With a 3-year-old daughter, a well-established career and her entire family to lose, Elizabeth Kollo fled the communist country she called home to try for a better life in the land of freedom… America.
1984: In a country where she knew nobody and did not speak the language, Ms. Kollo managed to succeed beyond anyone’s expectations. Working as a pattern maker for world-renowned designer James Galanos, Elizabeth perfected her trade. More than 20 years later she is a noteworthy local designer in Portland, OR. And lucky for me, she’s my Mom.
The wisdom, talent and positivity my Mom has to offer this world is unending. Of course, we’ve all been through hardships and many of us have come out on top. But few people can say they’ve escaped a communist country, raised three children alone in the face of bankruptcy and re-established herself as a one-of-a-kind clothing (and handbag) designer in a city not known for its impassioned fashion sense, but rather for its liberal beliefs and tastes. She is simply one-of-a-kind.
There are so many stories I could tell, so many things I could say. There’s no time or room here to even begin to scratch the surface of how incredible and indescribable my mother is. Someday, I will share her story with the world in a book about her life. Until then, I dedicate this post to her and wish her a Happy Mother’s Day. To the most amazing person I will ever know…