2018…wow that came fast!

Don't forget to fall in love with yourself first - Carrie Bradshaw

Another year, another step on the ladder of reaching my goal.  I can literally visualize me stretching with every inch within me to clinch that illusive dream.  But I don’t give up, I wake up every day with new ideas and add them to my bucket list.  The great thing about having a bucket list is that you can actually check off the accomplishments you’ve made, which is empowering in itself.

Another Pantone color of the year which can make me gag at the sight of it.  Who chooses these colors!!!???  Certainly, not anyone with good taste!  I am entitled to my opinion and I choose NOT to buy one piece of apparel in a dark and depressing purple (ish) color that looks like it belongs in a haunted castle.  I want to dress in light neutral colors that exude positivity and not look like I’m attending a funeral….. that’s what black if for.

Along with a brand new year comes a laundry list of short-term “to do” things I must address.  One is my snail-like movement into the social media arena.  I have to get educated and learn how to put my brand into cyberspace for the world to stumble upon.  Time to get savvy and go forward come rain or rain.  In the immortal words of young Harpo…..”It gonna rain on your head”….let the good rain begin in 2018 🙂

© Pemberton Mackey 2018



being busy is a good thing…

Community Post: 10 Feelings Of A First Time Dressmaker

I adore sketching designs but when it comes to sewing them and making them look like my sketches is a struggle.  I learned sewing from watching my mother make some of her stylish clothing but I never had any “professional” training.  I get frustrated easily when a needle breaks or the bobbin runs out of thread or when the tension is all mucked up!  I have finally come to the realization that I did not inherit my mother’s gift for sewing.  I do some limited sewing but when my designs require button holes or placing a zipper, I contract out those services to the ones who are the masters of sewing.

Since the fashion show I now have clients and even some boutique accounts, which means I have to establish a routine of how I will complete an order on time and perfect from paper to the final details of shipping.  Whenever I complete a project I always love to put my individual stamp on it by attaching a small note of gratitude and thanks to my customer and that will never change.  I’ve always considered myself an organized person with a touch of chaos.  Seriously, I do strive for perfection, especially when it comes to my business.  My pattern making skills are much better than my limited sewing abilities, therefore, that aspect is not a problem.  I found an amazing sewing company that I had the pleasure to visit and contract for their services.  I don’t mind doing the prep work before I take my designs to my newly found sewers.  I layer my fabric and cut out my designs and prepare everything in organized piles so my sewers will spend their time sewing and not rifling through rolls of fabric.  I have a system in my home work area that is like a little village of mice working with makeshift props…..it’s almost like a cartoon take on “whistle while you work”!

Since the weather is prime for fall fashions, the samples I brought to the show included my signature linen line and for the cooler weather, I premiered my fall/winter line of soft alpaca and chunkier knits for an always casual, simplistic and chic look for chillier temps.

I was shocked and grateful, that while showing my samples I sold almost all of them!  All in all, the fashion show was a fabulous experience of (hopefully) what the future holds for Pemberton Mackey Designs…..I am now ready to show Minneapolis what I have to offer.  Let the flood gates open 😉

© Pemberton Mackey 2017

fashion week begins…

Green Hydrangea

Minneapolis may not be New York but we get our fashion on just as provocatively as those notorious East-coasters 🙂  I woke up super early (as usual), took Jax for a walk and inhaled as much fresh air as possible for my day ahead.  Today is the beginning of fashion week in my lovely city of Minneapolis.  Last night I spent hours packing up my props and loading up my car with just about everything needed to style my area for this exciting fashion event.  Since my designs are blissfully light, airy and white-based in color, I want my space to emulate that in my design.  I want the attendees to be pulled into my space with simple placement of my props and clothing.

I leave for the event center at 8am to prepare my space for the opening at 10am.  I dress in the designs I will be showing at the event.  So I choose a pair of white button down sleeveless shirt paired with pull-on white floods and a smashing gray wrap coat for the chill in the air and finished with a vintage Navajo concho belt, moccasin style ankle booties and big sterling silver cross earrings and layers of Navajo pearls (it’s amazing how you can make pj’s look like an outfit ready for any event!).  I grab a scarf, wrap it around my shoulders and off I go.

Cote Bastide linen perfect pyjamas


I swing by to pick up my lovely friend, Sachi.  A bigger than big smile comes to my face when I see my friend dressed to the nines in her signature Rodeo Drive look – head to toe.  I give her a hug and air kiss as we compliment each other on our stunningly opposite looks.  After unloading my props and design pieces, we park a few blocks away and I grab my suitcase with essentials filled with everything from band aids to my computer tablet (I love to be “over-prepared ;p).  We stop for coffee as we stroll in the summer chill to our destination and I begin to set up my space and Sachi turns on her socializing brilliance!

Once registered, I begin to unload my designs and quickly place my simple yet eye-catching props in a Japanese, minimalistic manner.  Simple is a standard I live by, therefore my designs personify my lifestyle.  Linen signifies my sophisticated yet casual brand because of its relaxed, clean lines that appeal to so many people.

Within the hour I’m done and look around for my buddy.  I lock on Sachi who is surrounded by beautiful people who are listening to her like she’s a superstar.  A smile comes to my face as I think to myself “that’s Sachi, always attracting a crowd”.  I make my way over to my popular friend and interrupt her new fans and excuse myself while telling Sachi I plan on running over to the floral shop for some fresh flowers.  She exclaims “Oh great idea!” and excuses herself and off we go.  She thanks me for the rescue and admits she was running out of entertaining stories.  I smile and shake my head at my charismatic friend.  We walk a couple blocks to a small floral boutique that has exotic and simple floral designs.  I see my favorite…a bunch of lime green hydrangeas, in full bloom, just waiting for me to snap them up.  I was lucky enough to remember to bring some small white ceramic vases and some wire I will attach the large leaves to hangers and sprinkle on the floor, for a pop of color.  We get back to the market and I do my thing with the beautiful flowers as Sachi tells me “you never cease to amaze me Pem, your style is a gift”.  I give my friend a loving hug and whisper a sincere thank you in her ear.   Lastly I add some jewelry from my personal collection to add that wow factor and viola….I’m done.  Let the fashion party begin!

© Pemberton Mackey 2017

testing the water…

vintage dress forms at the adored vintage studio

When I think about the chance of me finding success in the fierce and almost private club of high fashion, I can get torn down quickly.  But being the perpetual optimist I am I let those negative thoughts roll off my back and again I find myself thinking of ways to get my designs to the masses….on a budget.

Fashion week is approaching fast in our fine city and I’ve always wanted to be a part of it in some way.  My friend Satchi told me of a friend of hers who is having a fashion week market event for clothing designers who want to showcase their creations in a fashion show then a sales event to the public.  Perfect!  I enroll in the event and think of unique and innovative ways to get people’s attention and keep them interested.  Time to get busy sewing the newest designs.

Two weeks until the grand event and for days I roll out of bed over to my sewing machine and then roll right back to bed at night.  Days of cutting, sewing and modeling I finally I have about 60 pieces from tops, pants, scarves and wraps in soft hues of my favorite color…..white.  I have always collected dress forms from my flea market adventures (with my mom) and have managed to acquire 6 beautiful vintage and perfectly weathered Wolf Dress Forms in the sizes I need to fit my designs.

Satchi has accepted my invitation to help me with sales and keep me company.  I actually don’t mind doing things on my own but it’s always nice to have a partner who believes in my vision.  As the days fly by and only a few days before the event, all the designers are invited to an orientation of the rules and a dry run of what our day will involve.  Super exciting, I tuck Jax in my shoulder bag and off to the event center we go.  I have all my designs on my phone, even photos of my dress forms and show the promoter how I intent to design my area.  As the designers congregate and are introduced we are lead to an enormous open space as the gal in charge tells us we won’t have boxed areas but are given our choice of a small area in this open space to set up our impromptu store.  What a great idea!  I’m pumped and raring to go.  Jax and I zip home and get busy doing a sample set up area to see how to design my space.  After hours of moving and tweaking the small area, I have my space perfected.  I remind myself to eat before I hit the sack and sleep like a rock.  This event may just be the ticket to get some serious interest in my designs……I pray.

© Pemberton Mackey 2017

humidity…please go away…forever!


I do love summer time but one thing I cannot tolerate is the dreaded humidity.  I hate humidity and it hates me right back ;/  When the weatherman forecasts “tropical” humidity levels, I go into hibernation and stay in air-conditioned comfort until it passes.  Humidity does not only make me sweat like a water hose but it reeks havoc with so many things; make up melts off our faces, hairdo’s droop within minutes and soon our clothes begin sticking to our skin like fly paper!  Not to mention, it drains our energy like a vampire!  Who the heck can honestly say they love the effects of that type of weather…not me!  I was born in the city and I don’t enjoy camping, or running my bare feet through the grass (God know what’s in there) or being around bugs of any kind.  I prefer cement walkways and wearing shoes at all times, even if they are inexpensive flip-flops from Target….I keep my feet away from anything that may hold a contagion or dirt.  If you’re thinking “she’s a freak”, well I think I’ve shared my neuroses enough for you to know that’s the way I roll 🙂

© Pemberton Mackey 2017


blind luck…

Planets Venus and Jupiter creating a glitter trail over the water.:

When I began seriously thinking about pursuing a career in fashion I thought I would never be taken seriously, not due to my work ethic but mostly due to my underwhelming confidence in myself.  Yesterday I received an email from Sophia telling me the article will be out tomorrow (today).  Needless to say, I ran down to the nearest B&N to grab a copy and WOW!  I was shocked at the words that described my vision with such eloquence and vigor.  As I read the two page article I was humbled by words they chose to describe me like, “visionary” and “simple, creative style”.  When I got home I sat there thinking about the possibilities that are available to us in these days of social media and instant fame.  All it takes is drive, determination and most of all blind luck.  For all the bright stars I made a wish on, I believe it’s time to make those wishes come true.

© Pemberton Mackey 2017

Do I want to be a star???…

Dream ☆ never give up from that. This is so beautiful. Worth an Insta post. :):

Sometimes as I lay in bed my mind begins to wander and soon I’m asking myself about what I really want to do in life.  I begin to fantasize about movies I love and how sometimes our destiny turns on a dime and puts us on a completely different path.  I think of my heart’s desire, actually more bucket list things I want to do in my lifetime.  Ever since I watched Out of Africa, all I thought about for a year was moving to Africa or at least booking a safari and dressing in those fabulous linen and khaki outfits that resemble the old Banana Republic, when they sold old deadstock inventory from the 1930’s.  I try to imagine what my life would be like if I actually took that chance to act of my wishes.  I want an adventure.  I don’t mean booking a 2 weeks in Mexico, but a lifetime memory that will perhaps change my direction in life.  But am I just overtaken by conformity?  While time slips away faster and faster, pretty soon we wake up at age 70 and we haven’t done a fraction of what we’ve dreamed of tackling.  I don’t want to wake up one day and realize I didn’t follow my heart and take that turn that would make that lifetime statement that defines who I am.

© Pemberton Mackey 2017