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Runway For A Cause is a nonprofit based in Elmira, NY started by Emmi Saufley and Katie Hardiman. "Runway For A Cause is a local nonprofit organization based in the Southern Tier of New York, that provides an outlet for creative artists to showcase their talent in a fashion show.  We as a team are dedicated to providing an opportunity to individuals who have the passion to succeed.  Our team is empowered by talented people who are motivated to help their community grow, and thrive within the fashion industry while giving back to local and national organizations through fundraising. We are committed to helping our community become more educated about the fashion industry and the needs in our area."

This Year, 2022, RFAC focused their efforts on the organization, My Refuge House, which helps individuals affected by sex trafficking in the Philippines. Our designers and models come together to help put on a fashion show which will raise money and be donated to this organization.

I worked on my designs and with my group of models since March of 2022 and showcased my designs during our runway show on November 12th, 2022. My collection of ten outfits, including my own, consisted of handmade one-of-a-kind designs using second-hand fabrics, as well as vintage and thrifted pieces to create a cohesive and sustainable fashion collection.

If you are interested in donating to RFAC, check out the link above.


Skaneateles, New York

During my time at Gee June Bridal, our goals shifted from the original Shared Learning Agreement goals to better meet my needs and supplement what may have been missing from my education at campus. While our goals may have shifted, they maintained similar learning objectives. Some of the goals included better understanding how to run a small business, diving into the design process of a formal garment, and learning more about alterations and how to do them successfully.
The goal of understanding how to run a small business went quite successfully as I learned more about business management, business organization, and monetary topics that follow owning a business. Some of these topics I hadn’t ever considered going into owning a business, and they were some of the most important parts. When Gee June Bridal got a shipment of couture gowns, she had to call her insurance company to make sure they would all be covered, which wasn’t something that had even begun to cross my mind. We also went into depth about how important it is to understand where your business is located and the people and other businesses around it. Being able to correctly understand and profile the clientele is essential to the success of a small business. I don’t believe that there were any obstacles when achieving this goal, other than the fact that there is endless more information that I could learn about the business side of fashion and small businesses.
The goal of designing a formal garment was also quite successful. While I had enough design background to understand the main idea, there was plenty that I was learning about a formal garment that I hadn’t yet learned. We mixed draping and flat pattern techniques while we also combined design and construction ideas from commercial patterns to make entirely unique designs. While we were making new designs, we were also implementing upcycling techniques to help revive old gowns that weren’t performing well. To do this, I did a lot of hand sewing, which has helped me tremendously in that aspect. I learned about different fabrics and why certain fabrics didn’t work with certain designs. I also learned quite a bit about the practical side of wedding gowns, and how to make something pretty, but also feasible to wear for a whole day. I also believe that achieving this goal was successful and didn’t have many obstacles. The hardest part was the design space since Layne’s shop is fairly small. Another obstacle was just my general lack of knowledge when it came to some sewing techniques, but over time Layne helped me to understand that as well.
The last goal of learning about alterations was the trickiest. While I was able to sit in on a couple of alterations appointments, and even take two on by myself, I was not at a point where I could perform the alterations myself, as these garments are quite expensive and important. As time goes on and my skills increase, I foresee myself being able to successfully complete an alteration in whole. The ability to better understand what makes a garment fit well was something that was important, because while I know what it looks like when a garment fits well, understanding the construction behind it wasn’t a concept that I had fully grasped yet. That is our goal, as Layne is allowing me to continue to work under her supervision.
Layne was an incredibly supportive supervisor throughout this entire process. She was always open to my questions and having discussions, as well as showing me first-hand how to do a new technique or to help better understand a certain concept. She also gave me a fair amount of freedom to explore and learn as I went through the process of appointments, displays, and designing. She’s continuing to support me after our internship concludes because she is allowing me to continue to learn from her at her shop, under her wing.

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