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Winning MSDP Scholarship Essay

09/03/2016 6:38 PM | Cisa Kubley


When I headed off to college in 1998, I certainly had no idea that my career path would one day involve a sewing machine.  I graduated with a BS in finance and a BA in accounting from William Jewell College, a liberal arts college in Missouri in 2002.  When I became pregnant with my twins in 2005 and left my job as a financial analyst for the Federal Reserve Bank, I knew accounting was no longer a field I wanted to pursue.  It wasn’t until I couldn’t find gender neutral bedding that I discovered sewing.  Armed with a sewing machine from Costco and my mother’s limited sewing knowledge, we managed to create two bedskirts, two quilts, two bumpers and a valance.  It was then that my passion for sewing was ignited. 

From that point on I read and absorbed all the sewing information I could gather.  It was at this time that I began accepting home décor sewing jobs from friends and family.  When my husband was relocated to the Indianapolis area in 2011, I was yearning to explore garment construction, primarily because I am a very difficult to-fit body type.  It was then that I signed up for a class at my local fabric shop and met fellow ASDP member Joyce Hittesdorf who took me under her wing after our first class.  From there, I apprenticed with Joyce until the sale of her business in the fall of 2013.  I continued to work with the new proprietor, Sarah Knochel, and upped my ASDP membership from friend to Intern.  It was also at this time that I felt confident enough to begin offering alterations and custom construction to clients on my own.  In 2014, I set up TomKat Stitchery, changed my ASDP membership to formal, and began working from my basement.  In 2015, with help from my family, we turned our basement into a professional studio where I continue to work. 

I continue to take classes both in person and online to further my education and my skill level.  I am very hopeful that the MSDP program will serve as a compass to help me achieve my goal of excellence in this field about which I am so passionate. I can assure you that sewing is not a passing fad or interest for me, but a skill commitment I hope to pursue for the rest of my life.  I thank you again for your time and consideration of my application for this scholarship.

Written by Whitney Luckenbill

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