Fashion Techniques and Design Alumni Profile – George Brown College

Fashion Techniques and Design Alumni Profile – George Brown College


Fashion, sewing, designing,
making my own clothes, has always been
a big part of my life. I was given a needle and thread
when I was three. I learned how to make clothes
when I was eight. And when I was twelve, we found fabric
in my grandmother’s basement and went to Fabricland and bought
a pattern – and of course it didn’t fit. And since that day,
I’ve never used a commercial pattern. I’m Keli Schmidt. I did the
Fashion Techniques & Design Program at George Brown College.
It’s a two-year program. I graduated in 2006. I heard about George Brown College
through a friend of my grandmother. My grandparents sponsored
a refugee couple from Vietnam, and the wife of that couple
ended up teaching sewing at George Brown College –
and that’s how I heard about it. I never would have thought
I would be here doing this. I chose George Brown
because of its practical approach. They’re getting you ready
to go and get a job. The focus of the program
was what I wanted to learn. So that was wonderful, but my
favourite class was definitely sewing. I just loved sewing,
always sitting in the front row, asking all kinds
of nerdy questions. I really enjoyed a lot of my teachers
at George Brown. A couple of them
really went the extra mile for me. I really feel that these teachers
care about me as a person. Uh, my drafting teacher Julie
has come to launches of my collections. I also got my first job through a
connection from a teacher at George Brown. It was our colour and design teacher
who was a world-famous jewellery designer,
and we just thought that was so cool. It was really neat to be taught by someone
who was actually famous. When I came out of George Brown,
I was working for other designers doing product development,
so making patterns and sewing samples, helping designers
to turn their garments into things that can be sewn
on a mass production scale – and that’s what
George Brown gave me. The lessons I learned
at George Brown, the little tricks
that the teachers taught us, you know, the little things
that you talk about outside the class in the hall or in the lab,
uh, they’re still so applicable. And I of course use all those same skills
in doing my own collection as well. My line is called Cassada. I’m in six different stores now
across Canada, and hoping to keep
growing the line slowly. It is so empowering
to be able to make whatever I want. Anything I want – I can make it.

2 thoughts on “Fashion Techniques and Design Alumni Profile – George Brown College

  1. I just listened to you on Youtube that I haven't done for a long time and U probably haven't either but it made me proud of U all over again.
    Your Grandpa and say HELLO to my grandson. I think you know his name, RIGHT?
    God bless you both and remember that Jesus has to be first in your life.

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