Sutton, Vermont – November 3, 2006
With a sewing needle in her hand and a dream in her heart, Tara Lynn Scheidet is developing her own fashion house. She asked herself, “‘How do I create a line of my own clothing,’ because I loved sewing, ‘that is environmentally conscious?'”
Scheidet answered that question by moving from Long Island to the Northeast Kingdom a few years ago. She taught herself to sew as a child, then studied fashion design and tailoring in college. After ten years working for other people, she got help from the Vermont Women’s Business Center to launch a line under the label Tara Lynn Studio. Scheidet says, “I love what I’m doing. It’s what I’ve wanted to do for a long time.”
She uses vintage fabrics bought at yard sales, then cuts and assembles them to represent endangered species. An African elephant takes shape under the designer’s sewing machine. Scheidet affixes those appliques to jackets she makes from hand using mostly hemp and wool blends. Scheidet explains, “They’re all eco-friendly fabrics.”
The environmentalist donates a portion of her profits to causes linked to her designs. Five percent of her butterfly jacket’s $800 price tag goes to a charity that protects endangered invertebrates. Pointing out the colorful, hand-embellished butterfly, Scheidet says, “This is the papilio homerus butterfly. He’s a Jamaican butterfly, and endangered because of deforestation.”
Mother nature not only inspires the designs, she also powers Tara Lynn’s studio. All her sewing machines run off solar energy. Scheidet explains, “At this point, we’re trying to double the amount of panels that we have. Because if I have more than one person in here sewing, we start running low.”
The designer makes the rounds of high-end art shows nationwide, also selling her jackets in a handful of boutiques. She says some buyers seek out socially-responsible companies. Scheidet says, “It really connects me to the customers, and the customers to me.”
The Tara Lynn Studio is now working on expanding its custom hemp wedding dress business. Those gowns start at twelve-hundred dollars.
Made in Vermont clothing with a conscience.