A graduate of the International Academy of Design, worked for a number of years in graphic design – as art director at several magazines and designing logos and packaging for high-profile clients – before shifting her focus onto fashion and finding success with her Mukluks Brand. Building a world wide company with her sister in a matter of months, Lindsey got Mukluks on the feet of fashionable women around the globe, including supermodel Kate Moss. From 2007 to today, Lindsey, a tireless mom of two, runs her label three/quarter, which attracts a lot attention with its chic coats and dresses. Working with partner Dilys Tong, Lindsey’s newest endeavour is Sew Be It Girl, a sewing studio that offers fun and funky classes to tweens and teens.
A graduate of both the University of Alberta’s Design and Textile Science Program and the International Academy of Design. Focusing largely on theatrical costuming, she has worked on production teams for The Lion King, Mamma mia, Hair Spray, and The Producers to name a few. She has also been recognized for her DIY (Do-It-Yourself) projects and sewing/business expertise by many media outlets including: Breakfast Television, CBC, and Toronto Star. In 2005, Dilys collaborated with a number of fellow artists and designers to create Sew Be It Studio in Toronto, and in 2009, she partnered with Lindsey Wise to open its sister location, Sew Be It Girl. Both studios offers classes and workshops to promote the art of sewing and fashion design – some of which are conducted by Dilys herself!
Everything happens for a reason. I truly believe that. In 2004, I was one of the many layoffs in the theatre industry due to the market crash. It’s amazing when you have free time, you can come up with all sorts of ideas. I took that “free time” as an opportunity to pursue my modern sewing studio concept. After numerous business plan drafts, raising funds and finding the perfect space, Sew Be It studio was launched in 2005.
The company was very small back then. It was located in a tiny space atyonge and eglinton, and wasn’t even on street level. We had a small team of staff that served as admin, instructors and whatever other roles the company required us to be. Our first sewing class had 2 students, but I didn’t care. I loved every minute of it.
Lindsey and I met in 2006 in a sewing class. She was wrapping up her Mukluk project and was ready for another venture – A coat/dress label called “three quarter”. I was helping her with some of the production and pattern making and we bonded over our love of handmade, the TV show Absolutely Fabulous and wine. The rest is history. We partnered up and expanded Sew be it studio. I must admit, our partnership is a balance of trust and support. It’s the perfect marriage.
For us, it was more than just teaching someone how to sew. It was passing on a skill that will help someone rediscover themselves and gain that confidence to take on any challenges in their lives and most of all, empower them with the knowledge to appreciate all things handmade. We want our students to understand why an item made by a local designer costs more and actually value all the work and dedication that went into making it, as opposed to mass production in a large factory in China. We want them to realize it’s not about the end result; it’s the process that matters. Sewing is a journey that you never know where it takes you, but you will come out with a better self for sure.