Yesterday was my last day at the part-time job I’ve held since I started college. Working at Sewn Clothing Gallery (Sewn for short) and for store owner and girl boss, Sarah Swanson, the past four and a half years has taught me so much, afforded me the coolest opportunities, and has provided me with all new life lessons I’ll be taking away with me in my next adventure. I always knew my last day at Sewn would have to come but it always felt so far away in the future, it surely snuck up on me.
Being incredibly honest, I really do have so much to thank this locally owned boutique for. I give it all the credit for giving me the confidence, sense of style, and the cutest wardrobe needed to start my fashion blog and without it, I may never have made the jump to put ‘As Always, Ara’ out into the world. First of all, while I believe I’ve always had a good sense of style, (I was voted most fashionable in high school after all, LOLL) I really have Sewn to thank for revolving my small-town sense of style.
Sewn took me out of my comfort zone by teaching me how to style different things together that I probably never would’ve thought to do, as well as showed me that you really only need a certain amount of self-confidence to truly pull off anything! It pushed me to come out of my shell and be talkative, hospitable, and outgoing towards the strangers, I mean clients and customers, that cross over it’s threshold on the daily. Furthermore preparing me for a blog of my own, working at Sewn was the first time I was ever put in front of a camera to model clothing and actually feel confident in what I was wearing and in myself.
I’ll never forget just how I got hired at Sewn, I’ve recounted this story back in 2015 in the blog post Unexpected Opportunities, (while I would definitely recommend reading that blog post again for all the goofy, sentimental details as well as my first week at Sewn, I’ll briefly cover how the hiring process happened again) but from the moment I walked through the doors I knew I wanted to work inside this gorgeous boutique. My call-back from Sarah regarding my application I put in was instead about modeling in their first fall look-book for the store, turns out that was my test to see if I would work out or not as an employee of Sewn. Grinning ear-to-ear, I accepted the first of many styled shoots for Sewn and from there was hired as a sales associate and store model.
As seen above, since that first day I’ve done many look-books for the store, shot almost weekly for Sewn’s social media, walked in numerous runway shows, and have appeared on a billboard and TV commercial — coolest job ever, am I right?? Doing these things that I never thought possible for myself while in college proved to me that in return I could start something truly all my own; a fashion blog that I could showcase outfits of my style as I please, that I could have a voice other girls like me would want to hear, and that I could be the clothing model I had always wanted to be on my own terms — no short-term, hell-to-pay contracts, no eating disorders to fit in, no working for a client I didn’t believe in.
It could sound silly, but Sewn did that for me. This boutique grew a confidence in me I never knew I could have. It gave me a support system of co-workers and a boss that are more like sisters. It proved to me that I am beautiful and great and someone worth looking up to. I can never thank Sarah Swanson enough for gifting me these things that I’m sure neither of us expected four years ago. We’ve come such a long way since then and that is why saying goodbye to Sewn Clothing Gallery will be my saddest goodbye. From where it all started to now, I’m taking everything I’ve learned and running with it. Sewn will always have a special place in my heart.
A big thank you to the girl boss herself, Sarah, for believing in me before I did all those years ago and giving me these amazing opportunities while at Sewn, you’re the best friend, I mean boss, a girl could ever ask for. To the girls I’ve worked with, thanks for being the best conversationalists, open-ears, and shoulder’s to cry on between customers over the years. No doubt I’ve made some life-long friendships here with the Sewn Sweethearts and you all will not be soon forgotten. Plan on still seeing me as a Sewn customer, nonetheless.