Hi there and welcome to BlackCatMade!
Who am I?
My name is Barb Wallace and I am from Columbus, OH and currently reside in Boston, MA. I consider both towns home! I have been an artist ever since I was very young!
From drawing Fashion Sketches during class in school to attempting to sew Barbie Doll clothes, fashion has always been a part of my life. I have always found myself drawn to glitz, glamour and pretty things!
During college, I worked in various nightclubs and always left a trail of glitter and feathers in my wake. I graduated from Columbus College of Art & Design with a BFA in Fashion Design. I naively assumed I would walk straight out of graduation and right into a fabulous career in NYC with a big name designer and eventually launch my own line. We all know that life doesn’t necessarily follow the path we think it will and I got a bit off track. I eventually landed at Bath & Body Works designing accessories and then moved on to Boston to design for a Lifestyle Brand. My life again veered off the course and I found myself unemployed.
So, why bikinis you ask?
For many years I have had an interest in Fitness and have had some knowledge of the Bodybuilding Industry. I always thought that it would be cool to make the suits for competitors to wear but never really pursued it.
Then a few years ago, my best friend decided to start competing and was coveting a Wonder Woman inspired suit. I said “you know what? I am making that suit for you.” BlackCatMade was born.
I researched and practiced and purchased books and patterns and practiced some more. With each suit, I learned something new and I got better and better. I also fell in love with it.
Then along the way I thought why not compete myself? And last year I hired a wonderful coach and with the support of friends, family and coworkers I started competing. Initially I thought I would do one or two shows to learn more about the industry and be done with it. Of course it didn’t quite work out that way and I am now starting prep for my third show. My ultimate goal is to go for my Pro Card.
I also forgot to mention that I am 48 years old. So at the age of 48, I not only have started to pursue a new venture in design but I am also starting a new fitness journey!
I believe that I am meant to do this – all of this. Each suit I make is like a work of art to me. Every client is important and my ultimate goal is to design beautiful suits and make every competitor feel like a star. This is your day to sparkle and shine and it is my job (and Swarovski’s) to help make that happen!