Bethany Care Centre staff member by day – internationally recognized knitwear fashion designer by night, Sylvan Lake resident Sally Sandusky recently took Vancouver Fashion Week by storm with her stunning Fall/Winter 2016 line.
Eight models strut their stuff for Sandusky during her recent show where they showcased her signature chunky knit sweaters, dresses and shorts as well as a number of delicately knit overlay dresses as they meandered the catwalk.
Her clothing label named, Sally Omeme, stems from her middle name and the Cree word for dove Omimiw, a name her adoptive parents gave her in hopes of helping her to hold on to a part of her heritage.
In addition to the name for her stunning knitwear line, Sandusky also credits her mother with her love and talent for knitting.
“I had wanted a scarf and my mom, who had been a knitter all her life, said ‘Well let me teach you how to knit’,” remembers Sandusky who said she has now been knitting since the early2000’s. “One year I knit 75 scarves by working nights and it just kind of grew from there.”
Following graduation from Camille J. Lerouge School in Red Deer, Sandusky began her career with Bethany Care Centre before making the decision to attend the John Casablancas Institute in Vancouver – an internationally renowned fashion and beauty school where she studied creative arts and fashion business.
Following graduation from the Institute she returned home to Sylvan Lake and continues designing in her spare time with hopes to launch an online store in the coming weeks. She hopes her recent success at Fashion Week could potentially lead to a buyer picking up her line. In addition to the recent Vancouver Fashion Week show, Sandusky has also been featured in two previous Vancouver Eco-Fashion Weeks.
The fun doesn’t stop here for Sandusky as some of her most recent line may be featured in upcoming editions of both Vogue UK and Glamour UK over the next year.
While it is apparent Sandusky was born to create, she added she has faced a number of challenges over the past four years as a designer.
“I think because I’m not trained as a fashion designer I’ve had to learn everything from scratch,” she said. “The more complicated my knitwear design becomes the more I have to learn as far as sewing in linings and zippers goes. That has been the most challenging for me in addition to learning how to treat it as a business and not just a hobby.”
She encourages young fashionistas everywhere to never give up on their dreams adding it’s hard to believe how far she has come.
“My plate is definitely full right now. Before it seemed so out of reach but now it seems like it’s really starting to happen and I’m excited to see where it takes me,” stated Sandusky. “IfI had one piece of advice it would be to never give up – keep working towards your dream if that’s what you want.”