Nichi Dunphy grew up in Tarkio, Mo., population 2,000. Opportunities to shop were pretty much nonexistent. Lucky for Dunphy, her mother was a fashionista who loved clothes. Mother and daughter would often make the 100-mile drive to Kansas City or Omaha and visit the big department stores.
As Dunphy grew to 5 feet 10 inches tall, it was hard to find slacks that would fit. Her mother bought her a portable Singer sewing machine to make her own.