Mom creates her own Pixie Dust to fill children's decor void

ORLANDO — When Stacy McCallum of Winter Park discovered The Bumper Book at her grandmother's house, she was charmed by the children's stories and verses — but even more by the illustrations.

"They weren't overly sweet. I loved the clean lines, and the colors were beautiful," McCallum says.

She framed several pages torn from the book and hung them in her daughter Charlotte's nursery. Then she searched in vain for complementary fabrics for curtains and pillows.

"There were plenty of children's fabrics with a vintage feel, but I wanted vintage with a little edge," she says.

She decided to design her own. The result is Pixie Dust Decor, an upscale collection of children's bedding, floor pillows, aprons, bibs and burp cloths in silky-soft cotton poplin. Prices range from $14 for bibs to $384 for crib sets.

That was three years ago, when McCallum lived in Southern California. Six months ago, she moved with her husband and daughters, Charlotte, 6, and Paige, 2, to Winter Park.

Because her business is done almost entirely online, the move was easy.

"It's all very virtual. I work with two artists to fine-tune my designs, but I've never met them," she says.

Getting started was challenging. "It's probably good I didn't know how difficult it would be, or I may never have done this. But a series of happy accidents helped it happen."

Among the happiest: She got guidance from a colleague who had studied textile design. And she lived just 25 minutes from one of the few fabric printers in the country that does short runs of fabric.

"That allowed me to be more flexible and try a lot of designs without having to order huge amounts of fabric," she explains.

Her designs are "sophisticated but with a childlike feel — playfully chic."

Her inspiration comes from vintage picture books and magazines, "but also modern things that are special and different."

A visit to a Japanese tea garden in San Francisco inspired her most popular collection, Pixie Pagoda, which features moon bridges, birds and cherry blossoms in shades of melon, aqua and lime.

The yard goods and decor items are sold online at pixiedustdecor.com, in interior-design studios and at specialty boutiques such as Chloe Lane in Winter Park.

The Pixie Dust line is a favorite of new moms and grandmothers, says Rosie Kiernan, the boutique's co-owner. "The designs combine tradition with fashion. And the fabrics are super-soft."

And for the first time this spring, Pixie Dust fabrics are being used by designer Wendy Benincase, whose children's styles are sold exclusively at pippersamerica.com.

McCallum's designs "are truly unique and sweet, and I love her color palette," Benincase says. "I have a clientele who know what they like and voice it. They have all absolutely fallen in love with Stacy's fabrics."

Next on McCallum's agenda?

"My dream is to do wallpaper."

Mom creates her own Pixie Dust to fill children's decor void 05/08/09 [Last modified: Friday, May 8, 2009 4:30am]

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