Devin VanderMaas takes her grandparents' love story to heart. Their journey is simple
and timeless: Married for 48 years, the successful entrepreneur and creative homemaker
have built their lives around what matters most — each other and their family.
The couple's century home in Burton was the family hub, and it's where VanderMaas
fell in love with sewing.
"I was 8 years old when my grandmother taught me how to sew," VanderMaas says. "She
taught me about aesthetics, matching fabrics and how material drapes. She's a perfectionist.
I grew up designing my own clothes."
Now VanderMaas is unveiling her Georgie & Elaine collection — named for her
grandparents whose youthful spirit and romance inspire the line of classic separates,
silky slips and feminine dresses.
"My grandparents' recipe for success has been their simplicity of life and integrity
of choices," she says. "They didn't overcomplicate their lives with material things."
Ethereal seasonal garments target the ambitious modern woman ages 28 to 38. Pure
silks, natural-blend cottons, crinkled chiffon and other natural fibers feel luxurious,
yet each basic piece is suited for the office.
Take the 2013 spring/summer collection's white Kristin Relaxed Blazer ($323), a
classic staple that supports professional attire with its three-quarter-length sleeves,
relaxed fit fabric and smart shoulder pads. A quick roll-up of the sleeves transforms
formal to flirty.
"My favorite piece is the light pink Rachel Blouse," VanderMaas says. "The yoke
of the blouse is hand-tucked, with a Peter Pan rounded collar. It's delicate and
VanderMaas conceptualizes each silhouette, color scheme and overall look at her
LaunchHouse studio in Shaker Heights and fashions the pieces using fabrics from
New York City's Garment District. Samples and patterns are sent to a production
facility in the Big Apple, where pieces are marked, grated, sewn and cut before
final production takes place.
"It's important that everything is made honestly and with integrity, just like my
grandparents," VanderMaas says. "It's very expensive to produce clothing in this
country — like 12 times what it costs in China — but I refuse to produce clothing
Look for an online fall collection of plums, black and rich jeweled tones inspired
by the 1920s, followed in spring with a 1950s vintage retro line melded with a contemporary
"I'm interested in selling clothes around a story," she says. "[The 1920s] is my
favorite era. America was booming. It represents excessive glamour and grandeur."
Rachel Blouse $258
Kristin Relaxed Blazer $323
Michelle Jersey Mini Dress $340
Arielle Lace Mini Skirt $212