Thursday, May 26, 2011

Designer: Suzanne Sevier Model: Eizabeth Bradbury

Suzanne Sevier Rowland was born and ra
ised in Nashville and received a BA in Economics from the University of Tennessee. After a few years in Banana-Republic-button-downs-and-black-slacks, she knew that corporate America was not a good fit (no pun intended). She had always sewn clothes for fun throughout high school and college but the idea of making a living doing that didn't occur to her until her late 20's. She enrolled in fashion school while living in Atlanta, but within a year knew that she needed to move to NYC to be in a better fashion school and to have the resources available that are not available living in the south.

She enrolled in the pattern making program at The Fashion Institute of Technology in NYC and also scored a job in the city's top fabric store, Mood Fabrics.

It was in 2004 when the concept of a skirts-only line using fabulous fabrics took hold!

Suzanne's friend Haley was visiting from out of town and went nuts when she saw the number of skirts that Suzanne had sewn in her free time. Haley wore them everywhere she went, inspiring Suzanne to create more. Sevier Skirts was born out of the effort to keep up with the steady stream of demand for one-of-a-kind custom skirts that she and her friends generated that Spring!

The home party concept developed in 2005. The first few parties were friends helping her out, but by year two, parties began to fill the calendar booked by strangers that had just discovered the "girl who makes skirts". Sevier Skirts' sales doubled every year thereafter and in 2010 the sales trainee program was developed. There are 4 Skirt Schools each year to teach women how to grow Sevier Skirts businesses in their own city and how to measure customers for that perfect Sevier Skirts fit. The Skirt Shop is staffed with assembly trained seamstresses, cutters, managers, and quality controllers who are accurate, fast, and who take pride in their work.

Suzanne doesn't see herself as a designer, but she sees her occupation as an entrepreneur. "My intentions are to continue to grow my sales staff and production staff to a point in which it will run itself. Currently I am free of all production responsibilities. My responsibilities lie in doing out of town sales and finding and training new sales reps. I feel that this role is also one that can be delegated out in due time. Therefore, my inspirations are business owners such as Tony Hsieh of Zappos andmy old boss at Mood Fabrics, Philip Sauma, who started as a fabric jobber but now has grown his empire to include silk and cotton printing and manufacturing and design and manufacturing teams in Vietnam and China whose biggest clients are and Anthropologie."

Suzanne has an economics degree from UT Knoxville and went to fashion school in Atlanta at AIU for two years and also attended the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York for over a year.
The proudest moment of her design career was winning Entrepreneur of 2010 in the City Paper. It was also the year that pushed her company over $1 million in sales.

Her designs are available for purchase at and through home parties in dozens of cities nationwide.

Suzanne's model for Project Funway is Elizabeth Bradbury.

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