A perfect fit for those with Down syndrome
Downs Designs makes clothes tailored to fit people with Down syndrome.
December 11th, 2011
06:00 AM ET

A perfect fit for those with Down syndrome

By Stephanie Siek, CNN

(CNN) - Karen Bowersox doesn’t sleep much these days. Launching any self-funded clothing line would be exhausting enough, but Bowersox’s company, Downs Designs, created an entirely different system of sizing.

Its T-shirts and jeans meet the needs of people with Down syndrome.

“If I didn’t feel so sure of where we’re headed, I would never do this and risk what we have,” Bowersox said from a hotel room in Xintang, China, where she had been working with a jeans manufacturer. “I feel like a pit bull, because people better step aside and just let me get this job done.”

Bowersox created her company in 2010 to deal with a mundane yet agonizing problem – off-the-rack clothing would not fit her granddaughter, Maggie, who has Down syndrome.

Down syndrome’s best-known symptoms are those of intellectual impairment and facial differences – eyes that slant upwards, small mouths, and small, flat noses. But individuals with Down syndrome also have physical traits that make it difficult to find clothing that fits appropriately.

The condition is associated with poor muscle tone, which can make some body parts, like bellies, seem droopy. People with Down syndrome also tend to have thicker limbs, a short, thick neck, and short stature. Their knees and elbows are at slightly different points on their legs and arms. An underactive thyroid is common, and that can cause weight gain. Additionally, many children and adults with Down syndrome are sensitive to tight or restrictive clothing, especially around the waist or neckline.

This can make wearing ordinary clothes uncomfortable, and there are safety risks in tripping over pant legs that are too long or that don’t bend properly at the knee.

Bowersox said most people underestimate the effect that having badly-fitting clothes can have on the perception – and self-esteem – of a person with Down syndrome.

“Their entire life, this is one of their biggest challenges, and people do not know that,” Bowersox said. “They are forced to wear ill-fitting clothes that make their difference look even more pronounced. When they put on a shirt that fits, it takes away that difference.”

Julie Cevallos, vice president of marketing at the National Down Syndrome Society, said she’s been following the company’s progress on Facebook. Her 3-year-old daughter has Down syndrome, and her favorite outfits are stretchy leggings and loose tunics forgiving to most body types. But she said she’s glad to see Bowersox’s company taking the initiative.

“It seems like she is really filling a need that I haven’t seen anyone else filling, so I think it’s great,” Cevallos said.

Downs Designs now sells a line of women’s long-sleeved T-shirts and four styles of women’s jeans. Children's jeans and T-shirts are going into production. The company’s designers have drawn up designs for long- and short-sleeved t-shirts, blouses, khakis, jeans and coordinates for toddlers, kids, teens and adults. Bowersox said they hope to have the men’s jeans ready to sell by February, and hopes to introduce other items, especially khakis, in 2012.

The shop is starting to attract devoted customers.

"I've been getting lots of orders for the women's jeans.  I just had a woman order her fifth pair. She loves them," Bowersox said. "It brings me to my knees, when someone feels good about how they look."

Bowersox's devotion to that idea is why she keeps going, despite exhaustion, mangled pattern samples, and setback after setback. She's using her house and husband's business as collateral for money that keeps the business running.

“I can’t accomplish this fast enough. I want a complete line in my lifetime. I want suits. I want prom dresses,” Bowersox said. “They just want to look like every other kid.”

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Filed under: Disabilities • How we look
soundoff (125 Responses)
  1. Mary S.

    My son was one of Karen's models and I can assure you that she tried very hard to find someone in the United States to manufacture her merchandise. As for hiring workers with Down Syndrome,she has hired them and will most likely hire more when her business picks up. She is doing a wonderful service for the DS community and should be commended.

    December 31, 2011 at 7:19 pm | Report abuse |
  2. shazaam

    I think it is a great idea.....so maybe she has to start off in China because they are the only ones that would undertake this venture. But maybe when the business grows she can move the company to America and train special needs children to help. The point is that Mrs. Bowersox had an idea and she is following through with it. So quit bashing her and get a life people. She didn't say you had to buy her product. She's just giving the people who want to buy it an opportunity to do so.....

    December 28, 2011 at 1:04 am | Report abuse |
  3. sumday

    If you had passed high school history you would have known the South didn't want to be part of the federal government- it was the North who were aggressive and attacked the South and forced them to be part of the federal government. I bet even today given the chance the South would love to leave your federal government and I'm betting they could do a better job at enforcing legal laws (immigration) than the current or previouse federal governments have done.

    December 23, 2011 at 9:17 am | Report abuse |
  4. A

    Great idea, but I think it would be made even better if the items were made in the U.S. and if the company trained and hired those with Down syndrome to help manufacture the clothing. In effect, giving a hand up to those affected by Down syndrome.

    December 20, 2011 at 1:39 am | Report abuse |
    • areyoukidding

      Are you actually suggesting that in order to produce clothing for her clothing line, she should start her own manufacturing company? Why not let her build her business here, hire Americans here and hire people with Down syndrome to work for her in that way. The idea of starting her own factory to produce clothes is absolutely ridiculous. Why don't you read her story on her website and find out why she is having jeans manufactured in China. People are so quick to judge before they know the whole story. It sounds to me like she will be creating American jobs and providing a well-needed service selling affordable clothing to very special people.

      December 20, 2011 at 4:48 am | Report abuse |
    • student

      The problem is that that going all American would drastically increase costs. Think American Apparel. Most people with Downs Syndrome live on a very fixed income and their family don't have a lot of money. I am sure she intends to hire people with Downs syndrome to help run the business end of things state side, like sorting and distribution. Setting up a new whole manufacturing business would be much more difficult and costly as others mentioned. Plus, aren't there disabled people in China?

      I think this is a great idea!

      December 20, 2011 at 5:15 pm | Report abuse |
      • anon

        The amount I spend on Chinese shoes that constantly wear out over the course of a year equals or exceeds the price of ONE pair of shoes that DOESN'T wear out. I've also noticed this about clothing made in China.

        But hey, you have a point. Pay more for clothing, or pay for the cheap Chinese stuff along with a side order of lead poisoning for my kid who already has ENOUGH problems. What to do???????

        December 21, 2011 at 2:26 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Tewrobert

    Poor jauggernut or what ever your name was........Poof your gone LOL

    December 17, 2011 at 9:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • jakedog

      brother of donkey

      December 19, 2011 at 4:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • grammarplease

      Please at least use the correct form of "your" - which is "you're" in this case. People take you a lot more seriously when you appear to have a brain.

      December 26, 2011 at 10:07 am | Report abuse |
  6. Tewrobert

    U think we are just going to lay down for you? LOSER!!

    December 17, 2011 at 9:01 pm | Report abuse |
  7. gaming

    I am and live what you teach!I have a massive Humanitarian project, which I am about to execute, (and have been perfecting for 5 years now), to and for the planet and mankind.This program would feed me the right spiritual food for the perfect development and manifestation needed to give birth to this project. As well, those involved would benefit to the highest possible dimensional performances, that would result in a very powerful effectual and global event, which would last for all the many generations which lay ahead.Basically, my need for this prize, is for the current and future generations, and the possible peace to be soon globally manifested!Regardless of winning this prize or not, I am still going to invest in all that you have.I know this works, as this communicates directly to the spirit and above!!!

    December 16, 2011 at 6:40 am | Report abuse |
  8. NSC Los Angeles

    What a great company! Keep up the great work! Folks with Downs need to look sharp too.

    December 15, 2011 at 7:57 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Paris Htlon

    Charity starts in our hearts. Join me in this noble cause. Save women and Children dying to have water http://goo.gl/9s6Gr

    December 15, 2011 at 6:22 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Dr.Fritz

    Reading the description of people with Downs Syndrome reminded me that many other people have these characteristics too. The person who has this business may be surprised that many of her customer are – so called – "normal" people. And by the way, many people with Downs are as intelligent, or more intelligent, than some – so called – "normal" people. So much for stereotypes.

    December 15, 2011 at 4:06 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Mom in NC

    Goodness, it does not matter where the clothing is made, China, Brazil, the moon? Who cares. The bottom line is the downs syndrome individuals will finally have precisely what they need for clothing. The end justifies the means.

    December 13, 2011 at 10:22 am | Report abuse |
    • Lee Bruns

      "who cares"
      "The end justifies the means"
      Two sentences at the root of a lot of evil in history.
      People in the US who want to feed their families care, and no, the end does not always justify the means.

      December 13, 2011 at 1:17 pm | Report abuse |
      • jakedog

        you are an donkey.

        December 19, 2011 at 4:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • dirtydog1776

      Hitler, Stalin, Mao Tse Tung and Mussolini all said the same thing. You are in good company.

      December 15, 2011 at 9:16 am | Report abuse |
      • Catherine

        Seriously? This is a great article about someone who is doing something positive for the world. Get over yourself.

        December 15, 2011 at 4:55 pm | Report abuse |
      • Matt

        Godwin's law

        December 16, 2011 at 6:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • -_-

      I think the other two responders are missing the point...people with down syndrome will finally be able to have clothes that meet their needs.

      December 15, 2011 at 4:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • toxictown

      I does matter. While this is a great and noble venture, any American doing business in China needs to do some extra work in policing the conditions under which thier "affordable" items are made. No, I do not think everything that comes out of China is automatically evil but there has to be a lot of due dilligence to ensure that workers are not slaves – including the ones with Down Syndrome.

      December 21, 2011 at 1:22 pm | Report abuse |
      • doalittlehomework

        Before you make comments, do a little homework. I have read about the woman's story on her website and she's actually been there several times to make sure that what you are saying isn't true. She's done her homework! It sounds like she has spent a lot of time and money researching and developing what she is doing.

        December 22, 2011 at 4:03 am | Report abuse |
  12. Marilyn

    I am thrilled to hear of this–my daughter is almost 50 and I would love to have had clothes that fit in the past. Her sweat shirts would hang down below her stomach, and when you cut off the pants and hemmed them, the knee just didn't look just right, so I know what Ms. Bowersox is talking about. I wish the whole world could live in harmony and our goals would be to help and love each other.

    December 12, 2011 at 4:47 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Mom of amazing daughter

    I have a daughter who is about to turn 13. She is the love of my life and the most amazing thing I have ever done in my life... oh yeah and she happens to have Down syndrome. I am very excited about this new company and wish them all the success in the world. It will be very nice to have somewhere to turn for clothing for her. My you find years of success in your business, and hopefully an Amaerican company will think of people before profits and offer to assist you in reaching your goals!

    December 12, 2011 at 1:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • Lee Bruns

      it would be unfair to assume that there are no companies in the US that are willing to make the product for her.
      She says that she was unable to find a US vendor, but that does not mean that none exist, only that she was unable to find one.
      Its unfortunate that everyone is so quick to throw all US manufacturers under the bus.

      December 12, 2011 at 6:31 pm | Report abuse |
      • Ohsotired

        @ Lee Bruns
        Chances are the cost of producing these garments would have been so costly in the US that the line would not have become a reality. Face it – people are used to Walmart pricing and can't grasp the fact that to keep manufacturing jobs in the US they have to be willing to pay more to support those industries and their workers. Sad but true.

        December 12, 2011 at 9:20 pm | Report abuse |
      • Lee Bruns

        WE can and do make clothing right here in the US and retail it for less than the imported brands that we compete against.

        December 12, 2011 at 9:42 pm | Report abuse |
      • Ohsotired

        Please explain why any clothing I purchase that is made in the US is more expensive than those made off shore? Why do US companies insist that it is costs to manufacture in the US that is driving them overseas? I am fortunate that I can afford clothing now that I could not afford when I had a house full of children – others are not as fortunate.

        December 13, 2011 at 12:14 am | Report abuse |
      • Lee Bruns

        First we need to eliminate "All" and "Never" and "Can't" from the discussion. We're not working with absolutes. A lot of this is a matter of perspective.
        Environmental protection laws in the US are much more stringent in both their wording and application than most second and third world countries. Labor laws and wages are equally low in second and third world countries. IF the US manufacturers want to compete on price alone then they need to rethink the supply chain and retail business model. By eliminating warehouses full of inventory (Dead money), and multi-tiered distribution channels we've been able to put our product in the hands of the end buyers at a lower price than the imported Carhartt, Walls or other imported brands. By using the internet to market directly to consumers we can eliminate many of the traditional costs. We can also "floor-plan" products directly onto the sales floor of retail outlets. This allows the retailer to sell our product without having to tie up their money. Lastly we custom make most 'product' to order. This eliminates dead inventory dollars and allows the customer to get the product that fits THEM. Longer or shorter arms, taller or shorter body, larger neck openings, lining optons, collar options, snaps zippers, pockets etc.
        My point is, it can be done. Please don't write off American manufacturers completely. The products are out there, and cometatively prices, just not as easy to find yet but things are changing fast. The American consumer is making it clear that they are growing weary of jobs and pollution being shipped to other countries. I expect import tarrifs on the offending countres may be on the horizon. American cunsumer demand is fueling the rise of American manufacturing but not in the traditional business model.

        December 13, 2011 at 7:25 am | Report abuse |
      • jakedog

        Lee where do we make clothes that are of equivalent quality and design that are as cheap as simialr from other lower cost countries. Just the cheap labor under cuts our ability.

        December 19, 2011 at 4:40 pm | Report abuse |
      • Lee Bruns

        Jakedog, your question is a bit oddly worded. I'll try to answer based on what I think you're trying to ask.
        MY company is based in Watertown SD. We use American materials and Adult American Labor. We follow all American labor and environmental laws. We eliminated many layers of mark up and make each item to order. By eliminating dead inventory we are able to keep costs down, and by selling direct to the customer we are able to beat the prices of the imported products.

        December 19, 2011 at 6:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kristen

      "an Amaerican [sic]company will think of people before profits"

      Don't most people go into business to make money? I'm fairly certain that if Ms Bowersox didn't think her clothing line would be profitable she would not have started it.

      Where do you shop? Have you looked inside the labels of the clothing you pick up at the MegaLowMart and considered you might be part of the problem American companies can not compete with manufactures overseas?

      Anyway, what a wonderful concept! I wish Ms Bowersox much success!

      December 12, 2011 at 11:41 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Rhonda

    HOW AMAZING ARE YOU!!! Keep it up!!

    December 12, 2011 at 11:38 am | Report abuse |
  15. Cate D

    A phenomenal initiative...all my best on the success of this company. The mission is truly in the spirit of this season – providing goodwill and joy to people who deserve it! To continue the spirit of Thanksgiving – thank you for both this article to spread the word and to Karen for establishing her company. We look forward to buying our sister nice things!!

    December 12, 2011 at 10:36 am | Report abuse |
  16. Judy

    Hope great sucess for this company. My sister had down syndrom and was very hard to find clothes to fit her. If only they could be made here, but this is a great idea. Much sucess and thanks to company.

    December 11, 2011 at 6:41 pm | Report abuse |
  17. Ohshutup

    The reason Mrs. Bowersox has a company in China making the clothes is because a lot of clothing companies did not want to take on a task of creating clothes for sizes that don't exist. So for those of you who are overly pro american (i'm an active duty military member so I am about as pro-american as you can get), talk to your local clothing makers and tell them to start changing their production templates to accommodate these special sizes. So don't judge her as anti American, she is very "American" in that she supports the diversity of great people we have in this country.

    December 11, 2011 at 6:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • Cate

      Thank you for your comments, and for your service.

      December 12, 2011 at 3:34 am | Report abuse |
    • DC603

      Well put, and very good point.

      This is not a huge market; American companies aren't going to jump on this because there's not a huge profit to be made from it. And that's okay; I wouldn't expect them to do this out of the goodness of their hearts – they have businesses to run.

      But if another business can help her, then by all means.

      December 12, 2011 at 9:16 am | Report abuse |

    How about having something MADE IN AMERICA?????? So it cost a little more to the consumer...STOP HELPING THE CHINESE! BUY AND SELL USA!!!!!! I cannot believe you people. I hope they do well, but what do we have to do to get these people to stop sending jobs over seas when you expect Americans to buy the product!!!

    December 11, 2011 at 6:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ohshutup

      The "Chinese" were the only ones willing to take on the project. Looks like Levi's and Wranglers only caters to toothpicked legged cowboys (like my husband).

      December 11, 2011 at 6:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kathy G

      I hope you saw Ohshutup's response. Karen TRIED HARD to get an American company to do it and none would take it on. So sad. I wish an American company had the guts to try something new. It's almost as if we've lost our "frontier spirit". There is a market–there are over 400,000 Americans alone with Down syndrome and almost 6 million across the world. This clothing line will have a global market. American companies should be kicking themselves for not taking this on.

      December 11, 2011 at 7:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • Cate

      Learn some things about what she has done before you post as a know-it-all.

      December 12, 2011 at 3:31 am | Report abuse |
    • BillyBob

      To the person who asked why these cloths arn't made in America. Well Corporate America would love to produce this stuff here, only if Americans are willing to send their children or themselves to work in sweatshops for 2.50 hr.

      December 15, 2011 at 6:03 pm | Report abuse |
  19. Enoch100

    One can only hope that this company makes it big. Great story.

    December 11, 2011 at 6:24 pm | Report abuse |
  20. jake

    Expensive jeans made in China. Oh that deserves a write up on CNN. Now the sweat shops in China can make clothes for disabled Americans. That's so much better than buying off the rack and paying a local taylor to alter them. Downs Designs jeans are $90 on sale for $60 and their still jeans made in China.

    December 11, 2011 at 6:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • getinformed

      Hey Jake..try getting informed. First of all, Downs Designs jeans do not sell for $90. And if you had a clue and knew anything about people with Down syndrome, you can't just take a pair of pants or a shirt and have a tailor alter them! If that was all it took, that is what all of us who have people with Down syndrome in our lives would do. They are born with shorter femur (that is a leg bone) and humerus (arm bone) and they also typically have longer torsos. So, it just isn't an issue of shorter pants..the entire dimension of pants and shirts need to be altered. Get a clue about what you are talking about and then make an informed comment.

      December 12, 2011 at 11:42 am | Report abuse |
    • jj42

      The jeans are not $90. Not sure were your getting your info from .

      December 12, 2011 at 12:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • You have no clue

      Jake, you seriously need to learn when to keep your mouth shut. Ignorance does not excuse your comment.

      December 12, 2011 at 1:46 pm | Report abuse |
  21. Beej


    December 11, 2011 at 6:13 pm | Report abuse |
  22. Personally

    This is America. Looking out for the truly handicapped and disadvantaged. It should be a blessing and honor to care these children and they should be the "people" that should be catered to – not anchor babies or illegals. They are so precious and innocent, smart and usually very personable and funny. Standing ovation for this idea.

    December 11, 2011 at 6:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • WhyOhWhy?

      Why pull the immigration card in this scenario? Totally out of place!!

      December 11, 2011 at 6:13 pm | Report abuse |
      • Joe

        That's right, illegal and anchor babies are innocent.

        December 11, 2011 at 6:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jeepers

      Wow. You were saying such nice things. And then...hate talk. : ( Sad.

      December 11, 2011 at 6:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • Liberty

      This one goes to Personally. Oh! great let's take the opportunity to single other members of society out (immigrants in this case) and get all the racism and hatred out, because that is what we need to make of this world a better one. that is how nazism happened! For people like you this world cannot advance. And yes! we need more people like Karen Bowersox and put an end to discrimination, that means discrimination of disabilities, race, color, religion and gender.

      December 11, 2011 at 6:23 pm | Report abuse |
  23. Rita Corbett

    Awesome - that is great!!!! I've been looking for you!

    December 11, 2011 at 5:57 pm | Report abuse |
  24. Noel

    best of luck to this company!

    December 11, 2011 at 5:52 pm | Report abuse |
  25. scientificpoetry

    Good for Karen Bowersox. She should be commended for helping bring happiness to those with Down Syndrome. Its difficult enough for those with Down Syndrome to navigate through life. Having proper fitting clothes will make the journey that much easier.

    December 11, 2011 at 5:39 pm | Report abuse |
  26. Wyatt

    This is great news to have on a news network rather than all the scandalous bad news it always has.

    December 11, 2011 at 5:27 pm | Report abuse |
  27. Ale

    Beautiful idea! Definitely focused in the user needs. Good luck!

    December 11, 2011 at 5:17 pm | Report abuse |
  28. jon

    What a fantastic idea! Kudos to you! I wish you nothing but success!!!

    December 11, 2011 at 5:01 pm | Report abuse |
  29. racer x

    Look, this is a story about clothing for people with Down Syndrome, not a debate on how much welfare American low-skilled workers deserve.

    December 11, 2011 at 5:00 pm | Report abuse |
  30. Proud

    This is truly great. Good for you to take on this project for such a wonderful cause.

    December 11, 2011 at 4:59 pm | Report abuse |
  31. musings

    The age of well-fitting clothing for everyone is just on the horizon, due to computer aided design. I'm happy this woman feels it is her mission to fit people with Down syndrome, many of whom I have met, and who are going to be very pleased with this kind of recognition.

    December 11, 2011 at 4:57 pm | Report abuse |
  32. Jaye

    What a beautiful and PERFECT idea!! I love this idea and glad someone has the know how to go forward with it.

    December 11, 2011 at 4:44 pm | Report abuse |
  33. Scoop

    Amazing combination of business sense and altruism.

    December 11, 2011 at 4:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • jon

      Putting the two together helps to ensure that this continues for a long time. I wish her business nothing but success. It sounds like a great business model, a great bunch of clients, a fantastic niche market and a great cause.

      December 11, 2011 at 5:05 pm | Report abuse |
  34. Lee Bruns

    Whta a great idea. Thanks for giving this company the positive attention they deserve.

    December 11, 2011 at 4:34 pm | Report abuse |
  35. racer x

    Anyway, this is a great article, and it's nice to see these people treated with the dignity they deserve.

    December 11, 2011 at 4:32 pm | Report abuse |
  36. steve

    Of you. Hopefully.

    December 11, 2011 at 4:20 pm | Report abuse |
  37. SKZahnen

    That's very noble of you and all...but why aren't you using American companies?? Just more crap coming from China.

    December 11, 2011 at 4:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • The Solution

      Probably because she can't afford to pay union wages in the textile industry...so it's either produce them in China, or don't produce them at all.

      December 11, 2011 at 4:18 pm | Report abuse |
      • Lee Bruns

        I own a clothing company here in the US. We pay 12 dollars per hour. Is that too much?

        December 11, 2011 at 4:31 pm | Report abuse |
      • racer x

        Lee Bruns: It's not just the wages, it's the taxes, workers comp, and regulations that make China more attractive. Libs create a hostile enviroment for businesses, then whine when these businesses move their manufacturing overseas. You live in a fantasy world.

        December 11, 2011 at 4:37 pm | Report abuse |
      • Lee Bruns

        fantasy? what fantasy? I own a garment company here in the US. We product clothing using American materials with adult American labor. I'm very aware of the costs above and beyond wages of producing clothing in the United States. And what are your qualifications?

        March 29, 2012 at 1:13 pm | Report abuse |
      • Daniel

        @racerx: you and conservatives seem to think the solution is that we should have the quality of life of the Chinese so that companies can afford to do business here. No thank you.

        December 11, 2011 at 5:02 pm | Report abuse |
      • Lee Bruns

        racer X must have missed the first few words of my post. I own a clothing company. I'm very familiar with what it costs to make clothing in the US. We're doing just fine. Orders increasing every month. And we employ adult Americans, not Chinese children.

        December 11, 2011 at 5:05 pm | Report abuse |
      • Geez

        Daniel, is that really the conservative frame of mind? I find it hilarious that people feel they can just randomly plug in their hated political party of choice and think that proves a point... Tomorrow, I bet youll be on here complaining that the Conservatives dont bring more jobs here, paying their employees Chinese wages.

        December 11, 2011 at 5:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • Michael E

      No good deed goes unpunished by the self-righteous.

      December 11, 2011 at 4:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • Queen

      Michael E is correct! Nothing like finding an up-beat story and tearing it down. I am sure all the other jeans in America are made in China.

      December 11, 2011 at 4:30 pm | Report abuse |
      • RonnieReagan

        Queen – WRONG. Texas Jeans are Made in the USA of american materials. I just bought about 6 pair for myself and 1 for each of my nephews for Christmas. Just google for them.

        December 11, 2011 at 4:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • RonnieReagan

      Exactly – as the father of a special needs child (though not Downs – actually something much more debilitating not that it matters for this purposes), I can appreciate this article, but as an American I have no appreciation for doing an interview from China because you're setting up shop with the COMMIES. There are plenty of US manufacturers manufacturing stateside – American Apparel, Texas Jeans USA, and Joseph Abboud.

      December 11, 2011 at 4:43 pm | Report abuse |
      • Daniel

        Complaining about COMMIES (the bogie man is coming for you!) makes you look like a throwback to the 1950s.

        December 11, 2011 at 5:03 pm | Report abuse |
      • jon

        Calling the Chinese Communists in 2011 would be like calling the Pope Jewish. You haven't been there so you don't know what you're talking about.

        December 11, 2011 at 5:04 pm | Report abuse |
      • lroy

        China also believes in a ONE child per family. Any more and they're aborted, and if the mother refuses, she's murdered too. Boycott Chinese products until this policy changes.

        December 11, 2011 at 5:13 pm | Report abuse |
      • RonnieReagan

        Jon and Daniel – this is what I know that you DON'T know – the chinese govt murders more of its own citizens every single year than ALL OTHER COUNTRIES OF THE WORLD combined.

        The chinese govt will come to your house, knock on your door, and yes lock you up for blogging inappropriately. They have already disappeared the current Nobel Peace Prize winner. Wow, imagine that?

        You cannot choose to worship the religion in China. You cannot speak your mind freely about the Communist Party; btw yes the Communist Party is still the ruling party in China. Look it up.

        You are even legally limited on the size that your family can grow to, regardless of whether you can afford to care for and love more than 1 child. This has resulted in the devaluing of millions of little girls in the process.

        It's been suspected for a long time that the Bodies exhibit that tours the country to unwitting crowds (like you Jon and Daniel) is actually comprised of the dead misused bodies of Chinese Political Prisoners (mind you these are people that just spoke their mind, or chose to worship a particular religion of their choosing).

        Now, if those are the bedfellows you -Jon and Daniel – wish to make and do business with then so be it. The rest of us have much better sense that that.

        December 11, 2011 at 5:13 pm | Report abuse |
      • Noel

        just an FYI, american apparel factories are located in US, yes (LA) but the people who create the garments are actually illegal immigrants who work in bad conditions and hardly get minimum wage here. american apparel is no better than other companies outsourcing.

        December 11, 2011 at 5:51 pm | Report abuse |
      • Kathy G

        RonnieReagan hope you saw the other comments that the American companies wouldn't take this on so before you start judging, do your homework.

        December 12, 2011 at 6:36 pm | Report abuse |
      • Lee Bruns

        "RonnieReagan hope you saw the other comments that the American companies that she talked to wouldn't take this on . . ." Fixed that for you.
        I'd guess that now that it has gotten good exposure there are American companies that she did not know to ask, that will get ahold of her to bid the job. There certainly are American companies willing and able to make the product, she just didn't know about them. Too bad really, I'd guess that by now she has a foreign supplier contract and is unable to consider competing bids until that contract expires.

        December 12, 2011 at 6:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • jon

      Before any of you pass judgement, maybe you should go to their website and read their "about" page. The owner tried for months to find a manufacturer who would accept their unique patterns and designs since many of them did not want to tackle the project. She finally found one in China. You are all assuming that she chose not to manufacture in the US. How do you know whether or not she couldn't find anybody here to make her clothing line? It is a possibility none of you have considered.

      December 11, 2011 at 5:11 pm | Report abuse |
      • Lee Bruns

        Great point!
        Thank you for bringing that to our attention.

        December 11, 2011 at 5:17 pm | Report abuse |
      • Dirk Gently

        Research and rational consideration of a contentious issue? Are you sure you're supposed to be here?

        December 11, 2011 at 5:53 pm | Report abuse |

        If you have not found an American company to make them to your standards, KEEP LOOKING! STOP AIDING THE CHINESE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

        December 11, 2011 at 6:35 pm | Report abuse |
  38. racer x

    The "choice" 90% of women who are told they are carrying a Down Syndrome baby make, is very sad. I believe that these people have a lot to contribute to our humanity and world.

    December 11, 2011 at 4:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • Rebecca

      How many children with Down's Syndrome have you adopted?

      December 11, 2011 at 4:07 pm | Report abuse |
      • pattiB

        I am pro life and saddened by the abortion statistic provided. No, I have not "adopted any children with Down Syndrome" but I have a sister-in-law, cousin and a current student with Downes syndrome. With early intervention and school programs that support every student and include special needs students in the regular education programs as much as possible, the stigma can start to be erased. Society will become more understanding and accepting and then, perhaps people will feel they can choose life and welcome their precious children into their lives with love, pride and condfidence.

        December 11, 2011 at 4:19 pm | Report abuse |
      • emma

        ...just not by you apparently.

        December 11, 2011 at 4:42 pm | Report abuse |
      • lroy

        I love you too. I have a cousin who has severe cerebral palsy who's also very retarded. She's an adult now, of course but still requires 24/7 care. I also have a cousin who was retarded but she died 40 years ago from Rene Syndrome before people were told not to take aspirin for fever. I had a course called Developmental Disabilities and learned much about Downs Syndrome.

        December 11, 2011 at 5:20 pm | Report abuse |
      • Angela

        Retarded used to be a medical term used to describe people with developmental disabilities. It has been abused and treated as an ugly, cruel, slang term. It is no longer part of polite conversation.

        December 12, 2011 at 11:38 pm | Report abuse |
      • Angela

        I thought I hit reply. I'm still getting this comment section figured out. This was directed at lroy.

        December 12, 2011 at 11:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • SKZahnen

      I too would like to know how many you have adopted...

      December 11, 2011 at 4:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • racer x

      Great, now my first post is "awaiting moderation." Heaven forbid I express my belief that people with Down Syndrome have much to offer the world. Political correctness is a twisted, sick ideology.

      December 11, 2011 at 4:22 pm | Report abuse |
      • lroy

        I'm with you Racer X. Love.

        December 11, 2011 at 5:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • Rachel

      It's 90% of women who do specialized testing who choose to abort. A person who is going to keep the child regardless isn't going to take a risk of losing the child or spend the money on a test that isn't going to change anything. So it doesn't mean that practically everyone women who finds about about a Downs baby gets an abortion.

      December 11, 2011 at 4:31 pm | Report abuse |
      • Chris

        Thank you Rachel for pointing out that not all women/couples choose the test because in their particular case, it's not actionable. It took my wife an I nearly two years to get pregnant (through two miscarriages). We didn't consider the amnio test (at +/- 20 weeks) because it could have resulted in another miscarriage. Regardless of the outcome, we would have also never aborted her pregnancy. Our beautiful baby boy was diagnosed with Down Syndrome immediately after birth. He is our miracle, teaches us about love and humility more every day, and we simply could not love him more. Bless you Ms. Bowersox.

        December 12, 2011 at 4:54 pm | Report abuse |
      • Sammie Jo65

        Not true. There are several Down's Syndrome people in my family. Because of the high risk of having a baby with Down's almost everyone in my family (and there are a lot of us) who gets pregnant gets tested. None have aborted, many have Down's children. We test so that we can be prepared both emotionally and physically for the challenge.

        January 3, 2012 at 9:58 pm | Report abuse |
  39. ARD

    I can't thank you enough for taking such a huge step for all the people with Down syndrome. I haven't been able to find a single pair of jeans that would fit my 2-year-old son with Down syndrome until now. May god bless you for all your efforts.

    December 11, 2011 at 3:59 pm | Report abuse |
  40. Sarah

    Great idea! How innovative to find a market niche that usually is so poorly served! Is there a Little People company out there somewhere, too? I would think they would have also great difficulty shopping.

    December 11, 2011 at 3:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • lroy

      Pro life statistics show that 95% of unborn people with Downs are aborted. This is great news. I am about 60 pounds overweight, but only five feet tall. can I please fall in this category somewhere. God bless these "special" people. The ones I have met with this condition are some of the happiest, friendliest people I have ever known. As my mother used to say 'There but the grace of God'.

      December 11, 2011 at 4:05 pm | Report abuse |
      • emma

        ...and certainly pro-life people would have no reason to manipulate statistics? The truth is that detecting Down's syndrome requires amniosentisis which can only be performed on an advanced pregancy. Most abortions are performed in the first timester, soon after a woman discovers she is pregnant and determines that she does not want to be.
        Doctor's perfrom amniosentisis more to proejct themselves from being used if a child is born with Downs; any woman who genuinely wants a child can sign a waiver and refuse one, or simply choose to carry to term.
        Peopell who only want accesories should adopt a chihuahua.

        December 11, 2011 at 4:40 pm | Report abuse |
      • Angela

        I wish I could reply to Emma below, but that option is not available on her post. Testing for Down Syndrome is part of routine prenatal care in the U.S. It is a blood test. The test is faulty. My sister was told my nephew would have Down Syndrome. The first thing doctors do when this test is positive is start discussing termination options. My nephew did not have Down Syndrome. Years later when I was pregnant, I refused the test. My son does have Down Syndrome. I stand by my decision to refuse the test & would do it again. It is disgusting that a doctor's first reaction to a possible Down Syndrome diagnosis is to start discussing abortion. Amnio is a more reliable manner of diagnosing, but costly & dangerous to a fetus, so not used frequently. I have been told if I have a future pregnancy they will want to do an Amnio b/c I am at higher than average risk of having another child w/Down Syndrome. They can shove that Amnio where the sun don't shine. The diagnosis means nothing to me. My child is my child. Maybe do some research before spouting conspiracy theories next time, Emma? Thanks.

        December 12, 2011 at 11:00 pm | Report abuse |
      • KC

        Having a special needs child is more expensive and time-consuming than some people are capable of handling. My ex was barely able to cope with normal children; if we'd learned we were going to have a special needs child, we had neither the money nor the patience to give that child what it would need. Nor would we have felt comfortable giving it up for adoption, because so many special needs children wind up in permanent foster care because almost no one wants to adopt a special needs child. I have friends with autistic children, and it's imperative that one parent quit her job to coordinate all the therapy, medical care, etc. required; I certainly could not have taken three afternoons a week off to take a child to therapy sessions and hoped to keep my job, but without my job, our rent would not get paid.

        December 15, 2011 at 5:31 pm | Report abuse |
      • Angela

        Where there's a will, there's a way. I am a single, working mother of a special needs child. You'd be amazed what one is capable of "handling". If you had asked me 10 years ago if I could have "handled" the life I have now, I would've said no way! I was young & naive 10 years ago. Yes, there are struggles, as you will face struggles with your "normal" (what an awful implication btw) children. It's not something you can predict. Having never been in these shoes, you have no idea how they might fit. We weren't meant to pick & choose our children based on their DNA or some ridiculous test results.

        December 15, 2011 at 9:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • lroy

      Try Little People of America. Just think, I missed out on THAT by (I think the maximum is 4 foot 10) just two inches!

      December 11, 2011 at 5:07 pm | Report abuse |
  41. anonymous

    Fantastic! I can appreciate the amount of energy this takes, but I think the results are so well worth it. Hang in there and get energy from all those who will wear these clothes.

    December 11, 2011 at 3:54 pm | Report abuse |
  42. rae kinnaird

    thanks for all your hard work. see one person does make a differance thank you for caring . these clothes are the greatest. For anyone who has a ds person in their family should really look into these clothes. WONDERFUL

    December 11, 2011 at 1:44 pm | Report abuse |
  43. Jim S

    The clothes my son wore were always a problem. It was impossible to buy something off the rack. Shirts were either too big in the shoulders and body or too tight in the neck. The jeans my son got from Downs Designs fit him well. He always wants to wear them because he says they are comfortable. They look better than any of the jeans he had worn in the past.

    December 11, 2011 at 1:07 pm | Report abuse |
  44. Kathy G

    What a great informational article! Thank you so much for sharing with the world the particular needs of people with Down syndrome. Maybe the clothing line industry will take notice. 🙂 People just don't think about how people with DS are built slightly different and how this can affect not only their ability to even dress themselves (buttons and zippers) but their safety and self-esteem.

    December 11, 2011 at 10:19 am | Report abuse |