Love My Game DressWhen Nena Rubin was a freshman at the University of Texas, a friend gave her an old UT-themed gameday dress she was no longer wearing. Nena, a 2010 Lake Highlands High School grad, loved the “made from old t-shirts” look that’s become all the rage on college campuses around the country, and she brought it home to show Susie, her mom.

“I made dresses for Nena and her roommate, and then a few of their friends wanted one,” Susie told me.

Next, Susie’s younger daughters were clamoring for dresses.

“Mom, you can totally sell these!” said Kristin and Peyton, and she used the three girls’ input for her first designs.

Susie tagged along with her sister, Linda Nickerson, to set up a booth at Oktoberfest in McKinney. Linda, who also lives in LH and owns Nickerson Collectibles, sold antiques, and Susie sold her gameday dresses.

TCU“I took about ten dresses and sold them all. I had lots of compliments and encouragement. My target was college girls, but I found that all ages wanted them. From there, I also learned that ladies wanted them for professional teams, like the Texas Rangers.”

After that, the girls and Susie’s husband, Louis, jumped in to help get the business off the ground.

“They were instrumental in getting my Etsy store set up and teaching me some different computer skills. They also shop for me, make runs to the post office, answer emails and do some sewing.”

Love My Game Dress, Susie’s online Etsy sales site, sells the dresses for $45 and has overwhelmingly positive reviews. Most of the photos show Kristin, a UT sophomore, or Peyton, a Wildcat Wrangler, modeling Susie’s latest creations.

multiSusie got a big break when her dresses were featured on Gameday Runway, a trendy college fashion site. She also set up a Facebook page, which sends lots of shoppers her way.

Susie, who’s kept her day job working part-time for a CPA (she says 2 girls in and one approaching college get very expensive), says she cranks out her creations on her (very) old home sewing machine. I figured having her own store would be her ultimate goal, but she is clear about her business plan.

“It would be fun, but I don’t think my foot traffic would come close to my internet traffic. Through the internet, I can work when I want and keep my shop open 24/7.”

rangers ruffle“Since my girls were little, I’ve always crafted something that related to their age group – and then had ideas as to selling it. But that was as far as it got. This time, I decided not to talk myself out of it. I guess this taught me to keep an open mind and give it a try.”

“I don’t sit still very well. When I work, I work hard, and when I rest, I love to be doing something and having fun.”