Leanna's Bio

I was born in Connecticut, but went to college in South Carolina where I earned a BS in Home Economics. I got a job in a Piece Goods fabric store where I worked for about 2 years. I got a better job in an Alteration shop where the owner taught me anything I wanted to learn. She was a great mentor and I developed the desire to be like her. When I moved to North Carolina I got a job doing alterations for a new bridal salon opened by a lady who did floral arranging in her kitchen and thought if she could do that why not have a full service salon for all the bride's needs. I had only worked on one bridal gown in my previous job, but the confidence I got from the way my boss treated me and the techniques she taught me enabled me to become a skilled bridal seamstress in no time. For the next 3 years we built a great bridal salon that really did it right for the customer.

After the first year I rented a space upstairs from the bridal salon where I continued to fulfill the needs of the bridal salon and began to take in street customers. During very busy times, like wedding/prom season I've had as many as 4 employees. About 2 years later a friend of mine opened an upscale fabric store and offered me the back room to relocate my shop. I and the 2 employees I had at the time, moved the shop and we started sewing for the fabric store along with the street customers. At a time when my 2 remaining employees had to move out of state, I decided to move to Ohio, get married, and set up my business in my home. 

One kid and 4 moves later, I was still working out of my Home Sewing Studio in the basement of my home. I do mostly clothing alterations for the Talbots stores in town and private clients who come to my home. I have also made faux fur coats, costume cloaks and capes, and dabbled in historical costuming. I've made custom designed outfits for dancers - including myself. (I needed a new hobby so I started taking belly dancing lessons) I like the many facets to my business because I get bored easily. About the only thing I don't want to do is windows! 

1999 update -
This past year I found myself needing back surgery and moving my business from my basement studio to a very small bedroom studio.

To any one out there facing back surgery please accept a virtual hug from me!

2000 update -
I've moved again. My studio has grown a little to a nice space that gives me more options for fitting customers. My life has changed a lot, but I'm sewing mostly the same.

2001 update -
Well, I didn't think I would ever be saying this, but I'm going to be moving again! My Dad decided to join us here in Ohio and we are house hunting for something big enough to hold us all and give me a nice space to make a decent studio. Wish us luck :)

2002 update -
My New (how many times have I said that) Studio is almost finished. Only a few minor details left so I've gone ahead and taken pictures. It's been a long journey! From finding out that the basement of the house my parents bought was not water proofed like the disclosure statement said, to delays and redo's 'til now it's not been easy, but I have a really nice work space now. Renting the basement from my parents gives us interesting tax benefits. What's extra nice is that I also have a small dance studio space to practice.

2003 update -
The next big development in my life - I have decided to make my hobby a side profession. I have often said that when you convert your hobby into a profession, you need to get a new hobby. So after I started my sewing business I took on dance as a hobby. Visit me @ http://conchi.homestead.com/Leanna.html. I guess this means I'll be looking for a new hobby. Any suggestions?

2004 update -
I've added The Bridal Studio to my site. I have been doing more and more bridal work and have decided to set up this section of my site for brides to do research on anything gown related. As they write in questions for me to discuss topics they are interested in the site is growing.

2005 update -
Well, I decided to try Ballroom Dance as my new hobby. I'm having lots of fun. If you have not tried this, you need to.

2006 update -
As my bridal customer base increases, I have spent more time developing this studio on my site more than the others. This April I have announced my first teaching DVD on basic bustling for wedding gowns. I hope to do a sequel to it soon and other topics in the realm of clothing alteration.

2007 update -
This has also been a very unexpected year. I decided to end my association with the Talbot stores in Cincinnati. It was not an easy decision but I am glad I did it. I hope this will give me more time to create new DVD's.

2008 update-
Not much to report this year for myself but I have noticed an interesting trend in my brides. More weddings are being scheduled for the Fall season. This is interesting but not at all unwelcome. It has made my work load more even through the year.

2009 update -
I've decided to make a change in my studio. I redesigned the room we were using for a dining room into a fitting room with a nice dressing area. It's right off the side door so when you walk into the house, you are in the studio, instead of having to walk through the dining area and down the stairs. I think it will be a great asset to customers who didn't like using the stairs. Pictures here: http://www.leanna.com/stitch/NewBasement.htm

2010 update -
The new fitting studio is working out great. It's a wonderful place for brides to test their gown with plenty of space to walk around and a wall of mirrors to see what you look like. On the personal side - I decided to renovate my kitchen and love it too. And . . . I added a man to my home. He's working out well too. (giggles) And I've discovered Contra Dancing. Come join us @ http://www.cincinnaticontradance.org/index.htm

2011 update - Not much new to report. I've noticed that wedding gown styles are starting to return to the grand ballroom type gowns I learned on. The past few years have slimmed down gown styles with the popularity of destination weddings and the economy being slumpy. Folks still want to get married but they are more conscious about budgeting the wedding spending. Brides still want a gown but they are willing to scale down their look to fit the needs of the budget.

2012 update - I have decided to retire and will not be accepting any new clients. I will keep this site up as long as I can as a resourse to the folks who come here looking for advice about bridal alterations. Thank you to the many brides who trusted me to help them look beautiful for their special day!

2021 update - Life is so funny! 2020 was the year everyone wants to forget but it gave me a new vision for my life with our new address. So, I have decided to come out of retirement and renew my sewing services to Brides in our new area. In the weeks to come I will post updates on the progress setting up the new Sewing Studio and will reactivate the email links for communication.


Thanks for visiting my site,

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