all over have told her they can’t keep them in stock.  She accidentally fell into the business of making and selling garter belts when her mom’s shop, Miss Ruby’s, ran out of blue garters and couldn’t find anymore to supply all the anxious brides that were looking for them.

Ouida says her first designs were crude until her mother taught her to make French seams.  Now the designs are available in 55 satin ribbon and 23 sequin colors with 19 sheer and 2 lace colors.  The business that sprung from a minor emergency has turned into a successful home business that has Ouida cranking out thousands of custom designs from cheetah and zebra prints, sequins, school colors, polka dots and many more.  She says the current hot styles include a camouflage design and a turquoise hologram sequin design that’s been a hot prom dress color this year.

With this year’s prom season winding down, Ouida may get a small chance for a break, but she’s made over 5,000 already this season and is looking forward to preparing for next season as one shop as already ordered 45 dozen.  Her garters sell for anywhere between $12 and $19.95, or sometimes more for customized garters.

Read more about Ouida in The Salisbury Post, or check out her website at

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Author, Instructor & Pattern Designer


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