The Team

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…”

Lyudmila Stratonov



With a professional degree in clothing design, Lyudmila began cultivating her flair for fashion at seventeen. Born and raised in Kishinev, Moldova, she became a devoted subscriber to Burda Moden, the popular German magazine for sewing enthusiasts. Using the publication’s array of patterns, she made clothes for herself. Fascinated by the latest vogue, she custom-made blouses, skirts, and relatively simple dresses. This interest quickly became a preoccupation, and she was driven to take on larger, more challenging projects, advancing until she could construct a lined blazer and a long double-breasted coat. At one point she was determined to make a perfectly tailored suit. Burda Moden didn’t provide the level of instruction she needed, so she bought a suit from a thrift store, completely took it apart, and studied all the elements. Within days, she had constructed herself a suit and had developed a lifelong clothing philosophy: “I’m not that rich to own cheap things.” She had learned that taking time to invest in quality clothes not only made wearing those pieces more enjoyable but also saved her from spending money for a better-looking blazer. After finishing school, she…

Tamara Petyukh



As was true in many parts of the country at the time, life in Zhitomir, Ukraine, during the reign of Communism was difficult when Tamara was growing up. Ukranian women adapted by leading fairly self-sufficient lives. They grew their own vegetables, milked their own cows, and took care of their family’s clothing needs by sewing. Also common was for women to be masters of embroidery and crocheting. Tamara’s mother was one such woman. An experienced seamstress, her children never needed to wear expensive store-bought clothing. Tamara and her brother followed in their mother’s path, learning to do for themselves through hard work and increasing skill. Tamara’s first sewing projects consisted of fashioning custom clothes for her dolls. Later her father bought Tamara her very own mannequin to encourage her talent at dressmaking, and at sixteen, she began her sewing career. While pursuing a certification in pattern and custom dressmaking, she worked as an apprentice at a local tailoring shop, sewing skirts and summer dresses. She was responsible for selling what she made during the weekend bazaar. She disliked the sales aspect of the job, often having…

Larysa Volkov

Tailor, Fashion Designer


With nearly a decade of formal education in women’s clothing design and a lifetime of dressmaking experience, Larysa has been dazzling our clients since 2013. Born and raised in Simferopol, Ukraine, she had an innate aptitude for making clothes since 15 years old, sewing skirts for herself using her mother’s fabric and pattern books. Like many Ukrainian women at the time, Larysa’s mother knew how to sew, made clothes for her daughters and ultimately provided the perfect learning environment for an aspiring fashion designer. “If you wanted to be in style back then, you had to make your own clothes,” Larysa says. “That was the life.” And she loved it. Signing up for a two-year introductory sewing program after high school, Larysa graduated at the top of her class and pursued higher education in fashion at the university. She honed her artistic talent and learned all the technical aspects of the trade, such as working with garment manufacturing technology, apparel construction methods and textile science. Completely immersing herself in work and studies, Larysa quickly became a fit expert in the industry and a sought-after professional pattern maker…