We have lots of stories to tell, heres just a few.....

Beth hornsby-hunt
'beth claire'

"You can do ANYTHING you put your mind to!”

I had been running my own small business making and selling baby accessories, but I wanted to move onto something bigger and to be able to draft my own patterns, so in 2017 I enrolled with Sewtec.  Sewtec gave me the practical skills, knowledge and confidence to draft patterns and construct garments to a very high standard, using these skills  I applied for Project Runway NZ 2018 and was accepted! My time on the show was hugely rewarding and great fun and really made me appreciate the skills I had learnt.

During my time at Sewtec I designed a streetwear collection (shown on live television) for Miss Universe (NZ) and put two collections down the runway at their annual fashion show 'Manukau en Vogue'.  Sewtec has given me so many opportunities I would have never had, my business is growing and I've now got clients I design and manufacture for.  What are you waiting for?

Sewtec Fashion Academy Auckland

Vanessa Kelly
'Vanessa Kelly Clothing'

"It can be scary to follow your dreams but if you’re brave enough the rewards are well worth it”

Vanessa specialises in vintage inspired garments, her product is stocked in several Auckland shops and she also sells directly through social media.

I have always sewn clothes for myself and received lots of positive comments about them, so I decided it was time to make them for other women as well. I’m inspired by vintage styles, they are flattering shapes and make you feel so feminine. I love looking at a piece of fabric and imagining what I can create with it, and to then be able to follow that vision through is the greatest reward.  The training and support from Sewtec gave me the confidence to take the plunge and make my passion my career - now I've got my own business earning money and doing what I love!”.

Loloma Kolopeaua

"I cant believe I have my own small home business and I've not finished my course yet!”

Loloma is a sewing student based at Sewtec New Lynn. She is due to finish her course in February 2019.  She started a small home enterprise manufacturing Pacific Island garments to meet the needs of her Pacific community. This includes : Puletasi, Menswear, childrenswear and work uniforms (including safetywear).

"It started off when friends and family knew I was studying sewing and started ordering clothes.  Sewtec helped me setup a facebook page (search 'Tashala Fashion' on Facebook) and before I knew it I was getting orders from my ladies at church and they spread the news to their friends and family. And at the same time I keep on advertising my little business on facebook and keep on spreading the news by mouth through friends. I've been using the machines at Sewtec until I was able to buy my own."

Sewtec Fashion Academy

Louina Fifita
'Attic Attire' and freelance designer/manufacturer

"You have to believe in yourself to get what you want.. oh and have lots of fun on the way!"

In addition to Louina running her own hire business 'Attic Attire' (specialising in steampunk garments) she works with several clients as a contractor.  This includes working for NZ activewear label 'Alpha State', her role there includes checking patterns, designing and trips to China to manage the manufacturing and quality control process.

She also has worked extensively in the NZ film/tv industry and more recently manufacturing for the upcoming Disney live action movie 'Mulan'.

Photo Ryan R Photography

Tekura Leota
'Kujo Clothing'

Kujo Clothing is a label run by Auckland mum Tekura Leota. As well as supplying regular local clients with wedding gowns, ball dresses and streetwear she is also known as a costume designer.  Tekura designed the Miss Universe 2017 New Zealand national costume as seen televised from Las Vegas.

“I cant believe I’ve got the business I always wanted; it started off with a keen interest in designing hip-hop gear and a phone call to Sewtec. I booked a free trial and I was off! Even after I finished my courses with Sewtec they were there to help me out if I got stuck. Why would you study anywhere else?”

Sewtec Fashion Academy

Tuitui Fifita
'Tuitui Fashions'

“I still can’t believe I’m living my dream - you can do anything but only you can make it happen!”

Tui is originally from Tonga and has been living in New Zealand for the last 22 years. She has previously been a machinist and an outworker.

After 25 years in the fashion business I thought I knew everything! I could sew but I couldn’t design so I enrolled at Sewtec. I soon realised that there was so much more to learn.  Thanks to Sewtec I’m now living my dream.  I have over 100 regular customers (including some overseas) who I design and manufacture for and I'm always busy. I've had two of my own fashion shows and I can't keep up with demand!"

Sewtec Fashion Academy

Fabric shop owner AND DESIGNER

“Talent can take you places but knowledge will take you further.”

Kamla owns the ‘Pacifica Style Quality Clothing’ shop in Otara, the shop imports and sells fabrics as well as offering ready-made and tailor made garments.

She says if you want to start your own business, you must be prepared to deliver high quality and quick turnarounds. “You get repeat business only if you are able to satisfy your customers with quality and service” she says. “That’s why professional skills matter".  Kamla started out by helping out her dad in his tailoring shop but realised she didn't have the machining and design skills she needed to start her own business.  While study at Sewtec and raising her son wasn't easy she says it was the best decision she's made. Visit her at Shop 5, Otara shopping centre.

Sewtec Fashion Academy

Tasha Lee
Tasha Lee Couture

Tasha studied with Sewtec in 2008 and has been running her own label since. She specialises in Ball gowns and wedding attire and is often seen showing her collections at Sydney's Pacific Runway Fashion show.

Look her up on facebook to see more of her work.

Malia Halahihi

"Anything is possible - All you have to do it try! Don't let a lack of confidence hold you back."

Malia designs and manufactures a variety of clothing including children's, woman's and menswear from her home.  Before studying at Sewtec Malia had no experience but knew she wanted to run her own small business to work around her family commitments.

"My auntie is a machinist, I saw what she was doing and thought I could do that and earn some extra money to support my family.  I feel that education is very important and its helps my kids see that have a bright future if they work for it.

Malia sells garments to her local Pacific community by word of mouth, social media and members of her church. Malia designed the Miss World (NZ) national costume that went to China in 2015.

Becky Forsey
Tutu Delicious

Becky always had a dream of making a business designing and manufacturing children's dance wear.

Search 'tutu delicious' on facebook and take a look at whats she's done..


Natasha Tapusoa
Bella Black Designs

Natasha came to Sewtec from a secondary college in Brisbane to pursue her dream of starting her own clothing brand.
After completing 18 months with Sewtec, Tasha went to the Southern Institute of Technology (Sewtec's partner) to study another year.  Now she designs and manufactures her own garments under her label 'Bella Black'.

"Life is my biggest lesson, it has taught me to work hard, always stay true to your values and you will get there! You can do it, Im a young lady who is making big steps towards my dream and if I can do it.. you can too!"

To check out the Bella Black range, search on Instagram.

Esitia Foliaki
'Tia'S Design Ltd'

Esitia studied with Sewtec in 2012 and completed both Industrial Machining and Pattern Making. She now lives in Australia with her family. She designs and manufactures under her own label.  She has many regular clients and the bulk of her new clients come through word of mouth and social media.

Esitia specialises in wedding gowns and garments for the Polynesian community.

Look her up on facebook by searching Tia's Design Ltd