ABOUT LIMEBARB AND LIMEBARBCOSPLAY
The limebarbcosplay HQ is situated in Chicago, Illinois. And yes, that’s IN the city, not a suburb, people. It is in Lincoln Square, a mostly Greek/Korean neighborhood that is Chicago’s mecca of rich hippies, i.e. lots of overpriced natural food and clothing stores. It’s kind of cool, but we wouldn’t know because we spend all of our time sewings. The studio is Barb’s apartment, which consists of her bedroom/office, and the rest of the apartment (2 large main rooms) is dedicated sewing: one-room houses her four machines and props supplies, and the other contains nothing but bolts of fabrics, wigs, dress forms, and patterns. Barb’s life is 100% sewing, and if you saw her workspace/apartment, you would realize that the seamstress aspect is inescapable in every given square foot of her place. There are paintbrushes mixed in with her dishes in the sink. There are faceless wig heads on overhead shelves bordering a room. Guests have inexplicably found bobbins and pins in the most random places. Sewing is her life. How did it get this way?
Back in 1999, limebarbcosplay.com was Barb’s art website, where she showcased and sold her original comics created with Umbrella Studios. She had a tiny little section where she sold her handmade loose schoolgirl socks because she liked the look and was disappointed when she couldn’t find any online, not even through import stores. (Well, she did order a pair once, but they were not “loose”. >_<) Eventually, the socks were making her more money than selling her comics were. She had been cosplaying since high school, and she posted some pictures of costumes that she made for herself and friends on limebarbcosplay.com. People began emailing her asking if she took commissions, and she decided to give it a go.
In 2001, Barb was a freshman at Columbia College Chicago for illustration. She juggled school assignments and sewing for her site, and eventually, her love of sewing won out and she switched her major to fashion design, so she could make more complex costumes for her growing customer base. By early 2004, she had completed over 400 orders in 3 short years and began to realize that she could possibly work full time at making costumes. She decided to put school on hold, reasoning that she could always go back to school, but why not follow the dream that was giving her a chance? She recently moved to her own apartment to have a larger workspace. She currently employs 4 people part-time, and pays them in money and/or costumes. Barb literally has no free time and works 7 days a week, sunup to sundown and most of the time even more. Needless to say, she is reclusive and has no social life, except for the occasional convention when time permits. But she chooses this life because she loves sewing, has the drive and passion for making costumes, and dreams of expanding her business.