Our Newest Master Alteration Specialist Graduate
LaVonda Miles, the latest graduate of the ASDP/MAS Certification Program, wanted to share the journey with others who may be contemplating going through either of the two certification programs. Congratulations, LaVonda!
I actually wrote this goal down in 2009, as I wrote my initial business plan.
“A goal to become Master Tailor is also a priority to the owner, as she will take the necessary steps to become a certified Master Tailor in the early part of 2014.”
Although the date/year and the exact title didn’t align, I can still say the original goal was met. I enrolled into the MAS program in 2013 shortly after I joined the ASDP. After receiving the enrollment packet, I rationalized over which module to tackle first, with the Business Professional Module pulling out first, only because I had already done it. So from there, I revised and updated it to the current year and submitted it. Even though I had done it before, it still wasn’t easy to conform to what the organization required. This was definitely an arduous module requiring you to be precise and organized with your business to be able to submit a concrete business plan. The evaluator gave me a great rating and rewarding feedback. So in summary for this module, do the absolute best to submit a professional business plan as it will make so many of your plans and practices come together for a good solid business.
As I recall, the second module chosen was the online Fabric Module. This was a little frightening because, I thought to myself, “How do you test online about fabrics?” My thoughts were there are so many fabric types, blends, properties, etc., how on earth do I prepare for this? Well the test has been very well developed as it is adapted to reading and note taking from the various resource books offered in the registration packet. I could not afford all of the books, so I resorted to the local libraries and even found a great resource book at the Goodwill store.
My third module was Alteration Fit, which I wanted to get in and pass at the 2015 Convention. For this one I contacted the Director of Operations and she orchestrated all the logistics for me to have a model with the proper garments to be evaluated. The preparation for this was to again rely on the suggested books and material on proper garment fit, and techniques. I can honestly say that my nerves initially took over the first 5 minutes of this evaluation. As I entered that room and had myself all worked up over nervousness, I realized the 3 evaluators in the room were not there to make me nervous at all. They were the total opposite. Once I made eye contact and took deep breaths and methodically remembered the fit mantras, ("evaluate from the shoulders moving downward," is what I programmed myself to say), I felt more confidence come across my lips through the remainder of the evaluation. Not only did the evaluators pass me, they too had a great impact and input about how I perform some of my alterations today in order to achieve a great fit.
The fourth module for me, was the Alteration Technique. I spent about 3-4 months gathering all the needed items to alter. Economically, I remember spending about $25 - $30 on the compiled list of items purchased from the thrift store when the monthly ½ price per item event occurred. This particular module was the most in-depth, time consuming, hard as heck, but most rewarding for me. The reason I thought it was so hard was the fact that about 50% of the techniques were none that I had ever done before, or ever knew how to do, or even want to do again. But on a serious note about the different techniques; they all sharpened my skills and gave me that edge I needed to learn how to professionally perform a ready-to-wear alteration. So in preparation for this one, I watched videos, purchased on-line classes, and books for the techniques I wasn't familiar with. I mailed the entire bundle of items and received superb feedback from the evaluator.
Lastly, I had the Alteration Overview module which was initially planned as an online testing that went not in my favor quickly. I attempted to pass this twice. Realization was that it wasn’t me actually failing the knowledge of the overview, there was something technically wrong with the testing mode and grading (whew!)…. I kept asking myself, did I come this far to fail? Then the Director of Operations called me to say that the test would be administered via phone conference with evaluators asking me the same test questions that were online. This, I must say, was a more positive outcome as it gave me interaction with the evaluators just the same as the Alteration Fit experience but without the nervousness.
In summary, to anyone that may be contemplating achieving this certification, I can say to you that the accomplishment is so rewarding on a personal level and will boost your confidence on a business level. This certification will validate your skills like nothing else you can imagine. “Awesome Sauce” on a sewing platform, is what I call it!
Written by LaVonda Miles