My name is Tania Freedman, and I've been a maker all my life, starting my sewing career with a pink velour track suit when I was 11 years old. Even during my 25-year career in PR and corporate communications, working with clients like Margaret Atwood, Michael Ondaatje, Janet Leigh, Michael Palin and Nora Roberts, my happy place has always been at my sewing machine.
Now in my second career, I've been able to turn my passion into my profession with the mantra "You can make a living or you can make a difference."
As a plus-sized woman who wears somewhere near a G cup in ready-to-wear, I had trouble finding comfortable, stylish bras in my size, and was constantly frustrated with poor-quality bras that had to be thrown out after a few months. I decided to try making my own and immediately became obsessed. A bra-maker was born!
Determined to learn everything I could, I had the good fortune to study with the world's leading bra teacher, Beverly Johnson, otherwise known as the Fairy Bra Mother. I completed 160 hours of professional-level training, including Bra Design and Draft, Bra Fit for Every Body, Fitting and Support for Plus Sizes, and a Live Fit practicum. (By comparison, graduates of fashion design courses often have less than ten hours of training in bra-making, and almost no experience in drafting.)
Making bras has a right-brain and a left-brain combination that's perfect for me--one minute I'm using my compass, protractor and calculator, and the next I'm choosing laces and fabrics and working with my hands to create something beautiful. However, the most satisfying thing, by far, is working with clients and making a difference in their lives.
Bras are truly intimate apparel, closely tied to our sense of self. When I completed a custom-padded bra for a client who had multiple lumpectomies, I cried more than she did! It is DEEPLY satisfying work, and has become my life's mission.
On a personal level, I'm a single mom to a lovely pre-teen son and a devoted dog-mom to a cheerful Havanese named Lola. When I'm not sewing, I create encaustic art (painting with beeswax and oils) and do pointed pen calligraphy.