Yana Dee Team
Owner, designer, seam team manager, cutter, roadie, mastermind
I grew up on Northern Michigan’s Keweenaw Peninsula. From early on I had an overwhelming desire to create and compose the materials and space around me. Being home-schooled allowed me to engage with wonderful mentors that helped me discover the potential I had to create.
My childhood and ongoing obsession with clothing has had little to do with taste and trends, but instead a fascination of how they transform the way I look and feel. My earliest sources of inspiration were a well-stocked dress up barrel, an assortment of dolls, my sisters and my roller skates (you have to be able to move in what you’re wearing!)
In my last year as an art and design student at Finlandia University I finally discovered the fiber studio. Although I enjoyed working with many materials and forms of art, it was designing with textiles that felt very natural and accessible.
I have always enjoyed making things that people use or wear, and as I began selling my pieces, I was able to share this pleasure with others. So with a vintage Viking sewing machine I had been given for my 13th birthday I started sewing skirts and tops, then scarves and bags. I did some local craft shows and a few music festivals. Soon, a couple of local shop owners offered to carry my work and a business was born.
Now over 10 years and 10,000 yards of material later, I am equipped with industrial sewing machines and a diverse pallet of materials. I am now wonderfully engaged in designing and creating accessible, unique and beautiful items for everyday use and wear.
Store, sales, and content manager
I've always loved being in the outdoors and learning about nature. I majored in Environmental Studies at Northland College WI. I imagined myself working in nonprofits or maybe public parks for my whole career, yet I have found myself working in business and sales. I have been working at Yana Dee for over three years now.
In these times of increasing environmental stress, I am inspired by the power of humans to create art, community, and healthy lives. One of the powers we humans have is the ability to "vote with our dollars." I am in sales, and as an environmentalist I feel great about it, because I am promoting essential goods (clothes & accessories) that are healthy, sustainable as possible, and ethically produced. I must be doing something right, because in 2018 I won Environmentalist of the Year, Business Category, presented by the Northern Michigan Environmental Action Council.
I do a lot of different things for Yana Dee Inc. From setting up and selling at art shows wtih Yana, to bookkeeping and HR, to blogging and instagram, I dabble in many aspects of the business operations. My favorite part of working here is when I can help someone find something they are excited to add to their wardrobe, and either wear super often or use for a special occasion. So hit me up if you need help picking something out!
Seam teammate, sales associate, content contributor
This work is great for me in so many ways. I've always been a nerd for clothes and obsessed with making things. I get to work with natural fabrics that are the best to wear, and the best for the environment. I wake up excited to go to work, and I go home feeling good about what I do. Most importantly, my enthusiasm, ideas, and opinions are appreciated. I'm respected both as a vital part of the process and as an individual.
"The Finisher" Seam teammate
I started working for Yana 3 years ago after ending a career job of 30 years. I knew I wanted to participate in a production job that involved a useful, healthy, and beautiful product. Yana's clothing fits all of these. Sewing has been a creative outlet for my entire life. Spending a couple of days a week in the studio bringing Yana's designs to life is soul satisfying. The icing on the cake is the walk I often take to get to the studio. Nothing could be more perfect than walking out my door, arriving at a studio filled with colors and textures, and settling in to bring those beautiful and simple clothes to life.
Seam teammate, lead scrap processor
Viki plays the important roll of processing much of our potential fabric waste, into wheels of fabric that are then turned into beautiful, unique clothes and accessories like infinity scarves, square dresses, headbands, and tunics. While many clothing producers throw away the "off-cuts" left over from cutting out clothing patterns, our team works through these scraps at the satellite studio in the Keweenaw Peninsula. This scrap fabric gets to carpool to be processed; Viki is Yana and Abby's mom, so she comes to Traverse City often to visit her daughters.
Seam teammate, straight stitch master
Chloe started helping out at both the store and the studio for her high-school internship, and officially joined the seam team when her required hours were completed. She came on board with inspiring sewing skills for a woman of her young age, and we're happy to have her part time help with some of the most technical aspects of studio production.
Carley has joined the seam team most recently. She assists Viki with scrap processing at the satellite studio, in the Keweenaw Peninsula of Michigan. The fabric she works with becomes unique clothing and accessories for the Yana Dee Peace by Piece collection.
About the Store Team
The store team is all about customer service and sales. Whatever your question, the store team is here for you! We are available at the store 7 days a week, from 10am-6pm EST. You can stop by, call, text, email, DM on Instagram, Message on Facebook, or even comment on an IG or FB post and we'll answer your question asap. Don't hesitate to reach out! We can answer questions before you place a custom order; help you shop with advise and personal testimonials; tell you about current sizes, colors, and styles in stock; tell you when a package will ship; and clarify care instructions. We also really love it when you share pictures or stories about loving your Yana Dee clothes!
About the Studio Team
There is more to being on the "Seam Team" at Yana Dee than just sewing. Our talented seamstresses are also empowered with a design voice during the production process. From thread color to sleeve length, and color families to quantities, production decisions are informed by everyone's input. We love that some people on the studio team also work at the store. This means the same people that hear directly from visitors, can take customer feedback right to the cutting table. To reduce waste and succeed as a business, we strive to design and produce clothing you will love to wear.
About the Models
There have been many "faces of Yana Dee" over the years. We have had many friends, family, and acquaintances model clothing and accessories. In the beginning, Yana herself was a primary model; These days, she's the one taking the pictures. Thank you to all our current and past models. You know who you are ;)