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Ohio fashion designer empowers kids through sewing

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CLEVELAND Lake Effect Studios in Cleveland runs a weekly sewing class for kids, helping them gain confidence and empower them to be whatever they want in life.


What would you like to know

  • Dru Thompson is a fashion designer from Cleveland
  • She is the founder and designer of her label Dru Christine Fabrics and Design
  • Learning to sew at a young age opened many doors for her in her life.
  • Thompson teaches sewing lessons for adults and children
  • She likes to empower children so that they too can lead the life they choose.

It’s fun, it’s fun, especially since I’m just learning how to do it, it’s fun, said 13-year-old Aaniyah Chestnut.

What I want to be is a scientist, but just in case my science goal doesn’t fit, I think because I’m already learning this, I could become a fashion designer, said Zaria Boyd, 10.

They don’t learn from just anyone. Ohio fashion designer Dru Thompson who owns her brand, Dru Christine Fabrics and Design, is their teacher and mentor.

I get really excited when the kids want to come and learn to sew, Thompson said. I’m also excited for the adults, excited for the sewing period, but when the kids come I know I can help plant that seed and keep the industry going.

Thompson comes from a family of creatives. She learned to sew herself at 13 and knew from an early age that she wanted to be a fashion designer.

I don’t know when I don’t want to come to work. I still want to come here. I have to force myself not to come here actually, Thompson said.

Thompson started his business over nine years ago and feels lucky to come to work every day. She wants children to grow up loving what they are doing too.

I come from the city center and sewing has opened so many doors for me. Like some of the experiences I’ve had were just amazing just because I was that girl who knew how to sew, Thompson said.

Some children who teach sewing already have the goal of owning their own brand.

I’ve never tried sewing before and want to start my own business like labeling clothes and things like that and so I need to learn how to sew and that’s why I’m taking the course, said Chestnut .

All of the kids agreed that learning to sew is a useful life skill.

I think sewing would be a good hobby for me in life, I think it’s very ingenious, said Madison Hunt, 12.

If someone I’m close to needs their clothes fixed, I can do it, said Jada-Fe Hill, 11.

During the first weeks of class, they learned how to make masks.

I want to do stuff for my grandmother because she’s like quarantining right now so I can’t visit her, said 12-year-old Jane Gyorki.

The mask is a small garment, but significant in that. At the end of class, they will have made a large item of clothing, such as a skirt. Thompson hopes this empowers kids to do whatever they want and do whatever they want.

When you grow up you could make pants, shirts, hats, gloves and everything, says Seroni Coudougar, 11.

Or even just make your own clothes because you won’t be able to find them in stores, you will have your own unique thing, Hunt added.

Sewing is a profession of creative expression, which can open the doors to these children towards a future of their choice.

Anything that helps them put their phones down and focus and anything that helps creativity and builds knowledge is good, Thompson said.

To learn more about Dru Christine Fabrics and Design or sewing lessons for adults and children, visit here.

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