We recently met up with Christine Groom, a current student to discuss her fashion-related goals.

Cañada Fashion Department (CFD): What was your background before you came to Cañada, and what degrees or certificates are you working towards?
Christine Groom (CG): In 1983 I set out to get a degree in Fashion Merchandising at FIDM in San Francisco. I worked at several retailers during and immediately after obtaining my degree in Fashion Merchandising. I worked at House of Fabrics as Assistant Manager, Lerner’s as Manager in Training, Mervyn’s as Assistant Manager of the housewares and children’s departments, and lastly as Manager of fine jewelry.   The retail industry was unsatisfying for me, so while needing to stay gainfully employed I ended up in the semi-conductor manufacturing planning field. I remained there for 20 years.

Many years later, through word of mouth of good friends, I found myself taking fashion classes at Cañada College with no real end game in mind.  Now, having my passion for fashion design back in full flame, I am working towards certificates in both Custom Dressmaking/Small Business and Technical-Apparel Industry Oriented.

CFD: What is your ultimate fashion goal?
CG: Ultimately, I would like to be a free lance pattern designer.  Currently, I have started a business, ZigZag Designs, where my initial focus is on re-fashioning and copying ready-to-wear for private clients, but pattern making and becoming a custom couturier is my goal. Christine can be reached by email at zigzagbychristine@gmail.com.

CFD: What brought you to Cañada?
CG: My good friends in the American Sewing Guild (ASG) in the San Jose, CA chapter had been talking about how much fun it was to take classes at Cañada.  At one of the meetings Ronda Chaney was in attendance, we started talking and sharing and the next thing I new I was enrolled in a class, Beginning Clothing Construction of all things.  It was hilarious to me because I consider myself to be an expert seamstress, but in most every class there was a little gem, an ‘a-ha’ moment, that I wish I had known years earlier.  After that it has just been one class after another.

CFD: What are some of the valuable lessons you’ve learned at Cañada?

  • It’s best to begin every class with an open mind, clear of anything you think you may know on the subject, in order to be 100% present to learn new things.
  • Try everything, sample everything, even if you think the technique is not for you.  You will be surprised at how many of them you will be referring to in the future.
  • I’ve learned to be confident in my designs and my style.  It’s not for everyone, but its who I am.  I’ve learned not to be concerned if what I’m working on is ‘edgy enough’ or ‘avant-garde.’  Being true to my style and honest about it with myself is resulting in some amazing projects.
  • It’s okay to fail.  It’s how you learn

Thank you, Christine! We are excited to see what your future holds. Here are some images of some of the garments Ms. Groom has re-purposed.

The first set of images is repurposed fur coat cuffs into boot cuffs.

The first image below is her second place win in our re-purposed contest last year.

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