Growing up in Ft. Pierce, Nadege Pierre, Founder of Sew Xpressive, always had a passion for sewing. She loves the ability to express herself through her creative designs. As an adult, her hobby continued and eventually progressed into a part-time business. Pierre shared the story behind her journey and gave us a glimpse of her future goals and the impact she hopes to have on future generations.
“In order to bring my designs to life, my go-to fabric selections are bold, vibrant and unique - because to me, clothing is a form of art; it is a means by which individuals can express themselves,” Pierre said. “The catalyst that sparked my interest in sewing was my constant need to alter my clothing due to my petite frame. When I realized that my skills were above average, I decided to improve upon them by enrolling in SewIt Academy, an online sewing course taught by Mimi G., a prominent seamstress and fashion guru. Learning from SewIt Academy and various Youtubers helped improve my skills drastically and gave me the confidence that I needed to start my sewing business in June 2020.”
Pierre connected with the Economic Development Coordinator of St. Lucie County and landed her first sewing contract with a local business. She successfully fulfilled her contract by sewing a total of 400 masks. “Aside from making masks, I enjoy designing and making clothing and accessories, and reupholstering small furniture and home decor.”
"Right now, my priorities are to create a general price list and product focus. Designing custom pieces for individuals is most profitable for now; however, as my business expands, I will need to purchase larger equipment for mass production.” Pierre added, “As a small business, I've experienced challenges obtaining funds to purchase the necessary equipment for expansion. For now, my dedicated workspace consists of a larger craft table, sewing machine, serger, mannequins and various sewing tools.”
For Pierre, the love of sewing always comes back to the creative aspect of it. “Simply put, I just love to make things that are stamped with my creative touch.”
Looking ahead, Pierre would like to expand her business by offering travel sewing services to include fun and interactive individual and group sewing lessons and parties on the Treasure Coast. Additionally, she envisions partnering with the local school districts and assisted living facilities to offer those services to students and patients, respectively. Lastly, she plans to develop a program that would provide complimentary sewing services. These services include designing and constructing formal attire for select high school students who can't afford the cost associated with prom and coordinating with local salons and photographers to offer complimentary services for those students to experience a memorable prom.
What advice does Pierre have for aspiring entrepreneurs? “Entrepreneurship can be progressive. You don't necessarily have to quit your job to start a business,” she said. "Starting a business has its challenges, so have a plan in place and always remember that passion, skill and lots of work eventually pays off. Also, don’t be discouraged by an overly saturated industry. Stay on the competitive edge by taking advantage of social media marketing and prioritize the delivery of quality products/services and exceptional customer service."