Bob Martin's plan was to start small but think big.
Now the local fashion designer has partnered and contracted with
Swiss sewing machine manufacturer, to be a featured designer
on its newly revamped Web site.
"It's really interesting how just in the past six months things
have taken off. When you get a company such as Bernina by your
side, all of a sudden other companies kind of stand up and take
notice," Martin said.
Marketing Manager Alice Voss called Martin "the trigger for
creative spark of young designers today."
After studying fashion in London and teaching part-time, Martin
created an instructional DVD series "How To Fashion Design" with
the goal of encouraging the next generation of sewers.
"Shows like Project Runway bring excitement to making clothes.
I've heard a lot of people say they'd like to design their own
clothing," Martin said.
When his DVDs were filmed, he wanted new and up-to-date
equipment that would be easy for new sewers to use, so he turned
to Bernina. Curtis Diller, owner of Stitch N Time of
Greencastle, lent him a Bernina sewing machine for the project.
Martin contacted the company in search of a retail sponsorship,
and to his surprise, they noticed his product and asked him to
contribute to their new Web site (http://www.sewingrepublic.com),
set to launch next month. The site is geared toward getting the
younger market interested in sewing.
Martin will also be featured at the company's dealer convention
in San Francisco.
His DVD series is sold online (How
to Fashion Design) and locally at Stitch N Time, but he is
in discussion with a number of national retailers. He hopes the
new partnership will be a catalyst for future business
"At the moment I'm looking for people who want to have their
product retailed in their store. And now that I'm involved with
Bernina, now they want to make the phone calls and discuss about
possible contracts," he said. "It's been really good and really
exciting what the future's going to hold. It's something I never
really expected this quickly in the game, but it's worked out
Martin said he was always fascinated with design in general. He
built homes before he left to study fashion in London, where
graduated valedictorian of his class among some talented
classmates that included Christian Siriano, winner of the
reality show "Project Runway."
By MARCUS RAUHUT Staff writer
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