Latest Fashion Trend Brought to You by Stay-at-Home Moms

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No longer limited to the offspring of the rich and famous, hundreds of designers are offering one-of-a-kind outfits with matching accessories for prices that rival retail.

What is the latest fashion trend for preschoolers? Handmade clothes by independent designers. No longer limited to the offspring of the rich and famous, hundreds of designers are offering one-of-a-kind outfits with matching accessories for prices that rival retail.

So where can you find these youthful fashionistas? New York? Paris? Milan? Try your own neighborhood. These stylish stitchers are stay-at-home moms looking to earn a little extra income. Most sell their work to a rapidly growing throng of eager bidders on eBay. No longer just the world's largest garage sale, eBay's unconventional marketplace is exactly what is enabling these independent designers to find a world-wide clientele.

Amy Shearer, editor of Journal Modiste, the premiere online trend watcher of this hand-made movement, is amazed at how quickly these women mature in their design, sewing, photography and business skills. "Most of these ladies start out with nothing more than a sewing machine and a dream. The community is very supportive of new designers and is quick to answer questions." says Shearer, herself a designer.

Shearer attributes the blossoming enthusiasm for custom kids clothes to the desire to be different. At retail stores, boys clothes are boring and girls clothes are pint-sized versions of the teen fashion scene. With clothing designed by actual moms, boys can shine and little girls can dress like... well... little girls. And what kid wouldn't feel special in clothes made just for them. "I like my child's one-of-a-kind personality to be expressed through his and her one-of-a-kind outfit." commented mother of two Jennifer Moreno.

Once you buy your first handmade outfit you can't go back. "I know that whatever the creation, there is a real person behind it who loves what she does and puts her heart and soul into everything she makes. The relationships that are made with the designers within the boutique community are priceless." said Stacey Wachs, a mom who buys almost all of her daughter's clothes from eBay designers.

Hard to fit kids can get clothing custom tailored for their body type. Try that at your local big box retailer. Measurements are exchanged through email or the industry's My Fitting Room, also owned by Shearer.

Ready to check it out? Simply log on to Journal Modiste and browse around. You will find interviews with the designing moms, links to take you to their auctions and a comprehensive Designer Directory filled with talent.

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Amy Shearer
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