Posted by: Kath Usitalo | February 17, 2012

Our Designing Woman Is On Her Way

Paige on our latest exploration in Detroit when she was home on break in January

Happy 19th Birthday to my adventurer/explorer/model, beautiful and talented daughter Paige.

She takes after her mother in her curiosity and interest in discovering new places and people.

I miss touring around with her now that she’s miles away from home, halfway through her freshman year studying Fiber Science & Apparel Design at Cornell University in Ithaca, NY. She did not get her fashion instinct from me.

Paige chats with artist J Kyle Keener as he works on a pair of painted shoes at his Rust Belt Market booth, Ferndale

The first complete project she had to design and stitch was a toddler’s outfit. She chose black as the main color.

Not surprising from a girl who at 5 years old chose to wear to her friend Claire’s birthday party a leopard print skirt and vest that my Mom had given her, paired with black turtleneck and tights.

I remember that Claire’s mom was stunned when she opened the door to welcome Paige, dressed mainly in black. All the other girls were in pouffy pastel frocks (Paige had similar beautiful dresses in her closet but did not want to wear one).

Paige's bold outfit for a toddler

I came home and called Mom, practically in tears about what a bad mother I was to allow Paige to march into that party in an outfit we loved, but I thought was too casual for the occasion. I was sure Paige would be ostracized.

She had a fine time at the birthday party.

Flash forward: at the end of the first college semester she received a Design Faculty Certificate for Outstanding Fall Course Work for the toddler’s dress and jacket outfit—an honor awarded to 4 students out of the 19 in that class.

Paige has grown into a lovely and confident young woman.

She has designs on the future, and I’m looking forward to seeing them unfold.





  1. Love the toddler outfit! Way to go, Paige!

  2. love to read about your daughters accomplishments ! love the toddler dress – just says “happy!” “joy” !!!

    • Thanks Cindi!

  3. You have a beautiful daughter with an amazing talent…I’m sure her future will be bright!!

  4. How sweet of you. Thanks!

  5. Love it!

    • Amazing how time flies…we need coffee to catch up!

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