For Donna Salyers, founder of Donna Salyers’ Fabulous-Furs, fur and fashion are in her blood. “Even at the age of seven, I was compelled to sew clothes that my mother actually let me wear in public.” Growing up, she learned the technical side of sewing from a grandmother who worked in alterations in Cincinnati’s finest stores.
Salyers ended up in New York with a national TV show all about sewing and fashion. It’s there that she noticed something missing from her wardrobe. You guessed it: fur. Not having the funds to purchase a genuine fur, Salyers made her own faux fox coat. “People stopped me on the street to comment about my ‘beautiful fur,'” she recalls. “It was music to my ears, opening my eyes to the fact that faux fur could be truly beautify.”
Later, as Salyers was on her way to buy her first real fur, she was listening to a radio show that happened to be about the down sides of the fur industry. Instead of going through with her purchase, Salyers was instead inspired to make faux fabulous. “Selling a faux fur coat sewing kit seemed a logical next step,” she says.
The rest, as they say, is history. “It’s truly an ‘only-in-America’ success story,” she says. Her business is now 25 years in the making, is receiving international acclaim and has been featured in publications ranging from Sports Illustrated swimsuit edition to Oprah Magazine. In fact, a Donna Salyers’ Fabulous-Furs coat just appeared in Oprah’s List of Favorite Things this month.
The business has also been featured on ShopHQ for the past three years. “ShopHQ reaches 87 million homes via cable and satellite and opens doors to an enormous new customer base for Donna Salyers’ Fabulous-Furs,” Salyers explains. “I’m thrilled to be our spokesperson and actually just returned from Minneapolis where our products were featured on the air for 23 hours in a 27-hour period. My husband says that might be considered over-exposure but I disagree. Partnering with the third largest shopping channel in the country has been a wonderful thing for the past three years and our relationship with ShopHQ will be even more fabulous in 2015.”
Although she’s been at it for decades, Salyers’ business is growing at an unprecedented rate this year. “So many new things I can’t count,” she laughs. “We must have 200 new designs well underway for Fall/Winter 2015. It’s a very exciting time because our merchandise team has never been stronger and our products are reaching an awesome new level. After every collection, angst over how we’ll ever top ourselves sets in. I’m awed and truly inspired by what our team has in store for the coming year!”
Salyers says her team strives to stay on-trend each year, and this year is no exception. “Mixing textures like our Tibetan Lamb mixed with textured rabbit is a great example of mixed media,” she says. “Moto jackets aren’t new but are stronger than ever. And our fur-trimmed tam and scarf are another example of mixing fur, texture and metallics.”