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 July Sewing Challenge!

If there’s one thing our community loves, it’s a sewing challenge! If this is the first time hearing about a sewing challenge, it’s essentially a task set up on social media with rules as to how to complete your new project. These challenges can be for a day, a week, or even a month but all come with one main goal: you getting up and sewing!

Sewing challenges are a great way to be a part of the community. With so many people working on a similar project simultaneously, it can help you feel like you’re not sewing alone. The opportunity to join and share your work is always exciting! Using these hashtags to challenge yourself and show off what you create is part of the fun. Sometimes we all need that little push, like a challenge, to get us sewing again.

THE CHALLENGE >>

This month we’re making our own #JUKIJulyChallenge, and we want every one of you JUKI Lovers to join! Your goal is simple, create something that screams the beach! It could be anything from quilting to fashion that represents what visiting the beach (or lake) means to you.

Think of this as a fun new challenge to get your creative side flowing. Take the time to sit down and create something new with low pressure and think about what summer means to you!

The Comfort of Sewing

Sewing and quilting have long been a hobby for many people. Some turn to it to let their creative minds be free. Some find comfort in creating things for a family. Some enjoy it because it brings in extra income. Whatever your reason, you turned to sewing. As society has grown and changed, sewing and quilting have stuck around for ages!

A woman machine quilting/sewing three layers to create a grid pattern on a patriotic quilt.

At JUKI, we’ve been around for decades and have seen the changes in the sewing community. Still, one thing has stayed consistent, people’s happiness when they get their new machine and start working on new projects. The heart of sewing is often found in family hobbies being passed down, finding a pastime that brings tranquility and satisfaction in getting something done right.

Sewing in history was a meaning of expression during hard times. Whether used as a tool to bring privacy and comfort or sewing and quilting parties, sewing throughout time has brought the community together. As social media has grown, we’ve been able to find history through fabric and threads from around the world. From being hung in museums to art showcases, this channel of communicating with others is universal.

The therapeutic sense of sewing and quilting is a significant factor in many people’s days. Through non-profit organizations, systems like our prisons have created a safe space for those transitioning back into the outside world. As a way of offering a new art form and sense of expression, many of those incarcerated find this therapeutic. Some programs even allow them to sell their work and create savings when it’s time to go.

Photo by Ksenia Chernaya on Pexels.com

Also, sewing is a channel of occupational therapy for our veterans. The ability to learn sewing and quilting allows veterans to communicate through their work and even make a living. This has helped many veterans handle their mental scars. The self-confidence that grows when learning a new trade and completing a project can work wonders for anyone!

The relationship between creativity and well-being is a common subject. Whether it is found in sports, painting, or quilting, concentrating on a project has proved to assist in inner turmoil and relax one’s mind. At JUKI, we love that so many people find comfort when sewing on our machines. We know the importance of having a machine that will keep you going and excited to work!

Learn more about the programs and their stories that assist those who turn to sewing for therapy below!

Click here to learn more about Sewing Therapy for Veterans!

Click here to learn more about Sewing Therapy in institutions!