Susan’s first sewing project was a gingham apron, with a cross-stitch pocked, in eighth-grade home economics. She made many of my dresses for high school dances. After traveling to Europe during the summer before her senior year, her eyes were opened to the diversity of cultures outside of the US. At age seventeen, experiencing culture and fashion in Vienna, Salzburg, Paris, Florence, Venice and London was life-changing for a small town, Iowa girl.
After moving to Wyoming, she developed a fascination with the Old West and Native American cultures. Susan studied Textiles & Merchandising and Interior Design at the University of Wyoming. A few years later, she returned to graduate school, and earned a M.S. in Textiles & Apparel Design in 2005. The summer after graduate school, Susan traveled to Italy and India, which further heightened her passion for textiles and embellishment. For her graduate project, she designed a collection of women’s Western-style garments with an Eastern Indian, ethnic influence, made from luxury fabrics and leather, embellished with fur and Native American beading designs.
Now, Susan lives and creates on her acreage on the Wyoming prairie near Laramie. Here, she enjoys the western way of life, dramatic landscapes and deep blue sky, two horses and three dogs. She designs and constructs jewelry and women’s clothing from many of the textiles and adornment she have acquired during her travels, as well as from treasures she has found at estate sales and flea markets. Susan thinks the hardest part of design is deciding which direction to go next. Susan says, “So… sometimes I follow fashion trends…sometimes I just do what I like”.