Meet the Essentials Specialist Sewing Studio located in Scarborough, the East end of Toronto. This sewing studio sews The Minimalist Mock Neck, The Minimalist Sleeveless Mock Neck, The Airy Wrap Up Scarf, The Nomadic V-Neck, The Wrap Up Scarf, and The Minimalist Legging.
During our visit to The Essentials Specialist Sewing Studio, we sat down with Ash, an ambitious entrepreneur and Managing Partner of the sewing studio.
Tell us about yourself
I graduated from McMaster and Ryerson with a Commerce degree back in 2007. I'm an entrepreneur, I currently have 4 businesses on the go. I’ve primarily been in the packaging industry for the past 15 years.
About 6 years ago I was looking to venture into something new. Through a common connection, I was introduced to this business and decided to step in and purchase the sewing studio. From there I started learning about cut make and trim. We weren’t supplying materials, we were just taking patterns, having ready cut bundles and putting garments together. A few years after that we ventured into offering cutting. It ended up being a good move, a lot of our customers prefer to do all that stuff in one place. We are a full cut make and trim shop.
Why do you think your customers are coming to you rather than using someone overseas?
Mainly turn around time. We tell our customers it will be 2-3 weeks for turn around, but it’s really a little less than that. We put that out there so there’s a bit of cushion room. If we are taking jobs from everyone we need to make sure we have room in the schedule.
Tell us about the women who work here
They have all been in the industry for 20-30 years, and prior to that, they have work experience from back home. This work is what they know. They are very skilled and good at what they do.
It’s becoming increasingly more difficult to find young workers willing to operate a machine. I’m a prime example, I didn't want to do the work I wanted to run the business. The students studying design are learning more about design rather than physically operating a machine. As the workers' age and retire, they aren’t being replaced.
How do you ensure the garments you sew are good quality?
We have a good quality control process. Through the sewing process, the ladies are checking everything. If a woman is joining the neck and shoulder of a top, before she passes it along to the next woman she'll double check to make sure she did it right. Then the next woman will check what the woman prior to her did and if there’s an issue we can go back and fix it. There are multiple checks all the way through. We have a woman who does the final thread cutting so she’ll turn the garment inside out cut all the threads and turn it right side in. While she does this she'll do a final check to make sure everything is perfect with the garment.
What are some reasons to support Canadian made products, and do you support Canadian made products?
I definitely think it's important to support Made in Canada companies. Majority of the fabric we buy is knit in Canada. The yarn will come from overseas but the knitting and dying are done here in Canada. We buy 100% cotton thread from Cansew, a local company that's made in Canada.
What do you like about working with us?
I really like the team. I mainly work with France, she’s always very transparent. I like that she’s able to pop over anytime to do sample reviews or answer questions.