INTERVIEW WITH

Melinda Ladyzinski

OWNER

ELIZABETH JOHNS

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America's Finest Sewers & Designers

Everyone starts somewhere, and a lot of hard work comes with the territory. But what is next? We met up with some inspiring customers to hear their stories. Watch their videos or read their interviews to learn what keeps them motivated and driven to offer top-notch craftsmanship.

MILLIE HIIBEL / OPERA PHILADELPHIA

Millie is the costume director for Opera Philadelphia and oversees teams of drapers and stitchers who design the outfits for the productions. The draping team consists of the draper/pattern maker, first hand/stitcher and often an additional stitcher. Teams are anywhere from a two to four-person team and sometimes more.

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THE GILIBERTO FAMILY / GILIBERTO DESIGNS

The Giliberto’s are only 1 of 3 men’s suit manufacturers left in NYC. They meticulously oversee all of the details and are heavily involved in Broadway costuming and the entertainment industry. They have worked on over 150 shows over the last 15 years.

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Khavya Khandavalli / School of Fashion Design, Boston

Khavya is from India where she started her collection of silk and embroidered fabrics and where her desire to be a designer started. She moved to Boston and attends the School of Fashion Design where she learns technique and has the opportunity to work on special projects for local museums and other organizations

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Dana Katz and Gosha Gregory / Miltons – The Store For Men

Dana’s grandfather and father started a small specialty store in 1947 and Gosha, a third-generation tailor, joined in 2000. Together they work with their customers to achieve the perfect fit. They are excited about the technological advancement of fabrics being developed that focus on comfort and lifestyle.

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VICTORIA AVILES / BRIDGE CLEANERS & TAILORS

Victoria’s favorite part of the tailoring business is to be able to transform something that does not fit into something that is done to perfection. A customer who is happy with how they feel and how they look is her reward.

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BILL MITCHELL / BILLIAM JEANS

Bill had amassed a waiting list of 400 people while making jeans in his parents’ basement. At their current pace, they have a two-week turnaround – they fit the customer, allow them to select materials and begin producing the product.

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THE NASSERBAKHT FAMILY / THE HOP

This family has been making custom shirts for over 100 years and growing up in a tailor shop provided a respect for well made things. They have survived by making traditional dress shirts but incorporating more casual shirts geared towards the younger generation.

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Carmen Bucco / Bucco Couture

Carmen saw the need to be accessible to his clients. That innovation led to him purchasing a vehicle and creating a men’s store on wheels. This venture not only sells suits and shirts but accessories as well to a 100-mile radius.

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John Kristiansen / John Kristiansen New York, Inc.

John runs a custom costume shop serving the entertainment industry. He takes pride on being willing to try new things, take risks and find innovative approaches to building costumes.

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Ben Sidden / Alteration Specialists

Ben grew up in a family of dressmakers and tailors. He has honed his craft, and now focuses on being a people person – to take care of them the best way he knows how so that they feel right at home. Always around a sewing machine, he keeps pushing himself to be the best at what he does.

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Unshattered

Kelly left her career in IT to found the non-profit, Unshattered, which creates employment for women who are winning their battle against addiction. Bags and accessories are handcrafted from repurposed materials. Your purchase ends the relapse cycle by providing pathways toward sustained sobriety and economic independence.

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Nick Duvall / Duvall Leatherwork

In 2005, Nick founded Duvall Leatherwork from the basement of his house after realizing that his college degree and profession didn't align with his passions. After 14 and a half years, he now employs 7 people and operates a 4,000 sq. ft. workshop complete with retail area.

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