“Who are the people in your neighborhood, in your neighborhood…” is the song that comes to mind when the girls and I go on our little studio visits. In our own way, we are trying to learn about the different things that the people in our circle and community do to contribute beauty to others and help improve people’s lives.
The most recent studio trip we took was just dreamy. It was at Heleyna Bridal owned and run by the talented Janina Saspa. We met Janina at Kendo and she had, at one time or another, become playmates with the girls and I simply adore her work which I follow on Instagram. She happily agreed to my proposal of a studio tour and accommodated me and the kids for a few hours one afternoon.
Like many other little girls, Summer, Emma and Jo always draw dresses and they enjoy making paper dolls. They love to dress up and occasionally pretend to be princesses attending balls. So I already knew they would enjoy this trip and be interested.
First, Janina took them on a tour of her studio. She showed them her storage of fabrics, the drawers of lace, the gowns waiting for pick up, her collection of beads and rhinestones and sequins. Then she let them try on a sample gown for little girls. They were absolutely thrilled!
Afterwards, Janina gave them a quick workshop on sketching and had them design their own “dream gowns.” They even picked fabric from Heleyna’s stash of swatches so they could imagine what their gowns would look like.
And then, Emma requested that they make a dress for her stuffed lion, Lioness. Janina obliged and created, quite instantly, a flowing skirt for it using some scrap of satin, which Emma, very delicately, embellished with sparkly sequins.
I love it when the girls zone in and get their hands busy with making but they are kids after all, so they also had a lot of play at Heleyna. They tried on robes and headpieces. They pranced around and pretended to be oriental queens. They took pictures of each other. If they had the choice, they would have stayed all day!
It was a very enjoyable afternoon for me too. I get mesmerized watching people do beadwork or sew. I love it when loose elements come together to become something both pretty and functional. It’s amazing because I see how much time, effort and precision goes into it and these people do it everyday. I appreciate the job more and I do hope that, somehow, it will stick with the girls too — that it takes a lot to make something beautiful. And that if you want something done well, then every detail counts.
Thank you Janina, for a very lovely afternoon at your studio!
Janina and Heleyna Bridal make very dreamy gowns. You just have to take my word for it! Follow @heyheleyna on Instagram to see their work and be prepared to go all heart eyes 😍