Rocket Betty Designs

Rocket Betty Designs was created out of a love for the glamorous, sultry, and rebellious spirit of the 1940’s and 1950’s. Drawing on over 20 years of experience and a degree in Costume Design, Margo specializes in vintage inspired and vintage reproduction fashions for petites to plus sizes.

Based on a strong sense of community and DIY attitude, all of her items are handmade in Durham, NC, and she partners with local business people such as photographers, hair/make-up artists, models, and marketing firms to create a more sustainable marketplace.

Tell me about how you originally got into your craft, Margo.
When I was in 9th grade, I desperately wanted a coat from a high end designer.  One look at the price tag and my parents ended that discussion.  At 13, I knew my life was over without that coat.  Luckily, my Mom offered to help me make a coat just like the one I wanted.  Reluctant at first, we went to the fabric store for all the supplies.  I already knew how to sew, but this was a huge project.  A week later, I wore the coat to school and much to my surprise everyone asked if the coat was a designer label.  I couldn't believe it!  In that moment, I knew that designing and creating fashions was for me.  

What is your favorite thing to do in the whole wide world?
I absolutely love catching a great live music show!  Rockabilly, honky tonk, swing, garage rock, bluegrass, blues...I can't get enough.  I am so inspired by music and all of the great fashions worn both onstage and by the fans. 

What is your biggest challenge when it comes to running your business?
I am so full of ideas that sometimes it's hard to pare them down.  Often I look at a piece of fabric and see 4 or 5 different designs.  Deciding which ones to add to my line can be so difficult.

When you were a kid, what did you think you were going to be when you grew up?
I think my careers changed daily!  One day I was going to be an artist and the next I was going to be a chef.  It wasn't until high school that I started moving into clothing design.

What item in your collection would you most like to receive as a gift if someone were shopping for you?
For a more casual gift, the Leg Lamp skirt is super fun and comfy.

And if someone were looking to give a special gift, the Mad Men styled sheath dress would be a winner.

What other artists out there do you love?
I love Johanna Ely at Good Girls Studio, Inc.  She creates remixed vintage jewelry.  So gorgeous!

I also really love Angela Zampell at Mode Merr.   Fabulous clothing! 

Oh, I could go on and on because I love vintage fashions and there are some amazing reproductions and re-interpretations out there. 

What does your future hold?
I will be at the Troika CraftShow in Downtown Durham, NC Saturday November 6th from 12noon - 5pm.  

In the spring of 2011, I will be launching a new line of limited edition vintage reproduction dresses.  These will be high end true reproduction pieces handmade in small batches.  Production runs will be limited to no more than 20, thereby allowing each garment to become a unique collectible. 

Rocket Betty will also be launching a new marketplace website this spring.  Look for it at