My career in alterations began with a middle school shop class. I was the only girl struggling with the wood and machines of industrial arts and the boys kept teasing me. I escaped to another class that I knew nothing about: sewing. After the first week, the teacher asked me, “Who taught you to sew.” No one had, but from a small child I liked nice clothes and had an eye for materials. I stayed with sewing, enjoyed it, and went on to make all my clothes in school.
When I graduated from Hillwood High, my tailoring teacher, Philip Solomon, asked me about my plans. I didn’t have anything definite, so the next day he took me to Levy’s men store where management immediately hired me in alterations. Within six months, my supervisor, Guido DiSt'efano, had taught me to operate the different machines and increased my responsibilities in the alterations shop. Next, I learned details of the structure and how to tailor garments, as well as run an alterations shop.
I attended Bauder Fashion College, Atlanta, Georgia, returning to Nashville and worked at Opryland theme park as the pattern maker in the costume department and McClures, Gus Mayer, and Jos. A. Bank in alterations, before joining J. Michaels Custom Clothing, where employed for 21 successful years. I operated the Fit Shop adjacent to J. Michaels Custom Clothing, managed the alterations department and learned the value of customer service. Now I’m carrying out my dream of operating my shop. I have created an environment in which staff can advance in various careers, and customers find the right fit. I enjoy helping all clients. Some bring in garments inherited from a parent or grandparent. We alter for the fit and update the look.
We help men and women, brides and those who simply seek the right fit or want to renew something hiding in the back of the closet. We get to know those who come in and when we work on a garment I have the last touch. This is Victoria’s Final Touch. Victoria Lewis