CTFP: Stay-at-home mom finds busines niche sewing kids clothes
by Karon Nazor-Hill, Chattanooga Times-Free Press
Julie Novak, 39, has been making her own fashion creations since she was 10 years old.
“My mother taught me the [sewing] basics, but it was when I took home economics in high school that I learned to make things I had to wear,” she said.
Today, the married mother of two is sewing for a living. Nearly two years ago, somewhat on a whim, she started her own little girl’s clothing company, Jules for Kids.
Now a stay-at-home mom, Novak had headed the 4-H program in Hamilton County for a decade and had started teaching school when she became pregnant with her first child, E.J., now 7. Her sewing business was launched a year after the birth of her second child, daughter Ruth, 3.
Something people would be surprised to learn: “I’m actually an introvert. I’m very outgoing, but I thrive on time alone to rejuvenate and refresh.”
“When Ruth began walking, I started making everything she wore,” Novak said. “I got many compliments. So in the fall of 2009, I decided to make 25 outfits and sell them at the Chattanooga Market.”
The response, she said, was overwhelming.
“I started with an inventory of 25 dresses. Now I have 225,” she said, noting that she spends an average of 50 hours a week sewing. “I do it mostly at night after the children go to bed.”
Novak said she’s living a dream.
“It’s fun and amazing how far you can go in a year.”
Novak also sells her clothing online at julesforkids.com