Archive of ‘Work’ category

I loved seeing this beautiful plum tulle flower girl dress on this 3 year old!

Melts your heart, doesn’t it?? This sweet little, barely 3 year old flower girl is determined to get her petals down.  And we we so pleased to receive it from our customer Patti who said:

“Hey! I just wanted to send a picture of my great niece Marina’s dress that you made. She’s 10 now, but her dress is still my favorite flower girl’s dress that I have ever seen. It was beautiful!! Nothing I have seen at the weddings I’ve been to since can rival it”. 

SUCH a nice compliment.  She ordered Pegeen flower girl dress couture style 402 in plum silk and tulle.  Some times being so close to Disney World we are lucky to be able to meet our customers but then, there are customers like this who live way across the country that we never get to meet – do a few family weddings for them some times – but get to know them as valued “friends” through Facebook or Instagram.  Life is grand!!  Plum silk and tulle flower girl dress by Pegeen.com

Lucky to live so close to Disney World

Chillin’ at Disney World: A Husband and Wife Working Team Survival Guide

Years ago, like a TON of years ago, in the world before and just after having kids, my husband and I, who have worked together all these years, didn’t really have an outlet to let off steam. My company, Pegeen Flower Girl Dress company was busy all the time and with many deadlines.  At the time, he had his own company (and advertising and printing company) and he had his deadlines too.  We were always at odds with our schedules.  It wasn’t easy, and we missed each other a lot.  So, after 9/11, when the “air” in New Jersey was always a sad reminder for us we made a choice to located Pegeen down by Disney, as we called it “The Happy Place”.  We miss our friends terribly, and much to my son’s surprise (hahahaha) my family even more.  But the life style not to mention zero state income tax is just more conducive to a more relaxed atmosphere although it took me 10 years to get my husband to stop wearing a tie to like, oh, I don’t know, a restaurant.

Our go to relax thing was to go to either Disney or Universal for family or couple fun.  Kept Jim and I from pulling each other’s hair out. Then, 3 years ago, frustrated because our then 30 minute trip to Disney took us an hour from just downtown Winter Park because of work on Interstate 4, we moved the kids (now college) and dog to live within a mile of Disney and 5 from Universal.  I was in heaven.

My husband and I are really lucky. We are pretty crazy about the positive effects of Disney World on our psyche. We are lucky to be just a mile from the park via the back entrance and no, there is not a secret entrance, just an employee entrance.  Frequently I find that we are at odds with the hard work so my son will drop us off at the entrance gate at Disney on his way to work there. After 20 minutes, we are smiling again and content to people watch (really kid watch) and find ourselves talking about business,  Soon, whatever seemed difficult to solve is easier if you just whistle while you work. HAHAH. If you live here, we tend to forget the culture of living in the city of “The Happiest Place in the World”. So, moving so close to the park for us was a salvation. As business owners, we may work all the time, but its hard to not feel like you are on vacation everyday when you get to hear the Disney Train whistle every 15 minutes or so and see the fireworks every night in your driveway.
From the Pegeen Fairytale Collection, the Emerald Fairy. Pegeen Style 901
So chillin’ with some customers (above and below) is always fun.  When you come to Florida, we hope you visit us too!  Pegeen Style 901 Above and Pegeen Style 803 Below

Tinkerbelle Fairy

 

Kirk Douglas, American Icon Celebrates His 100th

Screen legend Kirk Douglas celebrated his 100th birthday last month with his family, including his wife of more than 60 years, Anne. I can’t decide which is more remarkable, the fact that Mr. Douglas made it to his 100th birthday or the fact that a Hollywood marriage could last for over 60 years. I can count on one hand the instances I can remember of both.

“I was lucky enough to find my soulmate 63 years ago, and I believe our wonderful marriage and our nightly ‘golden hour’ chats have helped me survive all things,” he writes in celebrity magazine Closer Weekly. Douglas has survived his share of tragedies, including the death of his son from an overdose of drugs and alcohol, a midair crash between his helicopter and a plane, and a stroke which has left him with a severely curtailed ability to speak. His wife, Anne, his faith, his family and his rise from poverty and subsequent hard work during a stellar career, which included three Oscar nominations for best actor, gave him the strength to rise above these challenges. His son Michael, also an actor, wrote: “I think his stamina and tenacity are the qualities that stand out for me. He has taught me always to give it your best shot at whatever you take on. He’s the full package.”

Since the stroke limited his acting roles, he and his wife turned their attention to philanthropic work, mostly feeding the homeless and repairing and refurbishing playgrounds in Los Angeles. They say keeping busy will keep you young and they make a strong case for that axiom.  I think it is beautiful in the world of Hollywood that such a long and lasting marriage shows their deep love and commitment.

And yes, I am also one who has outlasted many of my friends, and my wife’s friends, marriages.  I can hardly believe that we have been married over 30 years, (almost 32 this year) and work together every day, 24/7, as partners in our business, Pegeen.com. Some people would consider that fact to be remarkable, but even more remarkable might be that this was not the career path either of us imagined when we were in college but I know I can’t imagine my life any other way.  I don’t have words of wisdom, just that both of us give in, a lot, to each other.  And plenty of wine.

Celebrating 30+ Years

How Intellectual Property Theft Hurts You

Yesterday Donald Trump spoke of “intellectual property theft”. What does he mean by that phrase? We know what intellectual property theft means firsthand as we have seen Chinese companies copy entire pages of American websites and post them on their Chinese sites and represent the images for sale as their own. When the unsuspecting consumer purchases the Chinese made goods based on these photos, they are invariably disappointed in the quality of the counterfeit dress and the American company loses the sale they may have otherwise made.

While many American consumers may be able to recognize a Chinese site by the broken English and other telltale signs, many do not pick up on it. Since we monitor our market of flower girl dresses and special occasion wear, we see it manifested in our industry quite extensively. This is why we put the name of our website across every photo on our site, in order to fight this pervasive piracy of intellectual property and ensure the consumer that they are buying the real thing only if they are on http://www.pegeen.com  ` Since 1982

Pink tulle flower girl dress by Pegeen.com

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Mommy Guilt

My husband and I recently celebrated 30 years together . Funny how I think that time stood still yet time flew by. Sometimes I feel like I am this entity that has messed everything up – like would have, should have and then, I remember, I did everything okay.  What is often said about mommy guilt is true, no matter what you do, you are definitely sure you screwed up your kid’s life.

It used to be that women wanted to have it all – those who influenced my generation were people like Gloria Steinhem, Shirley Chisholm, and to a smaller extent, Oprah Winfrey. But my personal role model was my mother, who made everything fun yet always believed in me and my father who, no matter how busy building his own law and political career, always seemed to stop when we ran into the room.  He also taught me to be a voracious reader from an early age. When kids my age were reading Nancy Drew,  I started on the Presidents and their families (probably because of his involvement in politics) and then moved onto the great industrialists. I read everything about the “big families”, the Vanderbilt’s, Mellon’s, Carnegie, Astor, Duke, Morgan, Rockefeller, Stanford, Flagler, Frick, Hilton and so many more.  I was particularly fascinated about how so many of their wives also became strong arms to their business entities. My dad always got a kick out of me knowing so much about all these families and how these companies grew.  I still remember going into our small-town library with it’s musty smell reading about these great business leaders. Trust me, I was just as interested in reading about Mrs. Astor’s First Four-Hundred as the reasons for the boom of Florida (via Flagler, Plant and Chipley).

Running a company was empowering. Wanting to “be the boss of my booth”, as my then- 6-year-old son whose concept of business was a 15×30 foot booth at the Jacob Javits Center where you were in charge, was what drove me. My father was a strong influence in my life – not for the patience that he showed us when he got home from work but from the deals and the meetings that he would have and how he could remember everyone’s name. It also felt as the time we spent with him as a busy father was very heartfelt.  I wrapped up what he taught me, what my then 60’s values were growing up and translated it into the business I have now.  I used to tell my employees that having the chance to run over to their children’s school play was just as important as getting deliveries out, embracing your kid home from college by taking off an extra day or two was exactly what they needed to have a profound effect on their child’s well-being.  All the while, I don’t know how I “picked” such a great husband but I am so lucky to have chosen the prefect compliment to my strengths and one that had no difficulty taking a back seat to my strong personality while still maintaining his.

My son, the oldest, also pursued a career in entrepreneurship. He went to business school and I will never forget, he asked me once, “Mom, why do you do this day in and day out?” My answer was simple. “I love it Billy, I love being the boss of my booth”. For the most part, it is fun and interesting and empowering. But it takes a special spouse to put up with it. Like my aunt who owned one of the largest dance schools in the east coast, I always wondered, did my Uncle Johnny mind being called Mr. Marcia? Its the same thing for me too. How do couples work together everyday without killing each other? Still show respect at the end of the day, especially when the woman is the boss? How did these things affect my children? I always worried, would they adjust to strong women or hate them?

I suffered from so much mommy guilt as if I didn’t give my two children enough of me and now that I am this “empty nester”, I realize, I gave them so much.  These two great kids also gave me more. Working for myself has been hard at times and infrequently a strain on our marriage.  But the one thing I know, even though I was positive that I destroyed my kids life at times with the long hours and role reversal, I enriched theirs by giving them a strong role model for women.  I am beginning to see that what they learned is, that to be in love, is to find a partner who is just that – a partner.  Someone to share decisions with, even when it is not easy to express the opposite opinion – to work out the kinks in daily life and to change the idea of normal roles for a mom and dad – these were the things that were important for my husband and I to teach our children.  I think this valuable lesson about having the right partner, I learned, made it easier to deal with my tremendous mommy guilt.  Photo c2009

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How I kept my kids happy in the summer….without sacrificing my work schedule

School’s out. Those dreaded words?

How was it possible to run a business, and not go completely insane with children? Don’t get me wrong, I love my kids to death but when they were small, it was difficult to run my company, Pegeen, without going crazy. Somehow, and I am not really sure, it evolved into this wonderful program we called “Mon-Fries” – mostly because my youngest, Ted, loved french fries so much we had to have that spelling. What it involved was theme weeks and planning. And books. Lots and lots of books.

In the beginning of the summer, we would set theme weeks together. There was lots of discussions and ideas – “I want a beach” “Skyscrapers” “Bugs” “Weather” or even something simple like “Fruit”. Once we set our 11 weeks of summer themes I would get black and white marble notebooks that we would draw, scribble and mark up with our ideas. When we would draw in our books to illustrate the ideas we planned, I got an insight into the thinking of my kids minds. We would start our planning sometime in early May since my kids finished school in late June. This helped make those last few weeks of school seem more interesting.

indian summer 1998jpgFINALLY! School was out and for me, it meant being able to have lots of fun with my kids and longer week day hours (8am until midnight instead of 7 or 8). Our “MONS” were filled with trips to the libraries, often different ones, that I would take the kids to or on those rare occasions, I would have their sitters take them. It was easy for both of my kids to get lost in the library so each week there was a theme…. like a week about fish. But these days were filled with “mommy what’s that word? (Jonah)” or “Look at this, look at this” (drawings). Not that I only worked 5 days a week (I worked 7) but starting on Mondays, based on their ages, and through out the summer, it would be a week of One-Fish-Two-Fish or as they were older, making lures, or books on how machines were made and Richard Scarey and yes even Harry Potter themed weeks which we all loved.

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Throughout the week, we would find projects for them to do, or rent a movie based on the theme, read their books and make artwork. Most of these projects they were able to do on their own. I had a sitter who came to my home as we lived over our business, and she would help out as a momma’s helper. I’d feature their best or favorites on the office landing so they could admire them each time they ran in and out (and in and out) of the basement door, until it was the FRIES in Friday…. where the week would top off at their reward trip. So, for fish week, we went to the Camden (NJ) Aquarium, and the beach week we took them to Sandy Point (one year to the nude beach by accident, duh), and for machine week we went to this awesome museum in Bethlehem, PA called the National Museum of Industrial History. Fruit week was always fun and messy, because there is so much you can do with fruit (make jam, freezies, pick berries) but our favorite was “Help Daddy Build a Deck and Install an Above Ground Pool” – which was hard work but we all grew into professionals that week.

Now that the kids are college and beyond, it’s about coordinating the car to get them to work although we live so close to Disney they get to their summer jobs pretty quickly. I miss those summers and live through my friends telling me, “Urgh, Summer vacation started” and I am so envious of the time where we lived for our “Mon-Fries.”

 

Pegeen Launches it’s first Crowdfunding Campaign!

We Proudly Launch our Fairytale Collection for Flower Girls at a special price for our Indiegogo Supporters!

Pegeen Fairytale Wedding Collection

Pegeen.com Designer Childrenswear announces the launch of their Fairytale Collection through a Crowd Funding campaign. What exactly is crowd funding? The easiest way to describe it is this:

 

  • Crowd funding is when a Business (like ours) posts a project available for funding on a crowd-funding site (in our case indiegogo.com) to help get backers interested in our products and company.
  • In return for backing a project, our customers receive different rewards depending on the amount of funding they commit (from levels of $5 through $500) and also with a very special opportunity, that is to collaborate with Pegeen and help design, name and receive the dress you designed along with our ensuring someone who is less fortunate or has a very special wish to receive a dress so they can be a princess too!
  • Interested backers donate during the project, sharing our campaign over their social networks with their friends and contacts
  • What we receive in exchange for your support is the ability to expand greatly our advertising and marketing budget as we grow our company to an even higher level
  • What you will receive are various rewards, the opportunity to be able to say that you helped our company realize our dream of growing our business to the next level, and someday even, to fulfill our dream of being able to open a store (s) in the Downtown Disney area and beyond.
  • Moreover, Pegeen has arranged with a few organizations to be sure that we can provide to someone in need a princess dress of their very own through some really great charities like Give Kids The World. We are reaching out to Wounded Warriors and Make a Wish foundation as well and hope to get a response from them soon!

Everyone can participate even at the smallest of levels and know that Pegeen is one company who will REFUSE to outsource to other countries the manufacturing of our goods. In addition, you will help with building within our community the opportunity to share our really beautiful dresses with some really sick and needy kids so that they can become princesses too!
We hope that you will listen to our pitch and pass it on to friends as well!

We Proudly Launch our Fairytale Collection for Flower Girls at a special price for our Indiegogo Supporters!

For details click the link above for the video.
What your contribution to our campaign would mean to us:

We at Pegeen know that we create exquisite and well made products, not just for girls, but for boys as well. We are really proud of what we have accomplished in 33 years started by the talents of Marg Hyland. Behind the scenes are still the husband and wife team of Marg and Jim whose union formed just four years into the company’s origin and who steadfastly believe that answering the phone, producing in the US and dedication continue to help steer the company’s mission: to create beautiful clothing for children to remain looking like children. Joining the couple are some very dedicated seamstresses and one heck of a talented web developer.

Pegeen is always anxious to grow. Moreover, it’s a personal endeavor. “When I see the garbage that is coming in from China as counterfeit goods, I am mortified. I realize everyone has financial constraints but our job at Pegeen is to price our dresses so that a reasonable amount of people will make sure that their children wear heirloom quality goods. By offering our garments on the internet we actually can offer our creations without the markup of a retailer. We will continue to do so while improving the way our customers can purchase our goods.”

We really want to thank Addie Brie Hays for her wonderful participation in this project, Bill Frank for his guitar accompaniment and Rob Fong for an unbelievable new website and our now famous Pegeen Dress Dreamer!

For more information on our campaign and info on how you can help make a little girl feel like a princess, click the link below.

FAIRYTALES COME TRUE: Pegeen Childrenswear

Our Fairytale

THIS IS OUR FAIRYTALE

My husband and I have just celebrated 28 years of marriage and are business partners as well. We have had a fairytale relationship and are mad about each other. We share all the likes that couples do, renovating old homes and visiting the parks in Orlando. Our annual trip to Disney World, at first was just the two of us, then three, and finally four of us from our home in New Jersey as our family grew. My husband always got worried every time we finished renovating a place because he knew my eyes would start wandering again. About 8 years ago, we had just finished an entire renovation on an old, 1928 English Tudor House and gardens. We entered a contest, winning an honorable mention in Better Homes and Garden’s Whole House Redo. So instead of waiting until our traditional December trip to Florida, we decided it was time to have an early fall trip to Florida.

AN IDEA GROWS

That year, while driving on the return trip from a wonderful Halloween visit to Orlando with our boys, we were just a few hour North over the Florida border, when snow flakes started to fall and the air got down to a chilly 40 degrees. Looking at my husband who was driving, we both said to each other “turn around.” He looked at me first and then at the road and then uncharacteristically for him, turned right around in the median strip back to Orlando (so to speak). We started to look for homes the next morning in Central Florida. A year later we had built a new home and moved to Orlando, and the warmth of Florida.

Our flower girl dress business is fun but frantic as the wedding business tends to be. We decided that if we had to work a lot of crazy hours we may as well be nearer to the parks when we need chill time. Although our decision to move to Florida was an on the spot move, our promise to live in Orlando grew from our love of the parks. Face it, Disney just makes you feel good. Don’t get me wrong, we love Universal too (especially since they opened The Wizarding World of Harry Potter). No matter what your day has been like, your week or year – Disney gives you that special feeling that makes the blood pressure just turn back to normal. We get season passes and find ourselves there generally once a week (except in Summer, we leave that to the tourists!) We enjoy ourselves there so much that we are excited when friends visit and head straight to the parks there. Eventually, we decided to celebrate our nearly 30 years in business working together (and our wedding anniversary too) with family and friends. Where better to have a vow renewal than at our favorite “get away” place?

So this year, we will be working on renovating another home and discussing our experiences working together as partners.

OUR STORY

AltarOur wedding in 1985 was wonderful but my mom and Percy Leach (God bless both of their souls) were really in charge of all the decisions. I was busy building a business with Jim and I trusted my mother’s taste explicitly. Percy was the owner/curator of Waterloo Village in Stanhope, NJ where our wedding took place, and an Interior Decorator who was used to supervising all sorts of fund raising, music and so forth at the Village of Waterloo he and his partner Lou Gualandi loved. Percy invited my father and family up there when I was just 7 years old to show the dream to him and to enlist my father (who was in politics and a law practice) to see his vision. I saw Percy’s vision right then and there and enjoyed my many years of visits to Waterloo. As a young girl, he promised me that I could get married there, only I was 7 and had to find a husband! Seeing him often, we made plans for the “wedding” without a fiance! I even called him from London during a buying trip for fabrics and laces in 1983 and told him I had found “the dress”.  My family attended many concerts and events there, and even my brother proposed to his wife at the same spot. Two years later, after a whirlwind of just three dates, I took Jim on a picnic (unintentionally) and showed him this marvelous place I had fallen in love with. Right then, outside the old Methodist Church of Waterloo, he proposed, just 5 days into our relationship! Percy and I were off and running, and although not professional, he was a very good wedding planner who made our evening magical.

I was building my business at the time, so much of the wedding was decided by Percy and my mother since that’s what you did 25+ years ago. I think except for the cake, I had no firm ideas and left most decisions to my father and mother because they were of similar tastes as I. From the fantastic music and food choices, I left it to them to make final decisions.

This blog is dedicated to my former mentors, Mom and Percy —- and hopefully they will be watching me from above with full blessings…. both of whom not only helped me get my wedding together but both of whom shared with me their love for design and interior design. Percy was a celebrated Interior Designer to New Jersey’s famous residents as well as many other. He also had a wicked sense of humor. His love for design was carried through in one of his great loves, the restoration of Waterloo Village in Stanhope, NJ. I love them and miss them both terribly.

I hope you will join us in our journey of life, love, home, and work.