Local fashion creatives reflect the diverse and vibrant culture of the River City. In the heart of Midtown is a haven for creatives and designers - The Brother Sewing Lab - located inside of Arrow Creative. This lab boasts state-of-the-art sewing equipment all donated by Brother, a company based out of New Jersey with a sincere interest in emerging designers and a solid presence in Memphis. The lab provides artists with specialty equipment, helping designers take their work to the next level.
Whitney Wiggs is the facilitator of the lab and owner of Fiber Arts Shop, which she runs out of her studio also located within Arrow. A multifaceted artist, she can be found doing everything from wedding dress alterations to teaching classes on sewing overalls.
Recently, Whitney provided costuming for the show Young Rock for which she created a variety of items ranging from denim jackets made from scratch to 400 custom embroidered beanies. When asked about the experience, she reflects how vital it was to have had access to a high-end embroidery machine at all hours. “There was no room for error. Having a properly tuned embroidery machine that could handle the speed I needed and just knowing I could get all of that done without hesitation helped me have the confidence to say, 'yes'." Whitney is now currently hand-designing outfits for a local haunted house. Her creativity and willingness to say “yes” to any project make her a great asset to the Memphis creative community.
Another Memphis designer, Saratou Kane, also utilizes the Brother sewing lab in her production of high-quality, stylish children's garments. A self-taught seamstress and stay-at-home mom, Saratou began working with Arrow while enrolled in a fashion design program co-sponsored by Arrow and then Memphis College of Art (MCA). She participated in Memphis Fashion Week and then set up her own studio at Arrow where she is able to grow her business and bring her creative visions to life. Saratou remarks, “Attending MCA truly opened up my perspective on pursuing fashion as a hobby and side business. I have learned the art of textile design as well as fashion as a business. I was self-taught for a while but needed to reinforce those skills through professional development.”
Saratou now runs her business through her website hananpretties.com which features 80% of her own digital designs printed on fabric. Although she also works full-time in a different industry, she still sews everyday on her lunch break and on weekends. “It is so fulfilling to watch the entire process come together in one masterpiece. Also being a children's designer, nothing beats the smiles on little ones faces.”
Hardworking and dedicated designers like Whitney and Saratou weave life into the local creative community and The Brother Sewing Lab continues to help make their dreams possible.