Old Country Tailor has been serving the Sacramento area since March 1995, but its owner, Vera Samusenko, was in the business long before that. Vera’s passion for making clothes began when she was ten years old in Ukraine, learning design and stitching under the guidance of her cousin Raya Ionova, the tailoring professional in the family. Working closely with Raya on many projects, Vera learned the skills of the trade, and by the time she graduated from school, she had an extraordinary portfolio.
In her early twenties, Vera married and moved to the Krasnodarskiy Kray region of Russia, where she started a small sewing business. Working tirelessly to provide for her young family, Vera designed and sewed basic clothing, such as pants and jackets for men, women, and children, selling them to the public. Life was difficult in Russia, and in 1990 Vera and her family immigrated to the United States. Learning a new language and assimilating into a new culture were strenuous undertakings. Vera turned to what she knew best, borrowing an old sewing machine and sewing for friends. One new friend, admiring her fine work, recommended her to a local children’s clothing designer. Within a few months, Vera was putting to use skills she’d honed in Ukraine, working full-time as a seamstress. She sewed piecework orders for three local designers in Sacramento, but supporting a family on a seamstress’s salary was difficult. Vera longed to do more than just sew in bulk; she wanted to design, sew, and tailor clothes for her own clients. After three and a half years of piecemeal work and with the support of her new American friends, she opened her own tailoring shop in East Sacramento.
Vera’s patience, tireless tenacity and passion for her work have fueled more than two decades of successful business. Her tailoring skills and craftsmanship have attracted a loyal clientele. After 25 years in business, Vera is still astonished at the unexpected opportunity she found in America. “I never thought I could make money doing what I enjoy” she says. “Every day this is a dream for me.” Today, Vera employs three talented and experienced tailors. Working together, these hardworking artists offer an array of tailoring, alteration, custom dressmaking, custom home decor sewing and repair services.