|Susan Igou, Master Tailor, Founder
As the first Woman President of the Custom Tailors and Designers Association of the World (CTDA), Susan spent her lifetime honing the skill of perfection and masterful art in the world of sewing. Her award winning garments are in rotation on display at Studio BERNINA. Her lifetime of work included developing a cohesive plan to help women and men achieve creative independence to be able to sew their dreams into reality. She developed the training and educational programs for the CTDA.
Today, her daughter Vanessa Empire continues this education program to honor her mom.
|Vanessa Empire, Owner
With the passing of Susan Igou, daughter Vanessa Empire continues her legacy. With a background in design and a lifetime of experience growing up around garment construction, BERNINA sewing machines and more, she loves to pass on her nostolgic love and passion for creating beautiful clothing, both as a creative outlet and also as a passion. Her specialties include BERNINA sewing machines, Embroidery, Software, fabric knowledge, and sewing for the home. She loves sharing that passion with kids, and multi-generational sewists! If you need design help for your home or your next project, she is your go to! If you need help with your BERNINA or presser feet, or are struggling with deciding on the right machine for you, her knowledge of the features will help!
|Liz Marr, Teacher & Art Quilter
A quilter for over 25 years, Liz views her quilting as an intergenerational creative and meditative endeavor. She looks to nature for much of her inspiration in quilting. Liz fell in love with textile arts at an early age when her mother taught her to sew and her grandmother taught her to knit and crochet. She’s been under the spell of needles, fabric and fiber ever since. Liz inherited her enthusiasm for Bernina sewing machines from her mother, who is a retired Bernina tailoring instructor.After a successful career in food and nutrition communications including extensive experience with adult learners, Liz now devotes much of her energy to quilting, knitting and music. She holds a bachelor of science in clothing and textiles from University of Missouri, where she graduated cum laude, and a master of science in food science and nutrition from Colorado State University. In addition to quilting and knitting, Liz is an amateur pianist and is active in the local music community.
Sloan Schwindt, Teacher & Heirloom textile expert
Sloan Schwindt has been sewing since she was about eight years old, her first project a blue and white terry cloth print swimsuit cover! (With a ruffle!) She received her first Bernina while in college as a gift from her mother and she has never sewn on anything else since!
Sloan is a professional archaeologist, receiving her Master’s from the University of Denver with a degree in Archaeology and Museum Studies. Textile history has always been of interest to her, especially Southwestern (Navajo and Hopi) and pre-Columbian textiles. She has worked for the State Archaeologist of Colorado, the Smithsonian Institution and the State of Utah.
Her love of sewing grew over the years and includes garment and heirloom sewing, costuming and quilting. She is an avid gardener and cook, knitter and calligrapher hiker and outdoors person. As a member of the Daughters of the American Revolution, she is active in the community, and is a member of the Archaeology and Historic Preservation committee for History Colorado. She loves dogs and all animals.
Sloan studied with Susan for over 20 years, and is so excited when people are successful in sewing their dreams into reality...
|Elijah Parsons, Repairs & Tech Department
With many years of experience, beyond his years, Elijah has a passion for fixing things. He loves to precision and heavy duty machines that BERNINA makes, and the "rules" and "tools" made perfectly for getting you the perfect stitch. His handi work goes beyond this however, as he has been known to help a client to repair a cabinet from a move, working on Long Arm machines (with raving reviews), and his knowledge of the serger is unsurpassed!
"I love Bernina products and the level of quality they allow all of our sewing family to achieve! Come see me today with any make or model and I will repair it in shop for you! I can even sharpen your scissors"
Terry Birdsell, Certified Gem Affiliate, Quilting Teacher
What I love most about Terry is that she teaches as she lives her life -- with kindness, grace, and humility. She knows there is a gem to be found in all of us. Terry’s advice: “Keep smiling and enjoy the journey.”
Susan Igou studied in her lifetime with Master Tailor, and Beverly Hills Tailor to the Stars, Giacomo Trabalza. We can still hear her influence today in our curriculums, with an eye for perfection, and a philosophy that one must be within a 1/16" of an inch for accuracy, and for a beautiful fit. Today we encourage our students to do their very best... whatever that is. As sewing is a skill that is like a muscle that gets stronger over time and persistance. We believe ANYONE with the desire can achieve this skill, and we love to teach it!
Read more about Susan Igou's mentors, Giacomo and more at the following article;
Master Tailor, Giacomo Trabalza