- Suzanne Novak
Meet the Seamstress Extraordinaire - Suzanne
How long have you been married?
Tom and I have been married for 45 years
How many kids and grandkids do you have?
We have one daughter, April who is married to Mark Klimko and we have two beautiful
grandchildren. Alice Suzanne who is 10 and AJ (Andrew Jeffery) who is 8
What do you like to do when you’re not working?
I’m very rarely not working. I love what I do, so I don't mind working a lot. But when I do
have some “spare time” I like to cook, read, and devote time to my music
What made you get into the world of bridal?
After getting off the road (my husband and I are professional musicians) we had to get
day gigs, we still played nightclubs in the Phoenix area for many years after, so with my
sewing skills I was able to get a job doing alterations.
After opening Suzanne’s Sewing Service the first time in the 80’s I discovered that
doing wedding dresses were a lot more fun than doing men’s suits. I became involved
with many bridal shops (The Wedding Emporium, Renaissance Bridal, The Wedding
Shop, the Elegant Bride, Destiny’s Bride).
After about 15 years I decided that I wanted to do this for myself and took on the retail
side of it opening Suzanne’s Bridal Boutique in 2002 ( I hope that’s right) 18 years ago.
As I approached retirement I knew I wanted to keep sewing. So I sold the bridal store
and can now focus 100% of my time on doing alterations again.
What do you love most about sewing?
Sewing requires a lot of patience and the repetitive side of sewing just calms me. I also
like a challenge and each wedding dress presents its own set of challenges. The
transformative side of sewing delivers immense satisfaction. To see something go from
the conception to the finished stage is amazing.
How long have you been sewing for?
Since I was 5, so 63 years.
Tell me about one of your hardest alterations that you had to do.
I don’t consider anything concerning sewing is hard anymore. Some alterations are just
more time consuming. I did a temple build up for a bride who bought the Sottero and
Midgely “Allen” and needed to completely build up the back and line the entire bodice.
The back then needed to be handbeaded to duplicate the beading on the bodice. When
I costumed the American Superstars in Vegas I did a lyrical costume that was
completely beaded that took me 6 months to complete.
What did you do before you owned your bridal store?
I was a professional musician. I left Hawai’i to join an Australian group called the
Vamps. Margaret Britt was looking to add a horn section to her group the Australian
Vamps (look them up in Wikipedia, they have quite the colorful history). I played full
time trumpet with that group. She changed the name to just the “Vamps” when she
expanded. When the Vamps disbanded the drummer, the bass player and the keyboard
player and I went to Canada to form “Sundance”. We were the house band for the
Guildwood Inn in Sarnia, Ontario and worked six weeks there and went on the road for
six weeks. After that came “Moxie” where I met my husband Tom and the rest is history.
I was in nine bands. I have led a full life traveling on the road for 5 years spanning 20
states, Canada, and lived my recording dreams before settling here in Phoenix.
Why did you sell your bridal store and focus solely on the sewing?
I’m 68 and needed to slow down. I don’t think I will ever give up sewing or my music,
God willing. I'm very thrilled to be doing the part that I love and to still have some
connections with brides.
What should every bride know about the alteration process?
This process should be fun and stress free. I do it in stages. Good fitting under
garments and shoes are vitally important. To start ahead of time is always great to
eliminate stress…..for both of us.
To reach Suzanne or to book her services please call 480-590-4644 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.