Introducing: Heather Taylor (TaylorMade Petticoats)
When we first went into business and started working at Rita Sue, one of the goals we wanted to achieve was to find more suppliers from within New Zealand. I came across the lovely Heather Taylor, and her newly started business Taylormade petticoats, when we were trying to source locally made garments. Working from her home in Warkworth, Heather was supplying beautiful custom-made underskirts for her friends that did Rock & Roll dancing and had just set up her Facebook page. We have been so lucky, as Heather has also become a great friend and supporter. We think her petticoats are far superior quality to many of the imported petticoats available, and now only stock Taylormade petticoats at Rita Sue. We believe that it is important to support small NZ suppliers.
How long have you been sewing Heather?
About 48 years…. (Gees that makes me sound ancient!!!!)
How did you start making petticoats?
My kids were involved in Rock and Roll Dancing and as I made all their costumes it was a natural progression to do the petticoats also.
What makes TaylorMade Petticoats different to other brands than can be bought?
My point of difference to the overseas petticoats is that I can make custom, to your size and height. My petticoats are all hand-made right from the cutting of each one through to the making and packaging. I believe this makes each one special as opposed to production line manufacture.
How much fabric is used in a medium size double layered petticoat?
For a double layered petticoat I allow between 9 and 10 metres depending on the size I’m making.
What were the most interesting custom orders you have been asked to do?
I have recently been asked to make multi-coloured layers, which has proved most interesting and the results are scrummy… Also, I have an order for a bridal petticoat so that will be a very special order.
Where do you hope to take the business in the future?
I have recently resigned my full time Consulting position and have moved to a new district. With this move, I am hoping to expand TaylorMade. I am hoping to tap back into the Rock and Roll Scene which has taken a bit of a back seat since my kids grew and I got involved more with the Pin Up scene. I also am involved in one off Interior Furnishing Consultancy from measure to install.
Who (friends/family) have been the strongest influence in your life?
My Grandmother lived next door to me when I was growing up and encouraged me in all aspects of childhood learning. My husband has encouraged me to have a ‘can do’ attitude and has helped me see my dreams into reality.
Living on a farm is a busy life, how do you find time for making petticoats?
Although I was living on the farm, I actually worked off farm full time as an interior furnishing consultant. This along with helping out on the farm at odd times meant I had to be organised to work on my TaylorMade projects. Max (my husband) has shared the stress by becoming my major ‘cutter’ of petticoats.
Who/What inspired your love of sewing?
When I was eight years old my grandmother gave me an 1879 Wertheim hand crank sewing machine. This baby is still in my possession and holds a very special place in my workroom. I taught myself how to make it go, thread and wind the shuttles, and progressed from making dolls clothes to making all my own clothes as a young teenager.
What are your interests outside of the Rock and Roll Dancing Scene?
All types of sewing!!! I enjoy reading and I also have eight grandchildren, so I have plenty to occupy any spare time I may have!
What are the three most important things in your life right now?
My health, my husband, and my happiness as we move forward into another era of life – leaving the farm and moving to a new district.
What are your goals moving forward?
My work goals are to grow TaylorMade Petticoats alongside my interior furnishing consultancy (also under TaylorMade). My life goals are to have some recreational time with Max now that he isn’t working 24/7!