PROVO, Utah – Equipped with his sewing machine, scissors and measuring tape, 32-year-old Nephi Garica goes to work each day making magical Disney-inspired costumes for clients around the world.
"It happened about a year ago. I took my daughter to Disneyland and made her an awesome Fairy Godmother dress," Garcia said.
The experience inspired Garcia to create more costumes for his family and establish a clothing business called "Designer Daddy." In just a year, the shop became a fairy tale factory, churning out creations for people of all ages.
"It's great. I'm booked out for a good couple years if I keep all of these clientele," he said.
Having a waiting list and steady income is nice, but Garcia said he does what he does because it brings his family together.
"When can a dad be at home, work at home, dress up with their kids and go anywhere they want, dressed up or not?" he said.
Sometimes, the Garcias dress up as a family and model their dad’s Disney designs.
Six-year-old Lily, who has about 100 costumes in her closet, is particularly fond of her dad’s transformation dresses, including one that changes from Belle’s blue and white dress to her yellow ball gown.
"It's sparkly, and it's cozy inside," she said.
Garcia, a Pangasinan native, credits his Filipino roots for his ability to sew.
"I remember my grandma teaching me how to use a sewing machine and then, when I was eleven, I made my own pillowcase and my pajamas and stuff. And now, I’ve found love and joy and passion through sewing and I just kept going."
It’s a designer dream come true, and Garcia plans to enjoy it one stitch at a time.
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