I always wanted to design clothing but, every time I tried, I was turned away or discouraged… until I found “The Make Den”!!
For many crazy reasons, I decide to leave Los Angeles and spend the winter in Toronto! I was sitting in my condo on a cold November day without much to do so I started searching the Internet. I was looking to hire a designer or seamstress to help me bring to life an idea I had. I emailed many people but no one seemed interested in helping out. I figured my concept was just too hard to understand or seemed like too much work. I also realized I didn’t even know how to communicate my vision to them! I needed to understand the design world and its language which is what brought me to the idea that I needed to learn to sew. I found this studio on Bloor that looked really cool. Quite honestly, what first caught my attention was the class they were offering on learning to make Mexican wrestling masks! I emailed them immediately to get more information. A short time later, I received a very friendly email asking me if I had ever used a sewing machine. My response was, “Sure, once in 7th grade”. I was then invited to the studio to take a private lesson to learn the basics of operating a sewing machine.
After the first lesson, I was hooked. Irene Stickney, the owner of “The Make Den”, gave me lessons on garment making. By the end of the second class, I knew that Irene had all the resources and knowledge I’d been looking for all this time at her creatively manicured fingertips. She knew who I should contact for materials, who I should contact to eventually make the clothes, and how we should go about making the first sample. She showed me how to measure, draft, cut and work the machines. All of these skills I now know are what I needed to begin the real work on my design business. She also taught me the language of a designer, the names of each machine and the names of each stitch. Before too long, we had a working sample of woman’s athletic leggings! I also wanted to make a sports bra to accompany the pants so we went back to the drawing board and came up with a sample of the bra as well.
Now the design was complete. I had the pattern and it was time to produce the garment. Irene introduced me to a couple of her friends that were in production. They basically mass produce the product. One of the girls also teaches at Irene’s school. I walked into their studio called ‘Pigeons and Threads” and knew these girls were going to be awesome to work with. They took my sample, all the fabrics I bought and, BAM, just like that – made me 15 different samples! I officially had a clothing line.
I took those samples and hired a few models and a photographer. Now I have all the promotion material to market the line. I already have a few stores interested and am proud to launch Magoo Active Wear through the online funding source, Kickstarter, to raise capitol, take pre-orders, and do some market research.
The Make Den is a special studio where anything is possible. Whether you’re looking to start a clothing line or just hem your jeans, it’s a magical place to start. The staff is friendly and welcoming to all.
I am now finally able to say I am a DESIGNER! Thank You Irene and The Make DEN!
CEO & Designer, Magoo Active Wear
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