But perhaps one of the most important styles I’ve ever made and named is the Mary Pat dress, designed and created in honor of my sister Mary Pat (pictured above left with me and my sister Lisa), who tragically lost her battle to ALS on July 4th, 2017.
Today, my family and I honor her memory in a lot of ways, from sharing stories to spending time together. I chose to honor my sister in one of the best ways I know how: I created a dress. Every detail (from the pockets to the scoop back to the silhouette) of the Mary Pat dress was created with my sister in mind. Mary Pat (A.K.A. Mar as our family and friends lovingly refer to her as) was always a helper, which led her to a career as a trauma unit nurse. She put other people first, from her patients to her family, on a day-to-day basis. And as a big sister, she was constantly helping my sister Lisa and me, too.
When we were little, Mary Pat would take us to have these lovely picnics in the woods. She found the perfect clearing near a tall pine tree, and we would sit underneath it and eat our peanut butter and jelly sandwiches together. After we ate, we’d set out for a scavenger hunt, finding oversized acorns, a rock that we imagined being an arrowhead, and beautiful feathers. I remember being so amazed at the adventures we would have with Mary Pat, who treated everything like it was an exciting treasure hunt. They were simple yet such special moments. My love of exploring and adventures really started there and has only flourished since. We were three blissful little girls. Mary Pat was always there to offer advice and hold my hand while I navigated every new step in my life. I know she is always with us helping Lisa and me explore new treasures that await us.
There’s a reason behind every detail of the Mary Pat Dress (pictured above). I designed the Mary Pat dress with pockets because Mar always had something she needed to carry whether it was a pair of scissors, her keys, a stethoscope, or Chapstick. Its flattering empire waistline was no accident either. Mar was a beautiful, curvy woman and she loved to play up her waistline. I gave the dress a fun and flattering scoop back so that it was business appropriate from the front but ready for after-work dinner and drinks from the back.
Mar loved that dress. It was only fitting that I named it after her. And in honor of May being ALS Awareness month, I wanted to do something even better to honor her memory. So, we decided to donate a portion of the net proceeds for every Mary Pat dress sold during the month to Augie's Quest. Augie's Quest is dedicated to finding treatments and cures for ALS.
Not a day goes by that my family and I don’t miss our amazing, strong, and caring sister/mother/aunt/daughter/cousin Mar. But when I wear the Mary Pat dress and see other women rocking it as well, it makes me feel like a little piece of my sister is here. And that makes me smile. I hope it makes you smile, too.