Carmel Magazine

CM Summer 2015

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Page 117 of 291

"I was never going to sew again. College was intense," she laughs. But, after a year in retail, Engelman returned to fashion. She made pat- terns by hand and mastered traditional Italian sewing techniques while working with an experienced Carmel tailor. A few years later, she launched her own business. Engelman landed her first clients by dropping business cards at local boutiques, and for more than two decades she maintained alteration studios: first in Carmel Valley, and then in Carmel. Engelman reevaluated her efforts after the 2008 economic downturn. Long hours were chipping away at her creativity, and studio rents were ris- ing. When her husband later fell ill (he has since recovered), she decided to reshape her business. "I said to myself, 'Is there a way to change this?' I've always been one to think outside of the box and try new things," says Engelman. She gave up her storefront and started seeing clients in her home, just off Salinas' River Road. She now spends a few days each week doing home visits on the Monterey Peninsula, as well. Clients quickly warmed up to the new arrange- ment, which gives Engelman a clearer picture of an individual's clothing and lifestyle. This equips her to offer more tailored advice. "Now, we're talking about what they want to do with their whole wardrobe," she says. "It's more, 'This goes really nicely with that piece,' or, 'You might need this pair of pants in this color to go with all these other pieces that you like.' It's mushroomed into a different kind of business." While that advising role adds a new dimension to Engelman's work, she's not stopping there. This When she traded her Carmel studio for in-home client visits, Engelman expanded the scope of her fine tailoring, bridal and custom couture business. Bridal hair and makeup: Kim Larson; flowers: Christine Cater Wedding Floral & Event; model: Dolly Ledzinski; location: Carmel Valley Ranch. Model: Dolly Ledzinski

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