Stephanie Mahr Biography
Stephanie largely grew up in Adams-Friendship, Wisconsin. Aside from being one of the last classes to dabble in home economics, sewing wasn’t really something thing she explored until her 20s. She accepted a sewing job in a hemming department at Lands’ End. She picked up the concept quickly and really enjoyed it. What she wasn’t learning on an industrial machine there, Stephanie self-taught on a basic machine, in her spare time.
Stephanie would remake and upcycle things she found around her house to practice techniques on different textures. Then she would wear them in public as a true test run. After 9 years and many, many lessons learned (some more embarrassing than others…) she branched out, Leaving Lands’ End and met other like-minded people along the way. She learned how to manage delicate vintage fabrics, helped work with costumes for theater and ultimately found her place doing tailoring work in the bridal industry. Stephanie attempted sewing in other forms by making blankets, headpieces, bags and accessories for others, but she understand where her strengths are and not all sewing is the same!
Today, Stephanie continues to learn and grow on new and existing skills. She has a sewing studio in New Glarus, Wisconsin, where she relishes in the art of sewing every day. Stephanie still focuses on the fit of garments and is also known for highlighting positive self-image as a sidekick to proper tailoring. She enjoys working with the wide range of people she sees, from the quite traditional, to the most unique of styles.
There are three main parts that make up our existence. We have our physical person, the environment we keep ourselves in and the personality we have to express uniqueness.. But we will circle back to that in a moment.
The exhibit “From the Cutting Room Floor” shines a light on fabric waste in the fashion industry, which is a problem we all know exists. An even greater common problem is that it’s difficult for people to want to make a change if they know it isn’t directly and instantaneously affecting them personally. My interpretation of this exhibit shows just how closely fabric waste affects us, even if we don’t feel it in the moment. Your body demands a healthy environment to thrive but it’s hard to honor yourself when we live in a place where we dump roughly 15 million tons of textile waste in landfills each year.
I’ve gathered almost 50 pounds of fabric waste from different fabric districts around the US and created these pieces. Just because it’s “waste” does not mean it can’t be reused and made into something beautiful. These pieces are fashion, secretly functioning as a solution to a bigger problem.
This exhibit shows just how easy it can be to honor yourself by respecting your environment and being true to your uniqueness.