I grew up on a ranch in South Dakota, and learned to sew at an early age. I noticed that when I went to buy wool fabric I had to pay a lot more per yard than the local ranchers would get for the wool as they sheared their sheep. I also noticed that when I was creating a leather accessory, that the leather was much more expensive than the local ranchers were being reimbursed for the beef hides when they went to market. I envisioned a company that would employ local people to take the natural resources of the area, process them all the way through to sewn products. Towards that end, I decided to learn as much as I could about the textile industry and apparel production. I applied to the Fashion Institute of Technology’s (NYC, NY) Fashion Design program and was accepted, but during the interview I learned that they had a patternmaking program. The patternmaking department focused on the technical side of sewn products. Since that was more in line with my vision, I transitioned into the patternmaking department. I was a Presidential Scholar and graduated summa cum laude. While in New York, I worked for fashion houses on (and off) 7th Avenue as well as a fur designer.
After marrying, I spent several years traveling around the United States, due to my husband’s career transfers. Although moving and having children at home kept me from having a traditional career, I found opportunity to utilize my patternmaking and sewing skills everywhere we lived. I have helped independent designers develop their lines, made costumes for ballet companies, and church productions, and created many custom clothing pieces. I owned and operated a small cut & sew factory which was awarded several military contracts as well as a contract with a civilian company for our sewing services.
I moved to the Emerald Coast of Florida in 2009. Although I am a long way from South Dakota, I still have a passion for taking natural resources of an area, employing people within that community to process them all the way through to sewn products. To that end, I have created a line of resort wear labeled Emerald Coast Designs. The unique prints and solids are custom dyed using natural resources of the Emerald Coast to capture the peacefulness, serenity, and beauty of the Emerald Coast.
Sharing the Inspiration
Creating a loosely connected network of women committed to each other’s success.
Deanna has a passion to network with other women and help them bring their sewn products to reality.
“One day as I was driving, I was praying for direction for my business in a new place and I was inspired with this answer: It is time for you to network with other women.”
Networking is a socioeconomic business activity by which businesspeople and entrepreneurs meet to form business relationships and to recognize, create, or act upon business opportunities, share information and seek potential partners for ventures.