“I Love You Stinky Face” Gator Costumes


I am currently working on designing the costumes for “I love You Stinky Face” a Stages Theatre show that opens April 15th.  Here is my process for creating the Gator heads.  There are 4 Gator characters – they tap dance in their number.

“We Make It Here” to Highlight The Midway Commercial Building’s Textile Businesses and Artisans in the Creative Enterprise Zone this January


(St. Paul, MN) January 8, 2016 — The Creative Enterprise Zone: “We Make It Here” project announces its first featured enterprises for 2016: The Midway Commercial Building’s textile businesses and artisans and entrepreneurs, fashion designers, and costume creators: Collective Spaces, Tulip Design, Scoundrel’s Keep, Gina Sekelsky Studio, and KMK Designs.


People passing by the storefront at 2500 University will see a pop-up public display about the Midway Commercial Building’s businesses in January. On Thursday, January 28, from 5-8 p.m., one of the Twin Cities best-kept secrets will be no longer, when this burgeoning community of textile businesses and artisans hosts the Creative Enterprise Zone’s first monthly “We Make It Here” mixer in the building.


Inside the Midway Commercial Building (aka, The Triangle Building) a community of textile artists and entrepreneurs, fashion designers, costume creators and sewing students are behind the resurgence in industrial sewing and “maker” textile culture in the Twin Cities. They’re not only creating costumes for theater, dance and fantastical events (think Comic-Con, Steampunk gatherings and the Renaissance Festival), but also designing couture. They’re learning, teaching and sharing their knowledge, wisdom and insights, as well as their stitching skills and business savvy. Together, they’re making the Midway Commercial Building a hotspot for art, innovation and creativity in the textile arts.


Creative Enterprise Zone: “We Make It Here” is a project designed to celebrate and promote economic development in the Creative Enterprise Zone (CEZ), Saint Paul’s recognized center of creativity and enterprise. The goals of “We Make It Here” are to build connections between creative enterprises and increase their visibility in ways that support businesses. This project is funded by the Central Corridor Funders Collaborative. Seven more creative businesses enterprises will be highlighted in the CEZ throughout 2016.


Amy Kaufman, who designs and sews costumes for theater and film, founded Collective Spaces—a shared costume and sewing studio for professionals, entrepreneurs and students—in 2012 after realizing “I don’t like sewing at 2:00 a.m. by myself,” she says. “I wanted to build a community of support, where people can hang out, create and learn. We come from different backgrounds. We bring to the collective an array of ideas, styles and techniques. Together, we possess a wealth of knowledge, as well as wisdom and insight: We can help each other make a design more efficient, sew a particular style of collar or draft a business plan.”


Sheila Heil of Tulip Design creates character costumes, period pieces and cosplay apparel for private clients and theater companies around the world. Also part of Collective Spaces is Judy Hornbacher, whose high fashion, functional garments are as distinctive as the distinguished women who wear her couture.


Scoundrelle’s Keep creates eye-catching, innovative corset designs and dress men and women one elegant outfit at a time.


Gina Sekelsky is a hand letterer for commercial projects such as magazine covers, personal communications (holiday cards, weddings, etc.), and for fine art projects. Gina’s favorite work involves writing on fabric and hand stitching it into wearable art.


KMK Designs (Sheridyn and Kaitlyn McClain) is a mother, daughter costume design business. This team discovered that through their creations they could help men and women of all shapes, sizes, and types feel more confident and beautiful.


The “We Make It Here” mixer, held in the Midway Commercial Building, will not only elevate the profile of the Twin Cities sewing and textile community and its hub in the Creative Enterprise Zone. The mixer, and Kaufman’s well-lit display on the building’s exterior, will “recognize the Midway Commercial Building as a creative place with a mix of artists and businesses,” Kaufman says.


Creative Enterprise Zone “We Make It Here” Mixer

Thursday, January 28, 5-8 p.m.

Collective Spaces, Cspaces.org

2500 University Avenue, St. Paul


About the Creative Enterprise Zone

The Creative Enterprise Zone, located mid-city between Saint Paul and Minneapolis, has the goal to be a recognized center of creativity and enterprise, a place where people make a living by their creative capacities. Learn more at creativeenterprisezone.org.



Visit the Studio of Costumers and Clothing Designers of the Creative Enterprise Zone


Visit the Studio of Costume and Clothing Designers of the Creative Enterprise Zone

Pop-up Mixer
Thursday, January 28
5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
Collective Spaces
2500 University Ave.

Enter into the studios ofCollective Spaces to kick-off a yearlong celebration of economic and creative development in the Zone. As the first featured enterprise in the “CEZ: We Make It Here” project, they will be hosting a pop-up mixer on January 28 from 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at Collective Spaces, 2500 University Ave. W.

Collective Spaces is a shared costume shop space that has grown into a supportive creative community that, along with several other textile artists and businesses, is making this unassuming building in the CEZ a regional hub for artistry in needle and thread. Collective Spaces is home to a multitude of artists including: Tulip Design, Judy Hornbacher, Amy B. Kaufman, Sarah Thorson, and Dunwoody students and graduates of the Industrial Sewing Program. By providing a unique and affordable space for costume makers and textile artists, Collective Spaces offers an excellent opportunity for artists to launch their own business or house an established one. They also offer sewing lessons, and are looking for new ways to contribute to and connect with the surrounding community.

With the aim of growing this burgeoning textile community, Collective Spaces is the first featured enterprise in the “CEZ: We Make It Here” project, which will highlight a new creative enterprise in the Zone every month in 2016 through August. As part of the project, they will also unveil a unique textile display in the storefront window at 2506 University Ave. to draw the attention of passersby and highlight the work of this unique creative community thriving in the Zone.

September 2014 Minnesota Business Magazine article


Shared work spaces give companies jump-start

Places like Nordeast Makers, City Food Studio, and Collective Spaces are helping Minnesota entrepreneurs easily launch new ventures – and network a bit, too


Have you ever had a great business idea but just couldn’t muster the resources to get it off the ground? You’re not alone. Many entrepreneurs have stumbled due to lack of space, capital, equipment, and so on. It’s an age-old problem. Luckily, it’s becoming easier to do something about it. From co-working offices to commercial kitchen facilities, entrepreneurs are taking advantage of an increasing number and variety of shared work spaces offering flexible, low-cost access to room and equipment. That, in turn, makes it easier to start a venture with relatively little capital. The upshot? More people can afford to be entrepreneurs: to experiment with ideas, build upon ones that work, and then continue on to more advanced stages of business, such as moving out of shared spaces and into more traditional commercial real estate. Below, a sampling of such entrepreneurs and the shared work spaces they inhabit — for now. READ MORE

Collective Spaces – Offers Sewing Lessons


These classes cover the basic building blocks of sewing since all sewing is based on the same basic techniques and knowledge.  These classes takes a fresh approach to sewing by giving students time to practice each sewing building block multiple times.  The sewing drills are on cotton fabric and manufactured garments.  Students do not make a finished product which helps students to relax and really learn the sewing techniques without the pressure of sewing perfectly.  “ Basic Sewing: For the Newbie” is a prerequisite for the other classes (You can skip this class with permission from the instructor).  The other 3 classes can be taken in any order.  Click on Sewing Classes for more information.