Inspiring Lives Magazine Spring 2017: Issue 4 - Page 92

Caption FASHION that [their wives go] from running an entire household like a single parent to having an empty household, and I saw a lot of women struggle with it. And I was like ‘I’m going to get myself squared away before that happens.’” The first season of Uptown Sweats was 2014 fall/win- ter. Tomlin started the business from home but quickly realized the conditions weren’t ideal for her. Tomlin said it was odd doing the business from home, working with clients, etc., when so many people knew who her husband was. It also was a distraction. As a working wife and mother, it’s too easy to want to load the dishwasher, clean, throw in a load of laundry, or do other housework instead of actual work. It was definitely time to move. Tomlin initially leased a room in an interior designer’s showroom. She worked from that space for about a year. She enjoyed being out of the house and soon felt confi- dent enough to begin searching for her own space. An up-and-coming area in the East Liberty section of Pitts- burgh ended up being perfect, but not for the reasons one would think. “I kind of casually started looking and stumbled upon this space,” Tomlin explained. “which I fell in love with because of the windows. The neighborhood was not de- veloped yet. I didn’t even know there was a plan. Nothing had even started happening. This building was completely vacant, but I just loved the windows, and I figured if I’m going to be somewhere all day, I want to be able to soak up the sun.” While boutiques had previously carried Tomlin’s cre- ations, her store is now the only place you can find her designs, along with select trunk shows. Her lines are ex- actly what the name of her brand implies: they are clothes you can use for a meeting or occasion that requires you to dress up, but they can also be casual. Plus, they are ma- chine washable. Tomlin realized the need after working from home for so long. “As much as I love fashion, I got tired of getting dressed. When I worked from home, I could just work in my pajamas all day if I wanted to. But now I had to get dressed and meet clients, and wearing professional clothes was not compatible with my lifestyle, with the type of manual labor that I do, plus running the kids and multi- tasking and my crazy busy day.” “So I’m like ‘you know what? I’m going to make a dress that works for me and that I can go to work in and be presentable, but I can still run the kids, I can still climb on top of the cutting tables. I can still do all this stuff, and at the end of the day I can just throw it in the wash- ing machine and not worry about dry cleaning or if I spill something.’ So I designed what’s now called the Signature