Sewn on Izods – The Short Story of Growing Up with an Overly Practical Mom

Show Notes

Judy Reamer joins us and shares the reason why she has never spent a dime on any designer clothes or accessories.
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Audio Transcription

Jill Donovan; Rustic Cuff Bracelets Founder:
Hi, and welcome back to CEO-ish. I’m Jill Donovan; Rustic Cuff Bracelets Founder and with me today is Kelly Smith. Hi Kelly.

Kelly Smith:
Hi.

Jill Donovan; Rustic Cuff Bracelets Founder:
How was your weekend?

Kelly Smith:
Busy.

Jill Donovan; Rustic Cuff Bracelets Founder:
Really?

Kelly Smith:
I had a birthday in the fam.

Jill Donovan; Rustic Cuff Bracelets Founder:
Okay, you did just tell me that before we started. And what did you say about birthdays? Because you said, “I had a birthday in my family this week,” and I said, “Oh, that’s fun.” And then you said…

Kelly Smith:
I said, “Well, is it fun? Because it’s a lot of pressure and a lot of work and the whole weekend starts revolving around the birthday person.”

Jill Donovan; Rustic Cuff Bracelets Founder:
Can you imagine?

Kelly Smith:
And you can’t do anything except for make the birthday person happy. So you’re like, “Oh, I’d really love to go out one more time. I’d love to sit around and watch the show you want to watch.”

Jill Donovan; Rustic Cuff Bracelets Founder:
When does it end?

Kelly Smith:
It’s a selfless weekend.

Jill Donovan; Rustic Cuff Bracelets Founder:
Is it a weekend or is it a week? If their birthday’s on Monday, does it go til Friday?

Kelly Smith:
See, that’s the problem. I at least hit the weekend. So I feel like Monday morning, we’re done. But if you have a birthday on a Monday, it’s a whole week.

Jill Donovan; Rustic Cuff Bracelets Founder:
And then the weekend.

Kelly Smith:
Right. And you never can live up to your children’s expectations for what they think their birthday should be.

Jill Donovan; Rustic Cuff Bracelets Founder:
One of my favorite stories about that is when Annie, my daughter, was younger, she was like, “I think I just want to have my friends come over for my birthday.” “Great.” “And this is what I was thinking. I saw on Pinterest, they put a big sheet up in the backyard and they projected a movie onto it and we can have movie snacks.” And I was like, “Do you have a projector? Like where am I going to put that?”

Jill Donovan; Rustic Cuff Bracelets Founder:
It was such a whimsical Pinterest idea that was going to take me hundreds and hundreds of dollars and 50 days to put together. I was like, “Let’s just go to the movies. Can we do that instead?”

Kelly Smith:
Ireland a few weeks ago said, “I have the best idea for my 16th birthday.” And I said, “Oh, can’t wait to hear,” because this year I don’t think we had a big birthday. We had a little surprise birthday party for her at a restaurant and she said, “I have the best birthday and don’t say yes or no right away, but just think about it. I would like to take three of my closest friends and could we fly to Italy for my 16th birthday? And you and Dad both don’t need to go but one of you can come because I don’t think their parents will let them go unless one of you go. We need a sacrificial adult to sort of stand by the side while we do our thing. And by the way, if you could just give us some money so we can just eat where we want…” Oh well sure. Let me think about the trip to Italy.

Kelly Smith:
And she said, “And then I don’t know which class it is, but there are some airline seats that they go all the way back down to a bed. Would they have four available?” I said, “What world are you living in?”

Jill Donovan; Rustic Cuff Bracelets Founder:
Oh my gosh, I thought you were going to say, “We’d really like to go to Dallas for the weekend.”

Kelly Smith:
Italy. “Could the four of us fly to Italy and you or Dad could come with us.”

Jill Donovan; Rustic Cuff Bracelets Founder:
While we’re on the subject, can I go to Italy too?

Kelly Smith:
Okay, so today is going to be fun because what did your parents used to say to you when you would complain about something and they would talk about, “Well, in my generation.”

Jill Donovan; Rustic Cuff Bracelets Founder:
“Well you should have seen what I had when I was little. We used to walk to school three miles by myself.”

Kelly Smith:
In the snow. Uphill both ways.

Jill Donovan; Rustic Cuff Bracelets Founder:
No shoes.

Kelly Smith:
Yeah. And then when we say things like that to our kids, they roll their eyes. Yeah.

Jill Donovan; Rustic Cuff Bracelets Founder:
And then they text their friends how annoying their parents are.

Kelly Smith:
They don’t think it’s fun to hear about all the things we grew up on. But there are some things that are coming full circle that are cool again, like cassette tapes.

Jill Donovan; Rustic Cuff Bracelets Founder:
Oh really?

Kelly Smith:
Yeah. You didn’t know they’re coming full circle?

Jill Donovan; Rustic Cuff Bracelets Founder:
No.

Kelly Smith:
Aren’t they coming full circle?

Jill Donovan; Rustic Cuff Bracelets Founder:
Records are but…

Kelly Smith:
Cassette tapes are coming full circle.

Jill Donovan; Rustic Cuff Bracelets Founder:
Well, you’re really ahead of the trend.

Kelly Smith:
I could’ve sworn cassette tapes were coming full circle.

Jill Donovan; Rustic Cuff Bracelets Founder:
We need to fact check that.

Kelly Smith:
In my head-

Jill Donovan; Rustic Cuff Bracelets Founder:
Jordan, can you fact check that for us?

Jordan:
Walkman’s are coming back.

Jill Donovan; Rustic Cuff Bracelets Founder:
Walkman’s.

Kelly Smith:
Do you know what’s coming back? Is flip phones.

Jill Donovan; Rustic Cuff Bracelets Founder:
I did see that. Why?

Kelly Smith:
I want a flip phone. That’s how I will punish my children. In March you’re only going to have a flip phone.

Jill Donovan; Rustic Cuff Bracelets Founder:
Why would they come back? Haven’t we gone long past that?

Kelly Smith:
I think they’re coming back because I think that they still have the things available that are available on the iPhone or on the smartphone. I think it’s just the look. But I want to go back to the flip phone that made it extremely difficult to look up anything.

Jill Donovan; Rustic Cuff Bracelets Founder:
The flip phone basically just made a phone call.

Kelly Smith:
Made a phone call, yeah.

Jill Donovan; Rustic Cuff Bracelets Founder:
Is the cassette coming back?

Jordan:
Yeah.

Jill Donovan; Rustic Cuff Bracelets Founder:
You were right. You are ahead of the curve.

Kelly Smith:
Thank you. So today I want to just go over a few things because we both grew up in the 80s.

Jill Donovan; Rustic Cuff Bracelets Founder:
I loved the eighties.

Kelly Smith:
I loved the eighties.

Jill Donovan; Rustic Cuff Bracelets Founder:
Still, eighties music is my favorite music. My go to music.

Kelly Smith:
Who was your favorite eighties band?

Jill Donovan; Rustic Cuff Bracelets Founder:
Well, my favorite performer of all time is Billy Joel. And then of course, I am a Jersey girl, so Bon Jovi.

Kelly Smith:
Bon Jovi, but they’re still big. Both of them.

Jill Donovan; Rustic Cuff Bracelets Founder:
I know.

Kelly Smith:
Eighties bands last.

Jill Donovan; Rustic Cuff Bracelets Founder:
They do, yeah.

Kelly Smith:
Okay, so let’s just play this game really quick. You knew that you grew up in the 80s if you ever said, “Psych,” at the end of the sentence I’ll bounce it back to you and we’ll see how long we can go on. You knew you grew up in the 80s…

Jill Donovan; Rustic Cuff Bracelets Founder:
Well, I was going to say that you would say everything was, “Totally awesome.”

Kelly Smith:
Oh, totally awesome.

Jill Donovan; Rustic Cuff Bracelets Founder:
Totally awesome.

Kelly Smith:
If you ever watched the Pound Puppies, right?

Jill Donovan; Rustic Cuff Bracelets Founder:
Right.

Kelly Smith:
Okay. Back to you.

Jill Donovan; Rustic Cuff Bracelets Founder:
Okay. Well see, you have prepared for this. I’m just riffing.

Kelly Smith:
Here. Okay. I would say if you played PAC-Man.

Jill Donovan; Rustic Cuff Bracelets Founder:
Oh, I did play PAC-Man at my orthodontist office.

Kelly Smith:
Oh, I had PAC-Man.

Jill Donovan; Rustic Cuff Bracelets Founder:
You had your own PAC-Man?

Kelly Smith:
Yes.

Jill Donovan; Rustic Cuff Bracelets Founder:
Did you go to Italy for your 16th birthday as well?

Kelly Smith:
Well, I didn’t want to say it but… You didn’t have an Atari?

Jill Donovan; Rustic Cuff Bracelets Founder:
No. When I babysat I did. They had them at the place I babysit.

Kelly Smith:
Aww Jill. That’s sad.

Jill Donovan; Rustic Cuff Bracelets Founder:
You had your own PAC-Man?

Kelly Smith:
An Atari, and it had Miss PAC-Man, PAC-Man, Frogger.

Jill Donovan; Rustic Cuff Bracelets Founder:
Frogger. When I went to Chuck-E-Cheese, Frogger.

Kelly Smith:
Donkey Kong?

Jill Donovan; Rustic Cuff Bracelets Founder:
Donkey Kong yeah. Big time.

Kelly Smith:
But by the way, remember when there were just arcades where you put money in? I think there’s probably something like that now, but it’s like you buy a card and you have access to it, but before it was a 25 cent thing. You put your 25 cents in and then you either leveled up and had to put another 25 cents in.

Jill Donovan; Rustic Cuff Bracelets Founder:
How about when you put money in a payphone? Do they even have payphones anymore?

Kelly Smith:
Just for photographs. Do you remember at the end of every sentence in the 80s we say, “Not?”

Jill Donovan; Rustic Cuff Bracelets Founder:
Do I still do that?

Kelly Smith:
I know. I think you might have when I asked you to come in here to do the podcast.

Jill Donovan; Rustic Cuff Bracelets Founder:
Not.

Kelly Smith:
Remember when we would tighten our jeans and then we’d roll them up.

Jill Donovan; Rustic Cuff Bracelets Founder:
What would you call that?

Kelly Smith:
I can’t remember now.

Jill Donovan; Rustic Cuff Bracelets Founder:
I used to call that when you would peg your jeans.

Kelly Smith:
Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Jill Donovan; Rustic Cuff Bracelets Founder:
Erica says French roll.

Kelly Smith:
Oh, French roll.

Jill Donovan; Rustic Cuff Bracelets Founder:
Did you call it that?

Kelly Smith:
I called it peg your jeans.

Jill Donovan; Rustic Cuff Bracelets Founder:
Whenever somebody did that, I always thought that their parents didn’t either want to hem their pants or they didn’t want to spend the money to go buy those pants, like the tapered ones.

Kelly Smith:
Oh, right. Yeah. Did you wear legwarmers?

Jill Donovan; Rustic Cuff Bracelets Founder:
I did wear legwarmers. My Mom never liked to buy things if she thought she could make them. And so we would buy material and my Mom would make legwarmers. One time she went to Units. Do you remember what Units was?

Kelly Smith:
Oh yes.

Jill Donovan; Rustic Cuff Bracelets Founder:
Units was, there’s no zippers, there’s no buttons. Everything was just material that you then maneuvered on your body somehow.

Kelly Smith:
You don’t need to go to Units. Your Mom can make those.

Jill Donovan; Rustic Cuff Bracelets Founder:
So my Mom went and bought $500 worth of clothes at Units, came home, made a pattern out of everything from Units and returned everything to Units. And then one day she presented it all to me and she’s like, “I have the very best gift for you ever. It’s Unit like.” And she wanted me to wear over my play clothes, everything.But it didn’t say Units on, I knew it wasn’t Units.

Jill Donovan; Rustic Cuff Bracelets Founder:
And furthermore, all of my friends had Izod shirts or Jordan.

Kelly Smith:
I was going to mention the Izod shirt because I remember a story about this.

Jill Donovan; Rustic Cuff Bracelets Founder:
Yes. And it didn’t matter how much I begged, would never buy a Ralph Lauren polo shirt or an Izod shirt because she was so practical, “We should call Judy. Oh, we should call my Mom.

Kelly Smith:
You tell the story and then get her impression of the story.

Jill Donovan; Rustic Cuff Bracelets Founder:
She said, “Why would I buy you an Izod shirt when you could get 10 of them at K-Mart without the alligator?” So what happened is I wound up taking a sewing class and then I would save my babysitting money up, go buy Izod socks, cut off the Izod, sew them onto the K-Mart $3 shirt. But I will say it never felt the same. You could always see the stitching.

Kelly Smith:
That actually is a brilliant idea.

Jill Donovan; Rustic Cuff Bracelets Founder:
Well, it is a smart idea until the alligator starts falling off and you don’t know it, but everybody else sees it first.

Kelly Smith:
And then when you wash it, it starts puckering in the wrong spots.

Jill Donovan; Rustic Cuff Bracelets Founder:
I have to call my Mom though really quick. Just really quick.

Kelly Smith:
I need to hear what she says about that.

Jill Donovan; Rustic Cuff Bracelets Founder:
Okay. She is at my brother Mark’s. It always feels like my Mom’s at my brother’s houses. She’s at Mark’s, in South Carolina, but we’re going to call her because she usually answers the phone, so let’s hope she does.

Judy Raymer:
Hello.

Jill Donovan; Rustic Cuff Bracelets Founder:
Hi Mom.

Judy Raymer:
Well, hi.

Jill Donovan; Rustic Cuff Bracelets Founder:
How are you?

Judy Raymer:
I am good and organizing. I’m at Mark’s.

Jill Donovan; Rustic Cuff Bracelets Founder:
How’s Mark?

Judy Raymer:
He’s so wonderful. Really. Of course, you know, his personality is so friendly and warm and so people just know him and he goes to a great church.

Jill Donovan; Rustic Cuff Bracelets Founder:
Okay, Mom, let me ask you a quick question. How did you say no to me, when every one of my friends were wearing Izod shirts or Jordache jeans or Gloria Vanderbilt pants?

Judy Raymer:
It just raises the price $30 when you can just…

Jill Donovan; Rustic Cuff Bracelets Founder:
But don’t you have a Louis Vuitton purse?

Judy Raymer:
You gave it to me.

Jill Donovan; Rustic Cuff Bracelets Founder:
Have you ever bought a named brand item, clothing, purse, anything for yourself?

Judy Raymer:
Never. Never a purse ever. Clothing. Well I go into Steinmart, you know, so I walk out with something that maybe has a name brand, but it’s from Steinmart.

Jill Donovan; Rustic Cuff Bracelets Founder:
Yeah.

Judy Raymer:
That’s never how I’ve wanted to spend my money. The way I like to spend my money is if I go on vacation, that’s where my extra money goes. But never on clothing, ever or purses. Yeah.

Jill Donovan; Rustic Cuff Bracelets Founder:
Wasn’t that hard just to say no, because I wanted that so badly. I never ever had it.

Judy Raymer:
No, because I know it would have to do with approval of men. It was just a matter of flesh pride. I never wanted to build that up in you, I wanted to build up that you’re a wonderful person. Everyone loves you. You’re kind, you’re unselfish, you have a great personality, you’re fun. Not as fun as Johnny, but-

Jill Donovan; Rustic Cuff Bracelets Founder:
Of course not. Or Mark now apparently.

Judy Raymer:
Mark is a laugher, that’s what’s so good. He’s a great audience.

Judy Raymer:
But anyway, no, I always wanted to build on what the Lord wanted to work in you. You know what I mean?

Jill Donovan; Rustic Cuff Bracelets Founder:
Mom, one last thing I wanted to say. Do you remember when you would let us hang out in the car with no seat belts?

Judy Raymer:
Oh yeah. Well first of all, there were no car seats or anything. You mean when you were older?

Jill Donovan; Rustic Cuff Bracelets Founder:
As a baby, did you just put me in the car?

Judy Raymer:
Oh yeah. In fact you and Jeff would be sleeping on the backseat with a blanket on you when you were real little and Daddy and I would drive off and go visit people. There were no seat belts and Johnny would stand in the middle between Dad and me. There were no consoles in the middle. A bench seat, no console. So I remember Johnny would stand at three years old, two years old, he’d stand. And then if Dad had to put his brakes on, he would, or I would throw our arm against Johnny so he wouldn’t fall forward. So that’s how we drove. We didn’t use seat belts. No.

Jill Donovan; Rustic Cuff Bracelets Founder:
Also in the eighties do you remember you would spank us in the car. I remember one time and then we’ll say goodbye, one time it was the very first year we ever celebrated Christmas and I was nine years old. And you bought a Christmas tree, it was in the very back of the car and you said, “Whatever you do, don’t go in the back of the car,” because you didn’t want me to see it. And I was with Christie Eches and I forgot because it was a long drive home, I forgot, and we jumped in the back of the car. You took me outside of the car because some lady was in the front seat, like Hathaway or something. She was very strict. And she advised you this was a good idea because I was being disobedient and you spanked me in the parking lot of a mall.

Judy Raymer:
Okay. Yeah. We all were like that. I mean, we all did that with our kids.

Jill Donovan; Rustic Cuff Bracelets Founder:
Without an Izod shirt on. I was spanked with a K-Mart, $3 shirt on with a sew on Izod and I’m living to tell about it. Okay. I love you M.

Judy Raymer:
I love you sweetie. I go home Thursday, okay?

Jill Donovan; Rustic Cuff Bracelets Founder:
Okay, I love you.

Judy Raymer:
I love you, bye.

Jill Donovan; Rustic Cuff Bracelets Founder:
Bye. Bye.

Kelly Smith:
It is always an interesting conversation when we get to talk to Mrs Raymer.

Jill Donovan; Rustic Cuff Bracelets Founder:
Oh, Judy, I mean, Oh.

Kelly Smith:
She’s the best.

Jill Donovan; Rustic Cuff Bracelets Founder:
She really is the best. She is so stand her ground even 50 years later.

Kelly Smith:
And I also think you need to have your Mom back on this podcast because she has a lot of wisdom to share.

Jill Donovan; Rustic Cuff Bracelets Founder:
She does. Okay, we’ll close with this. What are our kids going to say to their kids?

Kelly Smith:
I don’t know, but I am looking forward to the day where they have the realization that like, “Oh boy, my parents put a lot of work and a lot of money, and a lot of time into raising me. This is hard.”

Jill Donovan; Rustic Cuff Bracelets Founder:
I think they’re going to say something like, “Life was harder when Mom was younger. I didn’t get a phone until the third grade.” I mean it’s all going to be about the things that they were-

Kelly Smith:
Deprived of?

Jill Donovan; Rustic Cuff Bracelets Founder:
Yes.

Kelly Smith:
They were deprived of the phone till third grade.

Jill Donovan; Rustic Cuff Bracelets Founder:
One time, Wifi didn’t work.

Kelly Smith:
The wifi thing, they act as if it is a-

Jill Donovan; Rustic Cuff Bracelets Founder:
“What’s the password? I got to find the password. Where’s the password? Who know the password?”

Kelly Smith:
“What’s your password here?” We have to have a guest network and then a home network because everybody wants the password and then also if I hear one more time, “The Wifi sucks in this house.” My kids, it’s like written on a banner in their room. “The Wifi up here. My game’s not loading because the Wifi…” Does everybody have bad Wifi or is it just our house?

Jill Donovan; Rustic Cuff Bracelets Founder:
You can come downstairs and play a game. Monopoly anybody? Yeah. We could talk a lot about this.

Kelly Smith:
Oh my gosh.

Jill Donovan; Rustic Cuff Bracelets Founder:
That was fun. I mean we barely scratched the surface. Barely.

Kelly Smith:
I had a lot more. We didn’t talk banana clips.

Jill Donovan; Rustic Cuff Bracelets Founder:
Oh, ponytail up on the side of the head.

Kelly Smith:
We didn’t talk neon clothing.

Jill Donovan; Rustic Cuff Bracelets Founder:
Rainbow shirts.

Kelly Smith:
We have a lot more to talk about. We’ll have to do another episode of this.

Jill Donovan; Rustic Cuff Bracelets Founder:
Everybody was named Jill, Jennifer or Janet or Kelly. Okay. Can we do a part two at some point?

Kelly Smith:
Yeah, we should.

Jill Donovan; Rustic Cuff Bracelets Founder:
If you’re joining us today and you grew up in the 80s and you want to send us any things that you remember from growing up in the 80s, send us an email and we’ll send you a bracelet. For the first 20 we send them a bracelet.

Kelly Smith:
Okay. Yes, we should do that.

Jill Donovan; Rustic Cuff Bracelets Founder:
And then we’ll talk about the things that they said and they can send that email about the things that you remember from the 80s to CEOish@rusticcuff.com and the first 20 that send us an email, we’ll send you a free bracelet and then we’ll discuss those on air the next time.

Kelly Smith:
I’m going to challenge all of those 20 people to come up with something we didn’t already talk about.

Jill Donovan; Rustic Cuff Bracelets Founder:
Exactly. You can’t talk about banana clips and cars and Donkey Kong and Rubik’s cube and all that.

Kelly Smith:
Should I just say a bunch of things right now?

Jill Donovan; Rustic Cuff Bracelets Founder:
Oh, that was so much fun. Thanks for joining us today on CEO-ish. Kelly, thank you for being here and we’ll see you next time.

Kelly Smith:
Thanks for having me. Okay.