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Amber's Alterations
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Amber's Alterations

Hello from Amber

I’ve always loved dressing up as long as I can remember. I know all little girls play dress up but mine was different. I didn’t just put on pretty dresses my costumes were....unique. Nylons and rubber boots was my first favourite ensemble. I would pull my moms nylons over my shoulders and that was the entire outfit. When I grew more modest I added a bathing suit underneath. I joined gymnastics and I was so exited about the new bodysuits, I wore all of them at the same time for class, car rides, bedtime, everything. Before I learned how to sew I would cut uniquely placed holes in shirts and pants. Put on a dressing gown and then knot it so it draped and scooped in new fun ways, while I danced around the house. My mom taught me how to sew my first button and I remember being complimented in grade four, at how believable my portrayal of Cinderella was as she mended her step sisters clothing. “ I could practically see the thread.“ my teacher exclaimed. I kept a design ideas binder in highschool when I started fashion design and musical theatre classes, while working as an entertainer at Calaway Park. I loved the costumes, the dancing and the wonderfully creative people I met.

After a couple years of general studies at U of C, unhappy in the management program, I had a life changing conversation with my mom. She told me that her cousin took the fashion production program at Olds College and maybe I should look into the program. I went to Uof C the next day, did some research and registered for the Olds program. It was only a few years later when I asked my mom about that conversation that I discovered she not only didn’t remember the conversation, she didn’t have a cousin who took that program. I’ve since decided it was a vivid dream of divine intervention that shaped my entire career path. I did the 2 year program 1999-2001. It was the hardest I’ve ever worked. I started working at an alteration shop the summer after my first year. After graduation, I became full time and shortly after, a manager. One of my first side projects, was a return to my roots. I made costumes for the Country show at Calaway Park. My good friend, whom I met while dancing at Calaway Park, asked me to make some dance costumes for classes she was teaching. This was so much fun. When she opened her own dance studio I was so excited to do more work for her.

At my husbands insistance, I quite my job at the alteration shop to make dance costumes and do custom seamstress work from home. This was the best decision we could have made. That year we got married and welcomed my daughter into our world. In fact, I went into labour while I was finishing some alterations for a client after I told her, the day before “this baby isn’t coming anytime soon.” Life was busy. My daughter and I would go for outings, I’d see clients, we’d play at the park. I arranged my schedule around her baby classes, naps and sleep routine. It was challenging but my favourite part was being able to do both. After my son was born, life got busier, and in 2012 I walked away from the clients I had grown to love in Calgary and we moved to Ponoka. I enjoyed some much needed time off to just be a mom and adapt to rural life. When my son started grade 1, I started rebuilding my business. Slowly, advertising by word of mouth, I began making dance costumes and doing alterations. I took on a part time job as a school bus driver to help out the family, as it conveniently allowed me to sew and have the same schedule as my kids. I decided at the beginning of 2019 school year that I was ready for a change. My kids are older, they need me less and less and they can stay home without my constant supervision . I also crave adult interaction, which was my favourite part of being a bus driver, coffee talk after the morning run. I look forward to being more involved in the Ponoka Business Community. I’ve discovered the business owners here so supportive. Willing to take the time to share and mention and congratulate me on my new business, even though we may not have even met before. I look forward to meeting more wonderful people and helping with any mending, simple requests or alterations for the special occasions in your life.

Amber Yuzwak,
Ambers Alterations

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