JUKI Spotlight: Designing with Kiana Bonollo!

In this month’s spotlight, we are introducing Kiana Bonollo! Fashion designer, YouTuber, and TikToker, Kiana has grown in popularity in the last couple of years due to her videos showcasing apparel projects and behind-the-scene how-tos for new sewists. Follow along today as we talk to Kiana about her journey in sewing and how she grew to the 400k audience she has now!

Photo Credit: Kiana Bonollo

From a young age, Kiana always had a curiosity for sewing. Her earliest memory was borrowing her mother’s sewing machine and altering her clothes while creating skirts from scratch! Later on, she would take her first sewing class, a week-long course on sewing basics, where she began with making pillowcases like so many of us do. Following her interest, she went on to take apparel classes in high school, finding she had a true talent for the hobby and diving into the journey. She began learning how to create patterns and learning complex skills she hadn’t tried before. College would be no different; continuing her studies in the fashion design industry, she has continued to grow her skills and talent, creating new patterns and projects for her audience and shop.

Using fashion as a form of expression, Kiana loved that fashion design allowed you to imagine anything you wanted and create it. Like so many of us, she struggled with inspiration in the past but finds that her favorite work to design are those pieces that she knows she will wear and show off in the real world! Focusing on projects that bring her happiness, her patterns range from loungewear to evening wear, a versatile selection that her followers love. 

When asked about how she chooses which patterns will be sold, “It’s really important to me that I take into consideration what my customers are suggesting and asking of me, so if a lot of my customers are asking for a prom dress- I’m going to make them a prom dress.”

Following her ideas and likes, she pulls from her customer’s suggestions and creates projects that align with their wants and her taste. It’s here that she’s been able to compromise on what’s highly requested and what she truly enjoys designing, creating that relationship with her customers, so many shops want to build.

Kiana describes her style as “edgy, but still tailored and chic.” However, finding it boring to stick to one aesthetic, she likes to dabble outside her comfort zone and enjoys mixing different design styles and aesthetics to create fun looks! With so many different style aesthetics and designs, she doesn’t let one style hold her in a box.

Photo Credit: Kiana Bonollo

With an audience of over 400k across platforms, it’s amazing to see what was accomplished in a couple of short years. Kiana’s page quickly gained popularity by opening her YouTube account in May 2020 due to her easy-to-follow and straightforward “how-to” videos and project compilations. When she first began her online page, she would put in 40 hours a week designing, editing, and creating, treating it as a full-time job. Feeling she needed to give herself a real chance, she dived into her work and focused on her dreams of working in social media and fashion design.

“I never imagined that my audience would grow to the size it currently is so fast, and I’m so grateful for everyone who has subscribed and liked my channel and followed me.”

For those out there who want to raise their following, Kiana advises finding your strengths and taking advantage of them! With so many talented artists and sewists in the world, it can be hard to distinguish yourself sometimes, but finding what you can offer that’s different or better from those out there will help you stand out. Kiana, for example, is known for her videos teaching sewist techniques and how to create different projects, focusing on her strengths of being a technical sewist and the joy she finds in educating others on her favorite hobby.

And a recommendation she has out there for those building their skills in sewing? Invest in a high-quality machine that you can also grow in too! Finding a sewing machine that can handle heavy-duty fabrics and stitches quickly and versatilely is perfect for those learning. They can upgrade their projects and skills without needing to upgrade their machine.

Kiana’s sewing table is always ready to work with her machines! Using the JUKI DX-2000QVP and a QVP serger, she’s prepared to create her silk gowns, cotton loungewear, and more. She loves recommending this machine to her followers who are serious about starting their journey. She states they’re great choices for intermediate and advanced sewers alike.

Photo Credit: Kiana Bonollo

Currently, her sewing table is being used for project requests and suggestions submitted by her followers. With the current pandemic closing shop for fashion shows in many cities, she’s been focusing on her customer base before planning to create another collection. Waiting for the world to feel a little safer, Kiana hopes to continue once fashion shows are back!

Besides her current wish for the runways to come back, Kiana hopes to launch a fashion design course one day and sell her fashion line. But for now, she’ll keep busy creating content for her followers and expanding her current business. We can’t wait to see what’s in store for Kiana and her fashion line!

To keep up with Kiana and her journey, click her profile below. And the next time you want to learn some fun fashion sewing tips, check out Kiana’s YouTube here!

Check out more from Kiana below!

Learn more about Kiana here!

Etsy Shop: Click here to visit!

Instagram: Click here to check out her latest projects!

Tiktok: Click here to see behind the scenes!

JUKI Designer Ambassador: Adolfo Sanchez

Introducing Adolfo Sanchez, designer, and owner of the Adolfo Sanchez brand. Based in Los Angeles and focused on creating luxury designs, he founded his brand in June 2015. His fashion and style take you on a journey to a world of freedom where women dare to be strong and different. Understanding how saturated the fashion world has become, he shows people that there are still unique options available and his creations are one of them. 

Adolfo’s career started in 2006, where he began to grow his business into a brand that offers custom, ready-to-wear, accessories, bridal, and couture. His gowns are different from those commonly found in the Los Angeles area, focusing on luxury wear. Focusing on the intricacy and hand-beaded designs that need unique craftsmanship when creating his pieces, his gowns are bold and unique, perfect for those wishing to be different.

“I would have never thought that I would have ended up in this industry, but it just feels so right that I know it was meant to be,”

Getting to his current position in the fashion industry by taking risks and learning new techniques, Adolfo is constantly pushing his brand to the next level. By staying true to his passions and fighting for his final vision when creating, he’s able to present pieces he’s proud of. Thankful to his team, including seamstresses, pattern makers, and factory workers, he wouldn’t be where he is today without the support he received along the way and his motivation to create awe-inspiring pieces.

“I’m inspired by everything – people, places, music, and there is so much more to do that I sometimes wonder if I have become obsessed with this industry.”

We are so excited to have Adolfo on board. Follow along with our social media as we continue to update you on Adolfo and our other ambassadors! Learn more about Adolfo and our Ambassador team here https://jukiquilting.com/ambassadors today.

JUKI Designer Ambassador: Mah-Jing Wong

Welcoming new JUKI Designer Ambassador, meet Mah-Jing Wong! Founder and Designer for his line Mah-Jing Wong, he began sewing as a child under his grandmother’s teachings. An activity they loved doing together, sewing is the connection to his childhood and grandmother he keeps with him to this day.

His beginning in sewing is a sweet memory, with his first project being a hat! First seen on Michael Jackson and wanting his own, he went to his grandmother and asked how to create his own. From there, he completed his first project, grandmother along his side, and step by step sewed it together. This event would set the tone for his future career.

Later in life, Mah-Jing would attend the Arts Institute of Philadelphia, where he received a Bachelor of Science degree in Fashion Marketing. In his senior year, he would begin interning with top fashion designers Zac Posen. It was here that he began planning to create his own clothing brand that launched in 2011. Inspired by Japanese anime and the Marvel Comic book world, his work uses simple silhouettes with hand-dyed prints and geometrical shapes. His favorite work to create is his bodycon dresses, seen during his time as a contestant on Project Runway.

Since his time on project runway, Mah-Jing has continued to move up in the fashion industry, working with superstars such as Cardi B, Megan Thee Stallion, Chole Bailey, and many more! With his work garnering attention for its style and boldness, it has been featured in pop lifestyle settings like stage performances, music videos, and Magisterhaft covers. Mah-Jing continues to wow his followers as he works on the new collection, with orders already being placed.

With a design style that is innovative and fun, Mah-Jing’s favorite sewing trend right now is the exposed overlock thread. Using his JUKI overlock MCS-1700QVP, his favorite tool in his studio, he can create the base for all his creations and easily add this trend.

Mah-Jing states his experience in sewing has been rewarding. Like anything in life, sewing has had its ups and downs, but it remains his safe space for expressing his creativity like so many of you. His piece of advice for sewers is this, “stay calm and trust the process.” A saying we all understand in sewing and quilting.

We hope you enjoyed getting to know Mah-Jing as much as we have JUKI Lovers! So follow along with his journey and JUKI today and visit us here today!

Which fashion piece was your favorite? Let us know below!

JUKI Designer Ambassador: Megan Smith

Joining us as a new JUKI Designer Ambassador is Megan Smith, creator and founder of Megan Renee, a sustainable women’s contemporary brand. We are so excited to introduce Megan to you, JUKI Lovers! Follow along below through our interview with Megan and her journey in sewing.

Megan’s story starts like many of ours; she joined the sewing world because of her love for fashion and art. The ability to create her garments and showcase her personality led to the fashion and designs she shares today. Contemporary and lively, her designs are inspired by women, the arts, and traveling. Finding inspiration in her experiences, she can create pieces that truly speak from her soul and love of color. Using the art of sewing to relax, she loves the peace it brings when she’s creating.

“It’s a stress reliever, and I love having the ability to create something beautiful.”

Her love of sewing and designing has brought her great success in the fashion industry like having the chance to compete on Amazon Prime’s “Making the Cut.” Proud of the work she created while on the show, she was impressed with how quickly she put together her designs and brought them to life in such a short time in each episode. Her favorite tool to keep on hand while on the show? Her snipping scissors! With the speed she was creating, this tool was perfect for keeping up. Finishing as a top 4 finalist, her work was praised by Naomi Campbell and other judges for her edgy looks. Amazing!

Since “Making the Cut,” Megan has focused on her fashion line “Megan Renee,” a line that empowers and celebrates bold and unapologetic femininity. The contemporary brand focuses on reducing waste after witnessing the effects of fast fashion in the industry. For example, her first collection, created out of sustainable deadstock fabric, was perfect for her vision. Using her own originally designed prints, she was able to digitally print the fabric and reduce the ink and water needed for traditional printing. Her favorite trend, which can be found in her designs, is patchworking and color blocking, radiating the boldness she strives for, Megan’s had the opportunity to work with celebrities like Issa Rae, Becky G, and Dominique Fishback.

As Megan continues to take the fashion industry by a storm, she’s most excited about finishing and launching her new fall collection. Megan’s time in the fashion industry has been as challenging as it has been rewarding. With the experience she obtained from working in other fashion companies to her time on “Making the Cut,” she’s been able to learn new tricks in sewing and launched her clothing line. Her motivation to continue creating is honest, “it’s the feeling I get once I complete a design. I love seeing how my garments make my customers feel, and I like doing photoshoots after we’ve finished a collection.”

We are so excited to see Megan’s new fall collection and her future work! We hope you enjoyed getting to know Megan more with us, and we’ll leave here with some parting advice from Megan herself to new sewers out there, “Practice, practice, and practice. Keep going and learning no matter how hard it may seem.”

JUKI Designer Ambassador: Kenya Freeman

Meet our new JUKI Designer Ambassador, Kenya Freeman, CEO and Senior Lead Designer of Sylvia Mollie Collections – an American lifestyle brand that embodies bold femininity. Her garments are meant to instill power and confidence to fearless woman! And its’ because of this that Kenya’s motivation to create is simple: this is her purpose.

“It is my calling and my assignment beyond the passion. Knowing what I do is going to change the lives of many after me.”

We are very excited to have Kenya join the JUKI family as a JUKI Designer Ambassador and want to share a tidbit of her story with our JUKI Lovers! So follow along as we share a part of Kenya’s sewing journey.

Inspired by life, Kenya stumbles upon inspiration in her day-to-day activities. From dreams to the seasons, she’s always observing life outside of her home and the people she passes. Situations in life have continued to bring her inspiration, leading to her beautiful bold fashion pieces.

Kenya’s favorite pieces to work on are dresses. From the challenging cuts to the techniques she’s picked up, she looks forward to the pieces that will shine. Using Frixon pens, her favorite sewing trend, she drapes and uses her tool to mark those seams and lines. Her favorite part is heating it and seeing all the marks disappear from her work.

Kenya acclaims her season on Project Runway to be her most significant achievement in her sewing journey. Setting the tone for her future in fashion, Kenya’s life changed. As one of the top 5 finalists, Kenya’s work is loved by viewers. Her popularity quickly rose, and she inspired so many others to work on their skills.

Her love for sewing comes in full form when she sees the final product. It amazes her to see the process from concept to creation. As she continues to grow her brand Kenya’s primary goal is to relaunch her fashion line to sizes 10-20, creating an inclusive atmosphere for all fashion lovers.

Currently, in the process of the product development stage, Kenya is nothing but excited! With a roller coaster of an adventure since she joined the fashion industry, she’s experienced crazy, insane, exciting, devastating, and unforgettable moments. Her advice to sewers is simple, “Keep practicing. Keep practicing.  Keep practicing.  Never give up. It only gets better with time.”

We hope you enjoyed getting to learn about Kenya as much as we did, JUKI lovers! So join us on our socials and visit us here to keep up with our new friend Kenya and her journey in fashion.

Which of Kenya’s pieces did you love the most? Let us know below!