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Maker Stories: Nicole Wzorek Designs

Nicole Wzorek runs her own fashion design and alterations business at her studio that is located above her family’s barn in her hometown where she grew up. She always knew she had an artistic side and decided fashion was the outlet for her creativity. After attending college where she studied fashion, she decided to start her own business that is focused on evening wear and bridal. She has learned many things along the way and loves what she does.

How did going to college for fashion help you in your career?

NW: Before college, I wanted to be an artist. I love painting, drawing, and clay sculpting. Someone had suggested to me that I should go to school for fashion design because of my background in modeling. I decided that going to school for fashion design would mix my love of drawing with fashion. I went to school and ended up enjoying sewing. I like looking at something and figuring out how it’s made, this made me a fast learner with sewing. I had never sewn anything before college, but once I started I never stopped. Even after graduation, I continued and now I have my own business!

Going to college for fashion helped me learn the history of fashion and how much it has changed over the years. I learned the sewing side of fashion from my Fashion Design major, as well as the business side from my Fashion Merchandising major. I still use much of the knowledge I learned in college in my day to day work.

Did you ever have moments of doubt about making a career choice in fashion?

NW: Of course I did. Making a career in fashion doesn’t always mean it is going to be easy or that I will make a lot of money, but at least I will be happy. I knew going into a fashion career that I wasn’t going to make a lot of money starting out (but maybe one day I will). There have been multiple times where I have thought about, or it has been suggested to quit and search for a different career path that will be easier and more lucrative. Every time I consider that idea, I have to consider the idea of possibly working at a desk. I am an active person and when I think of working at a desk, I know I would not be very happy. A person works for a huge part of their life, and if I am going to be working every day, I want to enjoy what I do.

I decided to continue with my path because it is what I went to college for, and I had worked in the field sewing for many years and felt confident that I had a chance making it on my own and wanted to take the risk and give it a shot. So far, I am happy with my decision and am excited to see what comes of my business in the future.

When did you decide that bridal and evening wear was the route you wanted to take in fashion?

NW: Ever since I was little I have been in love with how weddings are celebrated around the world. I enjoy seeing how cultures, such as the Indian culture, use so much color to celebrate a wedding! The colors are what captivated me since I was little, their colorful dresses, the headpieces and jewelry, and all the colors that are sometimes used for wedding decorations. When I was in college, in the Fashion Design program, each senior had to think of a collection they wanted to showcase and I decided to do international wedding gowns since I always loved wedding celebrations. It was so much fun looking up cultures and what their traditional garments were. Since then I wanted to keep with Bridal wear and evening wear. Researching wedding information, I came across many evening gowns I fell in love with as well. I love how fashion can make someone feel so special and beautiful.

After college, I was in search of a job where I could use my sewing skills actively, rather than a normal desk job. This is how I ended up at David’s Bridal. I walked into the store wanting to talk to the Alterations manager to ask for a job. She asked me to do a sewing test that day and once I was finished, right on the spot, she asked when I could start working. Over the years working at David’s Bridal I realized how special it is to the bride to find the dress of her dreams. The look and smile on her face when she tries on her dress for the final time before bringing her dress home is the best. Most brides become so excited and light up instantly feeling so beautiful in their gown! This look and their happiness is one of the many reasons of what started me to have my own business working with brides. Same with evening wear, I love the excitement a person shows about having their own custom garment made just for them. These reasons are one way to explain why I am so passionate about what I do. I wouldn’t say there was one specific time when I realized that bridal and evening wear was the route I wanted to take in fashion, I would say that my experiences in the past few years definitely solidified my direction for where I want to go in the future.

Where do you see your business in 10 years?

NW: I would love to have my own stores in Boston, MA, Italy, and where I started in Westfield, Ma. I went to school out near Boston and think it would be a great area to have a flagship store. I think Italy is a beautiful place and have family over in Italy, and would enjoy owning a store over there! I really enjoy bridal and would love to have my own collection in stores and also to continue the custom work that I have been doing for brides. I have many ideas of different collections I would love to complete within the next few years. In ten years, I hope I am still as passionate as I am now about my.

What do you do for fun outside of your business?

NW: My family owns horses and I enjoy taking breaks to go visit the horses. Having horses is an amazing way to relax when I am stressed with all the work and daily activities I have going on. I love being outdoors, I enjoy running, going for walks and hikes. In the past few years I have fallen in love with obstacle runs! This year a friend of mine and I completed our Spartan Trifecta, which I am proud of. It is a lot of work training for the runs, I may not be the best or the fastest, but it is still a challenge that I enjoy.

Another activity I enjoy is cooking. I love finding new recipes and making them into my own. I may not have as much time for this as I would like, but when I have an evening free, I enjoy making a big meal for my family.

Traveling is another love of mine! I want to travel as much as I can someday. I enjoy going to other countries to experience different foods, drinks, fashion, and everything I can. Traveling within the US is also fun, I have yet to do a crazy road trip cross country. There are so many areas that I wish to travel to one day.

If you could dress anyone famous, who would it be and why?

NW: Vanna White. My dad is a big fan of mine and constantly supports what I do. He watches Wheel of Fortune every chance he gets (pretty much every single time it’s on). I would love to make a dress for her and have my dad see her walk out in a Nicole Wzorek original! I think that would be fun for my dad and me.

What do you use for a studio? How did you make it into your own creative space?

NW: My studio use to be an empty space, which I decided to transform into my sewing room. I kept sewing as a hobby after college while I was working part-time. My hobby slowly turned into me completing projects for family friends and friends of mine. As I slowly started spending more and more time in my studio, I started to decorate my space how I always envisioned my studio would look. I love the baroque period aesthetics, gold and pastel colors. My studio has a beautiful gold mirror for brides to look into during fittings, with a few antique decorations. I wanted my space to make customers feel relaxed and also spoiled at the same time. When you pull up to my studio, you pull up to a horse pasture and an open field to the right. I want my clients to understand who I am when they decide to come to me. I enjoy being able to show my passion for sewing up in my studio and being able to relax and talk to my customers in a calm atmosphere.

What do you like the most about what you do? What do you dislike the most?

NW: What I like most about what I do is that I am able to be creative and do what I love while helping others. Some clients need clothing alterations, some need me to make something out of something old, and others want me to create a custom piece. One of my favorite things about completing custom work for someone is the look on their face when they try on the piece I’ve made for them. I get to know my clients really well most of the time, which makes the process even more special. The process of making a custom piece is a long one, and the end result is always the most fun. Sometimes people don’t believe that what was just sketched months before is now a reality. Seeing their happiness with what I’ve created is what makes me continue forward with owning my own business.

What I like the least about owning my own business is the long hours I put in sometimes. I am passionate about what I do, and most of the time that leads to me working way into the night. I like details to be perfect and I will put in that extra time to make sure what I’m making comes out perfect for their special day! I am the only one sewing in my studio, and with the amount of work I have, I put in long hours. I enjoy the flexibility I have with making my own hours.  Between my business work, weddings I am in or going to, and life activities my days are usually scheduled months in advance. My appointment book has become very handy. I am passionate about what I do though and most of the times the long hours don’t bother me. I have a busy life and I always have and wouldn’t want it any other way.

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