About Me image

About Me

A bit about me. I find myself in Sterling, Kansas — again. I was born in the hospital here, but grew up on a farm near Sylvia and Zenith, Kansas. When my farmer father became deathly ill, we moved to Sterling, Kansas, where my mother Carol Gene Brownlee had a teaching position at Sterling College. I attended Sterling Public Schools from 6th – 12th grades, and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree from Sterling College in 1976 with a major in Home Economics and certification for Home Economics Secondary Education. By 1977 I had a Master’s Degree in General Home Economics from Kansas State University.

I had the joy of working as a seamstress for the Fabrications fashion designer in Honolulu for several months. I spent the next two years as the Country Extension Home Economist in Brown County, in Hiawatha, Kansas. For a couple of years I worked in Alumni and Development for Sterling College. I then pursued an MFA in Theatre Costume Design from the University Of Michigan in Ann Arbor. One semester in, I was a victim in a car accident that left me with a permanent headache and injuries to my neck and lower back. It could have been worse. I feel blessed that I can walk and talk, but in the years immediately after the accident my brain didn’t work very well. I was at U of M for another year and a half, but my adviser suggested I not go into my thesis year until my body and mind was stronger. So I have between a Master’s and an MFA in course work for this area, but no degree.

I accepted the position of Costume Shop Supervisor at the University of Maryland, College Park, and did that for one year before doing the same job at Southern Methodist University in Dallas. From there I worked for fashion designer Sharon Young in Dallas. I was then offered the position of instructor and Home Economics department head at Sterling College, which I did for about 5 years. I worked for about a year for JACAM Chemical in Sterling, Kansas, before getting married to a US Navy officer and moving to Fargo, North Dakota, for a year, then to Wichita, Kansas, for two years, before returning to Sterling.

Along the way, I have amassed a huge collection of vintage clothing and all that goes with doing costumes for theatre — so I have hundreds of thousands of sewing patterns, buttons, zippers, pieces of fabric and trims, as well as accessories including shoes, hats, parasols, gloves, aprons, ties, jewelry, eye glasses, and so much more. In addition, I have been the recipient of book and record collections from family members and seek out other items I find interesting or of possible value to others. I offer my items online. I don’t have a storefront presence at this time.

I also sell items on eBay and Amazon (but I am NOT connected to Donna’s General Store on Amazon — that store is run by another Donna). Feel free to check my feedback and items on these sites. I also have a FaceBook page which provides the current cart-discount Coupon Code.

My corporate sponsorship includes the Foods Department of the Kansas State Fair and the Sterling College Theatre Arts program.

Any questions? Feel free to contact me!