Interview with Kirsten Arvenitis, owner
Q: How did you get involved in this business?
A: My love of fashion and garment construction developed at an early age. I went to college in New York City to further my education in the business aspect of the fashion industry. I quickly realized that my passion was in the creative, hands-on part of the business. I have always been drawn to bridal gowns and their special place in the marriage celebration. I've developed wonderful working relationships with bridal stores in the Denver area who refer their brides to me for specialty alterations. I also design and create custom gowns for my own customers. My first studio was in operation for almost 15 years in Portsmouth, N.H. I moved to Denver 15 years ago to begin a family and almost immediately started my business again.
Q: What distinguishes you from other businesses in your category?
A: Wedding gowns are very different from regular apparel and should only be altered by experienced seamstresses. My brides are seen from the first appointment to the last by only one specialist. After the fittings, the gowns are altered in-house by the same person who fits the bride, completely eliminating any confusion in the sewing room. In other alteration studios, three or four people could in turn be working on the same gown, and an additional person might have actually done the fitting. Mistakes are unfortunately common and sometimes very difficult to remedy. This problem does not happen in the Original Sewing Room since there is no secondary translation necessary.
Q: What do you like best about your line of work?
A: I love sharing in my customers' excitement in their upcoming weddings. It's a wonderful time in anyone's life, and I'm honored to be trusted with making a bride's dress truly hers. I also customize beautiful gowns worn by some very special ladies who are contestants in local and state pageants. It is imperative that they too have perfectly fitting and flattering gowns.
Q: What is your business' biggest challenge?
A: My biggest challenge is having fitting appointments available for clients who work odd hours. I frequently meet with brides at 8 p.m. during the week, and Saturday appointments are filled months in advance.
Q: Something people might be surprised to learn about you or your business:
A: In addition to providing expert alterations to my clients, I make custom veils. I also carry the complete Benjamin Walk and Dyeables shoe selections, including the very popular Jonathan Kayne pageant shoe collection.
Business: The Original Sewing Room
Hours: By appointment only