From Discoveries Magazine, Fall 2000
Barbara Kuncl loved the fifties and six years
ago, while managing a popular children's store, an item came in that caught her interest. It was
a poodle skirt that came in one color, one size, and had a seam down both sides. It was this
poodle skirt that inspired her to quit her job and start making poodle skirts in her home.
Having learned to sew in high school Barbara cut the patterns out on the butcher-block in
her kitchen.. The children's store she had managed became her client. Her first large
order was for $6,000. Operating under the name Pookey Snoo, she sells her poodle skirts
all over the world. She recently got an order from Sonic Drive-In here in the Metroplex, and
McDonald's in New York. Her biggest response comes from her website,
on the Internet. Apparently, Barbara is not the only one nostalgic about the Fifties.
Starting out just making children's skirts, she has branched into adult poodle skirts,
scarves, cat-eye framed sunglasses, and cowboy and cowgirl outfits.
"In my opinion the Fifties was the best time in the world," Barbara comments. "People were
idealistic and there was not a lot of crime. I still think most people are basically good.
The media makes things look so desparately bad and they put a lot of emphasis on the negative
part of life."
Pookey Snoo business is growing dramatically. Barbara gets single orders, orders for
entire families, large orders for high school reunions, theme parties, and family reunions.
She just sold an order for 35 poodle skirts to a family in New Jersey for a 50th birthday party.
Cruise ships give out her name on a regular basis and she just filled orders for a big
historical convention in California. Barbara is delighted when a business or group puts
her name in their brochures. Two other hot markets she appeals to are dance groups
and people who have collectible cars. Her hottest season is October. "People love to
dress in poodle skirts," Barbara continues. "One new client just gave a surprise birthday
party and when the birthday guests arrived they were presented with their own skirts."
One thing leads to another. People will order one poodle skirt to be delivered overnight, show
their friends party or event, and Barbara will immediately get orders for several skirts.
"What is really neat is that often when people place their orders over the phone, they start
singing their favorite Fifties songs," Barbara laughs. "Of course, I join in. I love the people
I deal with. They are usually so excited about what they are doing."
Barbara is very particular about quality and all of Pookey Snoo's products are made in
the United States. "I use the best quality washable felt," Barbara adds. "The children
can play in their poodle skirts and western outfits. In fact one of my clients told me her
daughter not only wears her poodle skirt constantly, she sleeps in it."
The western outfits include a vest and skirt for girls and vest for the boys. The vest is
adorned with stars, cowboy hats and boots.
Barbara believes that the people who order from her are usually people who are on top of their
lives and really enjoy having fun. She also finds herself getting very involved, often
advertising and helping with the décor of their fifties theme party.
What are the drawbacks?
"I get tired of lifting those 20-pound boxes," she admits. "I have also had some very
close calls on delivery."
Barbara, nicknamed "Pookey" by her husband Bob, is not only having the
time of her life, she's managed to make money. Her name is becoming known throughout
the world. If you are nostalgic about the Fifties get in touch with Pookey Snoo. For
more information call 972-612-9709 or www.pookeysnoo.com