vera-samusenko

VERA SAMUSENKO

Proprietor, Tailor

Growing up in Ukraine, Vera showed an early talent for making things, sewing a wedding dress for her doll from linen table napkins. Her mother—a skilled seamstress herself—sent her then ten-year-old daughter to study with Raya Ionova, a renowned clothing expert in a nearby city, who had studied clothing at a top designing school. Apprenticing with a master couture tailor during her training, Raya had returned to her city to establish herself as the most-sought after tailor in the region. Under Raya’s tutelage, Vera was introduced to the complexities and challenges of fabric, fashion, and fit, and made to practice until she achieved perfection. Through extensive training, practice, and correction, Vera developed both her skills and her confidence. From then on, Vera spent all her summers and school breaks studying the artistry of clothing and the business of fashion with Raya. Continual hands-on training under a top-notch tailor as well as nearly two decades training others and serving a growing clientele have taught Vera what no classroom could—creativity, adaptability, originality, problem-solving, and attention to detail.

“Most of tailoring you learn as you do it. Knowledge in this business comes 80% from doing and 20% from thinking,” she says. “Learning from Raya prepared me for opening my own clothes-making business in Russia and now here. It was the best education I could have hoped for.”

As owner of Old Country Tailor, Vera spends a lot of her time with clients. She takes orders, consults with clients, and inspects all outgoing orders, satisfied only when her clients are satisfied. In addition to tailoring work, Vera provides out-of-shop services, such as visiting a client’s home to measure for custom curtains or meeting a customer at local boutiques to discuss alteration options. Vera loves pleasing people. Whether it is assisting with last-minute alterations or waiting for a client after hours, she makes every effort to be available for her clients. The best part of her job, she says, is presenting her clients with a finished product that meets their expectations. The assiduous process of finding the appropriate fabric and laboriously putting together a dress, for example, is worth the reward—the way the dress fits the contours of the body—and the pleasure of the woman made beautiful by it.