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Jan Rhodes Norman's Profile

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Once a Performer, Always a Performer: Child Star Turns Designer

How does a woman who began her professional life as a child star make the transition from performer to clothing designer? Simply by inventing clothes that "perform," engaging a wide and enthusiastic audience.

As a kid, I started my career at the age of 3. I cavorted on TV's Ed Sullivan Show, among others, and later moved on to wow 'em at the Continental Baths and in Los Angeles and New York nightclubs. I retired from the "biz" at the ripe old age of 18 to get married, start a family, raise six children, run a restaurant and , ultimately, to open several specialty shops catering to children and their doting parents and grandparents.

Silk Oak, my line of ultra-casual, cotton knit, hand silkscreened clothes for men, women, and children was a natural…

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  • Female
  • Born on January 23
  • Joined February 3, 2008

Favorite materials

Fabric yarn paper colored pencils blank books beads crayon color paint chips

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  • silkoak
    Silk Oak, Handmade with Love in Ithaca...

About

Once a Performer, Always a Performer: Child Star Turns Designer

How does a woman who began her professional life as a child star make the transition from performer to clothing designer? Simply by inventing clothes that "perform," engaging a wide and enthusiastic audience.

As a kid, I started my career at the age of 3. I cavorted on TV's Ed Sullivan Show, among others, and later moved on to wow 'em at the Continental Baths and in Los Angeles and New York nightclubs. I retired from the "biz" at the ripe old age of 18 to get married, start a family, raise six children, run a restaurant and , ultimately, to open several specialty shops catering to children and their doting parents and grandparents.

Silk Oak, my line of ultra-casual, cotton knit, hand silkscreened clothes for men, women, and children was a natural outgrowth of my previous lines of work. The clothes communicate with an audience as any good performer would, grabbing attention at first sight. They draw both adults and kids with their broad images of forest and farm animals, fruits in the field, and of vegetables, too. The colors range from bright to brighter, in sizes from newborn to extra-large. Happily, their popularity seems universal.

While new designs continue to emerge each season, it is the tried and true, beloved, vintage designs that keep customers coming back to get the same prints for their new babies that they remember loving when they were small. Truly my favorite part of Silk Oak!

The philosophy behind Silk Oak is a simple one- Have fun creating the best designs we can while growing a business that nurtures our families, strengthens our community and works everyday to show respect and care for the earth.

Silk Oak- Celebrating life since 1977!

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