As a youth, Suzi Jacobson remembers her family moving around quite a bit — from New York to California and back — a reality that brought her and her sister closer together.
They became each other’s best friends.
At the center of their relationship they shared a skill taught to them by their mother — the craft of sewing. As kids and teens they would spend time together, first sewing clothes for their dolls and then sewing clothes for themselves.
The sisters began to dream that they would open their own shop — one where they would sell dolls and their own hand-made sewn outfits for the dolls.
Over the years, while they remained the best of friends, professionally life took them in different directions. Jacobson moved to the Imperial Valley, her sister, Cathie Mercer, to Melissa, Texas.
Sewing remained a thread that kept them close. Each taught sewing in schools at times or sewed for clients, but the dream of the business was put aside … though never forgotten.
Today, Jacobson and her sister are business partners in a venture — or sewing adventure — they have named CatSoozie Creations. Together, they design, sew and market a line of dresses and outfits for girls, specifically toddler to elementary school-aged girls.
“It was a dream we had a long, long time ago,” says Jacobson, interviewed in her El Centro home, a rack of some of their creations — the cutest dresses and outfits with colorful designs, some inspired by Jacobson’s travels to areas such as Africa — close by. “We kept it alive. It’s like a flame you keep going minimally. You add a little to it and it becomes a fire.”
Anyone who knows Jacobson — and plenty in the community do, from her years as pastor of the First United Methodist Church in El Centro, to her founding and involvement with the Valley’s Interfaith Council to her teaching at Imperial Valley College — knows she devotes herself fully to her work.
That holds true for the business venture.
“This is truly about following our passion,” she confesses, “and it’s also about empowering other women.”
Read more about Suzi Jacobson in the September/October 2011 edition of Valley Women Magazine in print or our online E-Edition.
Suzi Jacobson: Former Minister, Now Designer