“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.



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