Barbara proclaimed herself a fashion designer at 5 years old while designing Barbie doll clothes. As far back as she can remember she has always loved fabric. She vividly remembers her excitement riding her bike to the fabric store miles away only to walk through the aisles of beautiful flowing fabrics smelling the finishes and marveling over all the trims and buttons and her trips with her mom to fabric store, The Rag Shop in Hawthorn, NJ, with endless tables of flat folds stacked in their barely lit warehouse with giant ceiling fans trying to cool everyone. It was 9 when she became an entrepreneur by making puppets or stuffed animals and selling them to her peers. She was the odd ball of her family - the “outside of the box" thinker. She began sewing all of her own clothes. She hates to admit it but she’s a fabric-aholic. It was at 9, too, that she got her first taste at modeling by discovered by a photographer in Massachusetts at a flea market.
At 18 she began modeling in Texas and then discovered by a modeling agency, Elle Agence, in Paris, she embarked on her high fashion modeling career. Barbara modeled in runway fashion shows, TV commercials, print ads and catalogs as a High Fashion Model or Commercial Model in Paris, France and Houston, Dallas, New York, New Jersey and Arizona. "It was super fun! I met countless amazing famous people like Helmut Newton, Oleg Cassini and Lauren Hutton!" she reminisces.
By 25 Barbara was ready to sharpen her sword as a designer. She chose Parsons School of Design. She laughs “I even walked the runway in Parsons! Every time I watch Project Runway I still have flashbacks walking it!” Barbara put her laser focus on designing knitwear. Her heart leaped for joy being able to take threads and yarns to create her own fabric. This enthusiasm attracted “The Future Designer of the Year Award” from the Knitting Textile Association for the creation of her unusual beautiful knitwear. This award attracted buyer Ellen Salzman at Saks 5th Ave for a line of high-end sweaters and the backing in her own company from a man from China.
Feeling ill-prepared for the challenge she chose to gain business knowledge by designing knitwear in New York City for Gil Aimbez, Ralph Lauren and Cullinane. This attracted more fabulous press in WWD as well as the buyers at Lord and Taylor who loved her sweater designs.
Then BOOM! Her mom, only 52, got cancer and passed away. The loss of her greatest fan shifted her entire life. Barbara quit her job and created her first real company inspired by her gift to her former boyfriend, boxing real-estate mogul, Marc Roberts. It was a giant leap to self-employment to which she has never looked back. She created Fibertales® "The Sweater of Your Lifetime." She specialized in creating scenic heirloom, signed and dated, art cardigans that told a persons life. This attracted The Robb Report, Hamptons Mag, Country America Mag, Butterick Magazine and The NY Times, Bergen Record and Star Ledger. Her designs have been featured in Harper’s Bizarre Mag as "Absolut® Thulin" and is in the Absolut Vodka Design Book. Barbara also designed art sweaters she called “Treasures with a Tale.” These sold in the Collections Department in Nordstrom’s and in high-end art galleries on the coast of New England. She received a first place blue ribbon for “Excellence of Craft Award” from The Montclair Craft Guild.
Her sails took a turn back to the Fashion Industry where she became a professional make-up artist, wardrobe stylist and costume designer for commercial print ads, movies, TV commercials, live events and music videos meeting a mind-blowing myriad of talented famous singers, actors, sports people, political people and authentic people. She adored modeling working with the top photographers and production houses around the world and playing with art supplies and fabric felt like a natural direction to take.
Having a wish to be a food stylist who attracted Fairytale Brownies and enjoyed food styling 50 catalogs for them earning an article in “Who’s in Charge” section of The Arizona Republic for her excellence in designing the props as well and making their brownies look absolutely delectable!
In 2004, with love bursting from her heart, Barbara, designed beds for her 5 cats which ignited a fire. A fire so strong that it burns even brighter today. She birthed Decadent Digs. "My heart swelled from seeing them sleep so happily on my pretty beds made with a myriad of fun fabrics! They looked like decorations on decorations! Her entire life since has been dedicated to the creation of from the heart, unique, extremely well-made, heirloom quality, fashion inspired things of beauty.
Oprah Winfrey, upon receiving one of her heart beds, exclaimed:” That’s the Prettiest Pet Bed I Have Ever Seen!” Countless people have said, “Your work is so beautiful!” One client said “Glad you are STILL MAKING the BEST PET BEDS EVER!!” Mike Ditka’s said, “Those are some nice looking pet beds.” Others have said, “Nobody’s pet beds come close to yours.”
Her work has been featured in Neiman Marcus, Scottsdale via trunk shows. Decadent Digs been featured nationally and internationally in places such as “The London Financial Times.. “Here I am a recluse doing my craft just pouring my heart into making the prettiest nicest things I can, bless them and release them..”
Forever an outside of the box thinker, she dreams of unusual pet canopy beds, houses, and beds incorporating beaded dresses, wedding gowns, and oil paintings. She is greatly inspired by the couture houses such as The House of Chanel, Louis Vuitton, Valentino, Balenciaga, and Dior. Like a mad scientist, Barbara loves clustering multiple trims with fabrics to design her unique art pet pampering things. She adores the creative freedom which the press has affectionately named her” The Pet Pamperer Extraordinaire” and “The Fabric Whisperer.”
Her mantra has always been "If it's worth doing its worth doing well." Every day Barbara strives to add extra value to everything she creates. She is grateful that many of her pieces are still being used today that she made over a decade ago. Most of her business is repeat customers who exclaim their joy and devotion to her. Her line of products consists of The Bodacious Bucket™ hat box style bed, Treasured Tuffet™ pillow style bed, Mobile Magnificence™ car seat bed, Kennel Couture™ covers and beds for crates and Stellar Stairs™ custom foam-covered pet steps. Everything is true custom made and made to order.
Barbara resides in Clarkdale, Arizona with her 3 black cats, 3 gold dogs and her awesome fiancé Michael Rasmussen. Her hobbies include sewing art pillows & mix media art pictures, painting visionary oil paintings, photographing clouds and creating refrigerator surprise dishes for her guy. Every Sunday she sings her heart out in the choir of Immaculate Conception, in Cottonwood, AZ. Her favorite magazines are “Where Women Create” and “Where Women Create Business. “ She is a beach bum at heart who adores the ocean and dreams of settling there someday.