Stitching a life together ... one tutu at a time
Friday, June 29, 2012View full version
John Perry, who has a large network of local family members, was born in Oregon and moved to the George area in 1988. His grandfather was a farmer and his father owned a hydraulic repair business. Halfway across the country in south Kansas City, Mo., his future wife, Kimber, was learning to dance by age 3. She eventually learned tap, jazz and ballet.
John worked various jobs, and found his niche as a singer and songwriter. Kimber spent 17 years teaching dance to children. Their paths eventually crossed in Kansas City, and by that time, John had a son and a daughter. Kimber was busy raising two daughters and one son. Eventually, they married and joined their families.
“Our children meshed and got along great. It was like they were real brothers and sisters from the start,” said John.
The couple recently came to Quincy to be close to family, and their lives have taken a unique direction. About three years ago, Kimber was busy one day sewing a tutu for one of her dance students.
“We were just bored sitting around, and she showed me how to make them,” said John.
“He had all kinds of ideas for designs on the tutus,” Kimber added.
The couple began selling them online and the business took off. They design custom-made tutus for adults and children, but their adult selection is more expansive. Their target market includes roller derby team members (They recently shipped one out to someone in Nevada), brides, ballet dancers, people who wear them for breast cancer awareness walks, promgoers … the list goes on and on. The tutus range in price from $25 to $165, depending on the style. They sell them through their website 22mayhem.com. They are seeking a distributor for their products.
“We do everything custom. From September through October, we can make hundreds of tutus,” said Kimber.
“We make them floor-length, bustle tutus, or tattered punk-style,” said John.
When the couple is home, John spends his time working on his music, playing acoustic guitar and honing his skills as a songwriter. Kimber enjoys working on any type of arts and crafts to help her relax. She concedes that she is always working on something.
“She’s very creative. She can look at something and if she wants to make it, she sits down and figures it out and half an hour later, she has it in her hand. It’s amazing,” said John.