My mother, the Elizabeth Taylor of the town where I grew up, along with my dad, ran the family business, a couture dress house. Its niche was women with somewhat “flawed” figures, meaning just about every woman. A slim silhouette was always in demand. In fact, the collection was touted in Women’s Wear Daily as “Sexy, yet appropriate”.
In 2002, while relying on my family blood line and the fact that I graduated from the same high school as Donna Karan, I stepped out of my attorney penny loafers and into my mom’s Manolas (that’s not really true because I never wore penny loafers and my mother had an aversion to designer labels) and took over the business.
Camouflage was the essential element of our creations, demanding tricky construction to achieve this sometimes optical illusion. Each garment was constructed to eliminate bulge and reduce the bulky look. I designed a thin flat, adjustable belt waistband to accommodate certain styles. This forerunner of Beltaway was an easily adjustable elastic belt that was a virtually invisible belt. It provided a slimming effect that was also the solution to buckle bulge.One day at work and in need of a belt, I put the elastic “waistband” through my own jeans belt loops. The result provided the much desired sleek look. The belt was the extremely comfortable solution to buckle bulge. Additionally, the flat elastic belt was adjustable while wearing. The reaction from friends was “I want one too!”
So, after three years in development, designing, redesigning and redesigning again (you would think we were designing Princess Kate’s wedding gown), Beltaway finally came to fruition. Beltaway is a comfortable stretch flat belt with no bulge for women and men. Now, in the vein of life repeating itself, my husband and I are entrepreneurs with our own family business, Beltaway Belt. My only demand from him is that we not share a car, as my parents did.