After opening her first commercial studio, at 100 Main Street in Sundridge in December of 2016, Suzanne Learn wasn’t long learning the fourth rule of business.
An ‘experienced’ client had come in for a zipper repair and when picking it up noted Suzanne had many more to repair.
“You know, if this is all you do, it will be all that you do.”
Good advice is only good advice if you follow it, and Suzanne was determined her Studio is going to be more than a zipper repair warehouse.
So she challenged herself and her community to join her in designing and creating 30 beautiful garments in 30 days to start the habit of making beautiful things – 30 Skirts in 30 Days in the month of March, 2017.
Women of the community rallied to the challenge, coming in for a draping experience from Suzanne’s ‘stash’ of curated materials she amassed in 20 the years since she graduated fashion school in Ottawa.
Together she and each woman chose their fabric, and moved to the mirror to drape it over the client’s body until the skirt “showed itself.”
Suzanne would finish the appointment by drawing a fashion sketch of the skirt, and taking down the details/measurements to start construction, before allowing the client to choose her day in March. Customers would then leave with a swatch of her fabric.
Each morning, Sundays too, Suzanne would reference the sketch and measurements to draft a skirt pattern, build the skirt, and prepare for the client’s fitting. On the appointed day, the clients came in for their fittings and by the end of the day the skirt was in the storefront window.
The neighbourhood enjoyed driving by to see the each day’s skirt. The challenge made Suzanne practice good habits: fashion sketching and drawing every day, drafting patterns every day, and doing fittings every day. There was also the immense pleasure of seeing excited clients every day.
On Day 31, the Studio hosted a wine and cheese party where all the clients wore their new skirts and enjoyed cake.
The challenge worked, proving to be a jumping off point for her design aspirations, inspiring herself and her clients to look to Suzanne and her Studio for beautiful one-of-a-kind items custom built, just for their needs.
It is her great honour to share these skirts as her point of inspiration and showcase how we spur growth when we challenge ourselves.
Please enjoy the collection remembering while each piece is related, they are also individually built for a specific person for a specific purpose, mostly to be beautiful.