Today we’d like to introduce you to Taylor Ioannou.
Taylor, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
Ever since I was younger, I was intrigued with fashion design and sewing. I thought the creative process was interesting for fashion design and sewing. It was, and still is, interesting because you are able to sketch, design, create, sew and then wear your own designs. Growing up I took as many fashion design and sewing classes as I could. I thought I was going to be a true fashion designer and go to the school of the art institute. However, life changes and so did my path. I decided to attend DePaul University in Chicago and I received my BA & MA in Communication. Shortly after that, I worked full time and gained professional experience. My passion continued for fashion design and sewing. I slowly started teaching sewing classes locally as a hobby, while working full time. Then, popularity of the sewing classes grew and I started teaching more classes locally at various park districts, community centers and schools. I was able to leave my full-time job and pursue my true passion of sewing! During this same time, I opened up the Ciao Bella Sewing Studio in Winnetka and it has been open and running for a year and a half now. I mostly teach sewing and fashion classes to children and adults. I couldn’t be happier doing what I absolutely love! I am very fortunate and blessed; I truly enjoy going to work each day!
Has it been a smooth road?
There were challenges along the way. Starting your own business can be risky. There is a lot to be concerned about, such as finances, location of your store or business, attendance, etc. I took a slightly more conservative route by teaching sewing classes at local park districts first. This minimized the overhead. I then slowly grew Ciao Bella Sewing classes at the local park districts and then once more patrons discovered the sewing classes, I then opened the Ciao Bella Sewing Studio. But, every day presents a new challenge. That includes managing staff, creating new project ideas and staying relevant in the community.
We’d love to hear more about your business.
Ciao Bella Sewing has two focuses, we teach various sewing classes at local park districts, community centers and schools. Then, we also run a variety of workshops and summer camps at the Ciao Bella Sewing Studio. Ciao Bella Sewing is unique because we teach at a variety of locations and then also run programs out of the Ciao Bella Sewing Studio. We strive to maximize our presence in the community. Ciao Bella Sewing is known for providing the community with sewing and fashion design classes for children and adults. As a company, I personally am most proud of the fact that we support the arts! In a day and age where so much focus is on STEM programming, it is wonderful to have a creative outlet for children and adults! I personally am a large supporter of the arts and I wish schools and society as a whole would put more emphasis on the arts. As far as being competitive, there are not a lot of local sewing studios that actually teach individuals how to sew! We are unique and different because we are bringing back a lost past time. Thankfully, we run trendy classes and workshops and try to stay relevant with the times.
Is our city a good place to do what you do?
Chicago is a great place to start a business and it has been a great place to start a sewing business. I do believe that location is key. There are a lot of different suburbs and sections of Chicago to choose from. I recommend that new business owners or individuals looking to start a business, conduct research and see what other businesses are in the area and learn about the existing competition. Then, individuals can either decide to compete with existing businesses or choose another area with less competition.
- Weekend Workshops at the Ciao Bella Sewing Studio $40 (supplies included)
- Prices for sewing classes at local park districts, community centers and schools vary.
- Sewing Camps start at $250 +
- Address: Ciao Bella Sewing Studio
874 Green Bay Road Suite 220 Winnetka IL. 60093
- Website: CiaoBellaSewing.com
- Phone: 847-456-5720
- Email: CiaoBellaSewing@gmail.com
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/ciaobellasewing/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CiaoBellaSewing/?rc=p
- Yelp: https://www.yelp.com/biz_photos/ciao-bella-sewing-winnetka?select=OIUtE5yfB8CyP_3Q_CW9gw
Ciao Bella Sewing