Looking again at my dress, I snickered at having to repeat the zipper application. My grandmother caught my arm in quiet clamp (more commonly known as a pinch) between the knuckles of her index and middle fingers. My snicker instantaneously turned into a frown that crowned my forehead and tears welled my eyes. I looked up at my grandmother and her facial expression was indescribable! Before I could say a word she calmly said, “A job worth doing is worth doing well, or not at all.”
Grandmothers have a non-verbal communication skill, unrivaled and unyielding in the quest for best lessons learned, when it comes to molding you into the person you are to become. The wisdom, patience, and integrity that she passed on to me in those moments with ‘just a look’, has been the basis of my work ethic and is exemplified in all work I accept.
My interest in sewing continued through high school where I was always the Home Economics Assistant; my love for sewing endured through nursing school and my professional years as a nurse. I continued to attend sewing workshops and training courses, eventually becoming a home sewing teacher for local fabric and sewing machine stores where I taught stretch and sew concepts, sewing and tailoring with knits, lingerie, swimwear, and beginning to advanced sewing to both children and adults.
My interest in sewing piqued and I enrolled in an Apparel Design and Merchandising program at a local college. I discovered a true affinity for the manufacturing process. Through my formal education, I partnered with a designer in a full figure lingerie business, engaged in my own custom dressmaking business, and worked as a patternmaker, patterngrader, samplemaker, and a few other odd and end occupations over the course of twenty plus wonderful years before the manufacturing industry started fading to out-sourcing.
At this point I started looking to alternative options where I could utilize my acquired skills. It was decided by my friends and their friends that custom Bramaking is what I’d be doing! We found, to our amazement, we all shared common challenges with our bras. None of us were comfortable or satisfied! I started researching outlets for custom Bramaking and found only Bra-makers Supply in Canada offered training for made-to-measure Bramaking and, to my surprise, the added bonus of a contemporary methodology for teaching the craft of Bramaking. So it was off to Canada where I became the first American to be licensed and certified via the Bra-makers method.
While in Canada I received an email requesting I send my resume to a private college that was looking for a part-time apparel design instructor. The part-time position lead to a full-time position and it became a challenge to teach college and operate my Bramaking business simultaneously. There was an attempt to incorporate Bramaking into the curriculum, because there was much student interest; however, the logistics couldn’t support it! Ironically, the failing economy allowed me to pursue my passion for Bramaking as the college closed and I resumed my business.
Initially started as a home based business, it has evolved into a larger labor of love occupying office/studio space. The outcome is a passionate business for me, in my retirement, endowed with a good sense of direction, better services, and the best accommodates for your comfort and fit, in suitable lingerie, swimwear, and loungewear.