Damsel in this Dress was started by Me (Michelle Thorstrom) in 2004 after I had already been making and selling renaissance costumes on ebay for about 3 years, since I was 16. I have always loved costuming and creating, and after I went to my first ren-fest, the Kansas City Renaissance Festival, I knew I had found my calling. I even remember walking around in my homemade little stumpy tapestry renaissance bodice and thinking, "Oh my gosh...what if I could do something like this one day? What if I could sell here?" and that thought apparently lodged deeply.
I did my very first Renaissance Festival when I was 8 months pregnant, sleeping on the ground in my booth during the night and living on corn on the cob from a food vendor that I traded with. There was nothing so fulfilling as meeting women, playing dress-up with them, and seeing them transform from someone who was uncomfortable with their body shape to a woman who was excited and energized by looking into the mirror! I knew this is what I had to do with my life, and it has grown from there.
Currently, we are based in Northern Utah, nestled among the mountains. I have a few seamstresses that I have been fortunate enough to hire, and we all make our corsets with quality and detail that is always progressing forward. I have learned an incredible amount, and I still spend about 10-18 hours a day sewing these things, because I LIKE what I do! It's never boring, it's never depressing.....it is enjoyable and beautiful.
The focus of our company is truly on a womanly fit, quality patterns that we are always improving upon, and seriously high grade raw materials. We never compromise and buy cheaper fabric, just because it's pretty. We don't use cheaper steel boning (Yes, there is quality steel from America and Europe, and steel that snaps in half when you bend it, from China!) and we don't skimp on thread, grommets, ribbon, or any of the things that comprise our fine pieces.
I have a very large group of generous, wonderful, creative women who are attracted to my products, and they are surprisingly supportive of each other. I have probably been told THIS a thousand times-"Michelle, I was at a festival walking around in one of your corsets, and a person yelled across the festival at me, asking if I was wearing 'Damsel', I said yes, and then we became friends and talked about how much we like the products!"
I am grateful every day for this job, and I know that the future is bright, as I continue to grow, serve, and encourage women to love the bodies that they are in!