Judy Joannou offers wisdom to home economists interested in a career in fashion. Her father, an executive in the fashion industry introduced her to sewing and fashion design which suited her creative spirit. She graduated from Cornell University, in Apparel Design and studied abroad at the London College of Fashion. This led to her dream: becoming a fashion designer in New York City. At 23 she was travelling the world.
Several years later she met and married a Canadian, settled in Ashton and established her home-based business on a dime. Judy created one-of-a kind vests made from discarded upholstery samples and vintage buttons purchased at a garage sale, before re-purposing was a trend! Home sewers assembled them for her. Then she travelled throughout Ontario and sold them to boutiques and through the craft show circuit. As the business grew so did her collection, noted for mix and match high end fashions which she had produced in Toronto. After 26 years of being on the road she opened her first retail store in Almonte and introduced other brands to her offerings. In the Spring of 2020, nudged by the pandemic's forced store closure she upgraded her website to a full online store and brought the shop to her customers with video fashion shows. She continues to run both her retail store and website https://www.judyjoannoudesigns.ca
Gratifying to read in Brenda Miller's newsletter, Among Brenda's Quilts and Bags, a resurgence in sewing that she has observed, particularly at the high school level. ABQ Sewing Studio is a fully-stocked sewing supply shop in Strathroy, Ontario. Classes are in high demand. While this renewed interest is encouraging there are some larger concerns facing high school courses.
Will sewing be considered a tech class?
Ontario high school students will soon be required to take a mandatory
technological education class to earn their diploma, according to the Ministry of Education. The Ford government hopes this change will increase the number of students pursuing skilled trades.
At this time, it is unclear whether fashion courses will qualify as a tech class. This is a concern for teachers and students. There may not be room in schedules for fashion classes if they are not included as Tech classes.
Moreover, students will be required to take two online classes, which could pose a challenge for the fashion and food and nutrition courses as many are not available on-line. The essential experiential uniqueness of these in-class courses cannot be underestimated.
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The Ontario Home Economics Association, a self-regulating body of professional Home Economists, promotes high professional standards among its members so that they may assist families and individuals to achieve and maintain a desirable quality of life.