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 Spotlight: Blossoming with Flower Sew!

From quilting to bag making, Flower Sew has you covered! Today we’re meeting up with Daisi Toegel, Flower Sew’s shop owner. In 2017, Daisi founded Flower Sew only one year after learning how to sew. Flower Sew began as an idea out of curiosity for the sewing world. After watching endless videos of other sewists creating bags and projects on video sites, Daisi found herself wanting a sewing machine to start her journey in the community. A year after seeing these videos, Daisi’s boyfriend surprised her with a sewing machine to begin, and the rest was history.

Daisi went on to practice and practice some more after receiving her gift. Finally, a year after receiving her gift, Daisi began constructing bag patterns, creating and selling them. Since completely self-teaching herself, she sewed and sold bags for three years at her local craft fairs and on her online e-shop, Flower Sew, named after her now husband’s pet name for Daisi, Flower.

After three years of focusing on bag creations and patterns, 2020 changed the course of Daisi’s business. She began creating and selling masks during the pandemic, creating and designing over 2,000 masks. Daisi, later on, realized she wanted to take a step back from sewing masks and find a new craft within the sewing world. So she began venturing into the quilting world, where she taught herself to quilt, and began expanding her knowledge and business along the way.

Taking a step back from her bag-making days, Daisi jumped into the quilting world head-on. Using her social media platforms, she began sharing her progress and work with her followers, re-building her brand along the way. 

Now focused on quilting, Daisi has held six ambassador roles over the years that range from small notions to beautiful fabrics. These programs helped her not only grow her business but allowed her to make connections in the sewing and quilting community.

After discovering her passion for creating quilts, she moved on to pattern designing, a hobby she had picked up in her bag-making days. When she started patterns for her bags, she was inspired to design something different and new. Quilting was no different. She bought a design program and began drawing! Starting small, Daisi began with baby-sized quilts and built herself up through trial and error. Through this practice that she’s been able to create seven patterns; 4 on her own and 3 in collaboration with different craft and sewing magazines. Many of her patterns interwork the ambassador programs she’s involved with by including their notions and fabrics. 

As someone who’s been able to grow her business and obtain credibility from other sewing and quilting brands as an ambassador, we asked Daisi what advice she has for those out there trying to build their brand.

“Forget about money. In the beginning, it’s all about gaining value and confidence before you gain any money. If you need to give your time, work, or product for free, do it. The reward is certain, just know everything has its own time to come. Being an ambassador doesn’t involve anything but receiving products in exchange for your time and work, and it is the most wonderful experience I have had in the quilt world; it’s fun, and I learn a lot. There’s nothing that says that.”

Daisi’s brand continues to grow each day through her social media channels filled with new pattern works, projects, and her quilt progresses. What makes Flower Sew unique is the designs and patterns created by Daisi, inspired by ideas that bring her happiness and not trends. Focusing her attention on bright colors and fun designs, Daisi’s page is filled with bright fabrics and colorful looks. As she continues to grow her skills in quilting, we’re looking forward to seeing more patterns released!

The future of Flower Sew is blossoming beautifully! Daisi’s plans for her small business include more original pattern creations, with the hope for a pattern book soon, and continuing her ambassador programs with new possible positions. Currently, a sketch is in motion for membership for Daisi’s business, but we’ll have to wait and see for that one JUKI lover!

We hope you enjoyed getting to learn more about Flower Sews and its owner Daisi Togel! When you’re building your brand, learning skills like pattern designing or diving into ambassador programs are great ways to get yourself out there and grow your business. We hope reading Daisi’s story in how her business has grown and changed over the years inspires you to begin yours!

To follow along Daisi’s journey, follow along below.

Visit Flower Sew’s shop here!

Follow Daisi’s quilting journey here!

Spotlight: Meet Sherry Miller!

This month we are introducing our newest National JUKI educator, Sherry Miller, to the JUKI team!

With over 40 years of experience, Sherry began sewing around seven years old with her mother. Moving on to junior high and high school, Sherry began constructing outfits, a hobby she loved and continues to work on today. After turning 16, Sherry worked in a quilting shop and loved the experience! So much so that she would continue to stay on for the next 30 years, becoming one of their very own educators.

When asked about her favorite sewing memory, Sherry fondly looks back at when she made quilts with a Girl Scout troop for a homeless shelter. Seeing the excitement on the girl scouts’ faces as they put the squares together using a sewing machine, and tying them with yarn, was a heartwarming experience. When it came time to donate, the Girl Scouts group invited Sherry when presenting the quilt at the shelter.

While Sherry was working in the quilting shop, she began practicing her quilting techniques. Creating quilts and home decor samples at home for the store gave her confidence to write patterns and eventually teaching classes. It was here Sherry found her passion for teaching others!

“The most very favorite thing about being an educator is the joy on people’s faces when they accomplish something they thought they could never do! I like meeting new people and learning about their styles of sewing. With every person I help, I always learn something new!”

Since joining JUKI, Sherry finds the J-350 Longarm machine to be her favorite! As someone who loves working on free motion quilting and quilting with rulers, these machines have fit her needs each time. We are so excited to have Sherry Miller on board as she continues to teach our JUKI lovers new tips and tricks on their favorite machines.

Keep up to date with JUKI on https://jukiquilting.com/our-events/ and meet Sherry and our other educators at our next class!

JUKI Spotlight: Finding your Passion with Ponderosa

Today we’re introducing and spotlighting Paige Anderson, the face behind Ponderosa. Paige’s sewing story begins before she was born. Her family has a strong tradition and makes sure their sewing skills pass with each generation. Starting as an ecologist, Paige studied the ponderosa pine trees for her candidacy. Inspired by her past work in the eco field, Paige wanted a way to tie her love for nature with her quilting, thus naming her brand after the beautiful pine tree – Ponderosa.

Inspired by trees, the back to the land movement, 2000s alien movies, and womanhood as a whole, Paige focuses on bright colors that merge well to create pieces that flow and feel balanced. As time has gone by, she’s found inspiration in multiple things from vintage fashion and home goods to ceramics and murals. Currently, Paige’s work focuses on freeform curves and semicircles.

As a mother, Paige transferred her career from ecology to creating a business as an artist. While she first feared that a journey like this wouldn’t be feasible, she found this to be her truest passion!

“After having my child, I switched gears from being in the ecology field to wanting something I could do with my daughter in tow. Up until that point, I had always told myself that being an artist wasn’t a feasible career path for me, but… it’s the only one I’m passionate about. “

Ponderosa was created to bring quilting into the everyday world. Working on our JUKI TL-2010Q, Paige knows the importance of speed! Designing and creating accessible goods like bandanas, keychains, pouches, and totes, Paige has been able to share her products again and again. Off the path of trends, Paige likes to focus on what speaks to her personally! Her proudest work to date has been a large quilt project she’s currently working on based on a landscaping painting she created, a difficult task she’s proud of, but one Paige says might not happen again!

The future of Ponderosa is a bright one, JUKI lovers! Paige’s next dream goal is to open up a maker’s co-op in Olympia, Washington. Currently, Paige is looking for a space with an abundance of natural light, room for makers in the back, and a retail space upfront. With her friends in tow, Paige is currently working on her master plan and hoping to make this dream a reality. She hopes to see you there once this dream is completed!

If you’re interested in learning more about Paige and her work, visit her on her pages! We’ll link them down below for you.

Click here to Ponderosa Creative Instagram!

Click here to shop Ponderosa Creative!