Misty Dupree started sewing when she was very young. She made her first dress at age 10. Today, it hangs in her daughter's closet.
"I’d say my love of sewing came naturally as I recall my mom always having a project going," Dupree tells me. "One summer we even got all the neighbor kids (boys included) involved. We went and picked out our trendy neon fabrics and all made, yes, hard to believe – Hammer pants."
Dupree has moved far away from those Hammer pants with her business DuckyStuff, which specializes in custom-made clothes for kids. Dupree, a mom of five in Durham, is part of our Made by Mom Gift Guide.
Dupree majored in home economics in college, though didn't use her degree right away. She spent time working at a logging company and, eventually, a jewelry store at The Streets at Southpoint. She'd pass by the children's boutique Strasburg Children daily and marveled at the fine clothes. One day, on a whim, she asked if they were hiring.
"That was one of the best questions I ever asked," she tells me. "I landed a new job. I worked my way up to assistant manager, all the while, falling more and more in love with pin tucks, French seams, and fabrics such as pima cotton, dupioni silk, and corduroy."
DuckyStuff came about after the birth of her daughter at just 27 weeks in December 2005. When she searched for clothes to dress her preemie, all she could find, for the most part, were pink pajamas..
"I did not like pink, nor did I want my little girl to be limited in her wardrobe at such a young age!" she said. "So since I couldn’t find what I liked, I decided to make her a few outfits.:
They included her first outfit, a John Deere skirt and green shirt with bow. When her daughter left the neonatal intensive care unit, she had on a pair of chocolate brown suede pants and a country bandanna fabric vest.
"I was quite unprepared for the reaction I received by the nurses and other staff at UNC," she said. "I knew then that it was time to turn my hobby into a business."
She started DuckyStuff in January 2006.
Today, Dupree has sewn many more items, including towel wraps, pillows and skirts to curtains, tutus and crib sets.
"It wasn’t until I had my second girl that my love of sewing clothes returned – this time less country and more boutique," she tells me. "I wanted my girls to match!"
Right now, Dupree works mostly on a special order basis. But the business is moving into the boutique clothing world next month. Learn all about DuckyStuff and its products on its Etsy page.
Dupree is part of our Made by Mom Gift Guide. The guide features a dozen local moms and the products they create. Check back every Monday and Thursday through mid-December to learn more about them.