People often wonder how they can utilize all their many experiences and talents, especially when they seem to be unrelated. This might have been a huge dilemma for Loretta, had she not been a creative thinker with an entrepreneurial spirit. Taking her love of sewing, passion for helping people with developmental disabilities, education, ‘never give up’ attitude, and creative flair, Loretta found a way to stitch all these patches of her life together and started her own company.
Loretta began sewing when she was eight years old. With help from her mother, whose father was a tailor, she mastered the seamstress skills that seemed to come naturally to her. Growing up, she had many jobs using her sewing skills, whether it was patching her friends’ jeans or doing alterations in a ladies’ fine dress shop. When Loretta was married and had young children, she relied on her seamstress skills again for self-employment. Wanting to remain at home to raise her four young children, Loretta sewed for others, taking on a variety of jobs, from alterations to slipcovers. During this time, a friend approached her with the suggestion of making doll clothes. Loretta loved the idea, and immediately began making her own patterns and created a line of doll clothes. Inspired by her daughter, she expanded the business by designing and making fashions for young girls. Eventually, her business grew to a level that burst the seams of her home workshop.
Meeting a multitude of challenges in her life helped shape Loretta into the strong and determined woman she is today. With the birth of her third son came the onset of her battle with cancer, and her middle son’s autism. Having a positive outlook, fueled by her faith, Loretta worked endlessly to make sure that her middle son received all the helpful services that she could possibly find for him at the time. Discovering that there was so little available to children with developmental disabilities, she became an advocate for autism awareness. Again, Loretta needed the flexibility of working out of her home in order to handle the diverse demands of having a child with autism, as well as three other children.
Loretta’s interests now expanded to include a passion for autism awareness work, along with creating and sewing doll clothes. For many years she devoted endless hours to these two important aspects of her life. As a certified teacher, she also taught special education classes at a local middle school, and pursued a masters program to augment the knowledge about autism she had already attained through personal experience and independent research. Although this was educationally important, it was not marrying her passions.
Throughout the years, Loretta was always contemplating the development of a product that would strengthen her advocacy and awareness outreach for individuals with disabilities. Combining her training in special education with her love of designing and making doll clothes, she created the concept of a doll with stories to share. These stories would educate the public, and lend support to children who have a sibling with developmental differences. This doll would be the companion they could relate to, find comfort in, and call a friend.
Knowing she could now integrate her interests and passions, Loretta found her niche in the marketplace. With the support of her family and friends, she began her entrepreneurial business from home. However, creating this company goes far beyond the development of a product line. An important part of Loretta’s life has been her charitable work for individuals with autism. In recent years, she has focused her efforts on raising awareness about the lack of services for adults with disabilities. LorettaRose, LLC will continue to address this issue by supporting and expanding its work program which provides opportunities for adults with developmental disabilities to work in many aspects of the preparation, packaging, storage and shipping of My Sibling and My Pal Dolls.