EUGENE, Ore. — A girls costume company in Eugene is in the running for a national DIY contest.
Richelle Rudeen, owner of Ella Dynae Designs, says she’s hopeful her company will win the Martha Stewart American Made Contest.
The national contest celebrates the makers of America, which she says is fitting for her hand-made girls costume business.
Costume making is a delicate process.
“All of our seams are top-stitched which is decorative and beautiful. It’s also very time consuming,” Rudeen said.
Rudeen makes all of her girls costumes by hand in a room in her house she’s turned into a studio.
She’s no stranger to design and high fashion. She went to the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York, and worked in London as a freelance designer. It wasn’t until she was preparing for London Fashion Week that Rudeen realized her true calling.
“I was always dressing up and pretending, I loved fairy wings, and tutus and glitter when I was little of course as most little girls do,” said
She says her true love is children’s costuming. So she packed up and headed home to Eugene in late 2011. A few months later in July 2012, she launched Ella Dynae Designs.
“All of our patterns are developed from scratch just from measurements and a lot of testing. We kept trying costumes on real little girls and getting feedback from them and their mothers,” Rudeen said.
Rudeen says the time and precision it takes to make the perfect costume pays off when she sees the little girls transported to another world.
“I had so much fun doing things for little girls and really going back and discovering my inner 7-year-old,” Rudeen said.
“We usually play outside like we’re fairies or maybe we’re princesses. Like one of us is in a tower, one of us is trying to save them. It’s a lot of fun,” said costume model Kenady Conforth.
Preliminary voting for the Made in America contest runs through Sept. 13. If you’d like to vote for Ella Dynae Designs, click here.
The grand prize is $10,000, a trip to New York City and a feature spread on the Martha Stewart website.