Textile art of tailoring has been making a comeback in recent years and it’s no surprise. Something made just for you fits like nothing you can buy in a store and lets face it, custom made one-of-a-kind and local is the way to go. Salt Lake is lucky that Jen McGrew of McGrew Studios calls SLC her home. McGrew Studios opened its doors over fourteen years ago and made an immediate impression on our city.
Jen McGrew is no stranger to the fancy world of costume design. After working in theater wardrobe for many years, Jen brings her expertise and imagination to everything she does. When I walked in to Jen’s studio I noticed a Native American blanket on her cutting table.
Jen works with Beau Chaine of Aardvarksbicepsorg.org, a non profit that helps people with disabilities. “They asked me to cover the seat of an old rocker which was donated from a monastery,” she says.
In addition to donating her time she has donated extra materials to make the chair more comfortable and durable. That is the work that comes out of McGrew studios. Jen has completed two graduate programs and taught college courses for fifteen years. So, you might ask yourself, “What would drive a sane woman to open her own tailor shop?”
“I am an entrepreneur at heart,” Jen says, “I always love a new challenge.”
Her shop is adorned with Victorian style dresses, odd little steampunk contraptions to fit and even a Jacob’s ladder built by her father. “I love what I do, the people pleasing part of me likes to make people happy and the engineering/problem solving part of me likes to make things perfect in form and function.”
As a warning, you will get lost in conversation with Jen. I went in to do this interview and left two hours later. Jen possesses a distinct quality to make you feel at ease. It’s something uniquely Jen.