Born in Cardston, Alberta, Sally Sandusky dreamed of working in the fashion industry for as long as she could remember. Her dreams became reality when she hopped on a plane with her two suitcases and enrolled in the John Casablancas Institute Fashion Business and Arts Program in 2011.
After graduating the Fashion Program, Sally volunteered at many fashion events, including Vancouver Fashion Week and Eco Fashion Week, and soon pursued her goal of designing knitwear for her line: Omeme.
How was your experience at John Casablancas Institute?
I always dreamed of working in the fashion industry. At first, I began a career in Health Services in Alberta, and in my spare time, I learned to knit, which became a hobby. It wasn’t until 2011 when I discovered JCI and knew I had to enroll in the Fashion Program. It was a tough year because I found myself facing money and personal growth troubles.
My favorite quote throughout the program was: “Obstacles are what you see when you take your eye off the goal.”
The instructors at JCI supported and encouraged me a lot, which gave me the strength to overcome any problems. I still consider them my mentors.
What did you do after graduating from the JCI Fashion Program?
After graduating JCI, I began to pursue my dream of designing knitwear and volunteered at as many fashion events I could. I had a strong work ethic at Vancouver fashion events which helped open a lot of doors for me. I was able to design and showcase my first ever knitwear line at Eco Fashion Week.
It’s important to ask for what you want— whether that’s a career opportunity or internship. When an opportunity arises, seek for it.
Who are your inspirations in the fashion industry?
To this day, I remember the first time I watched the Dior Fall/Winter 2011/12 Fashion show— it was complete magic to me. The details in the show from hair and makeup to the music really inspired me. I’m also a big fan of Murad Zuhair, D-squared, and Tom Ford.
What inspired you to become a knitwear designer?
I learned to knit just over ten years ago. I had a vision of a scarf and asked my mom, who is an exceptional knitter, if she could knit it for me. Instead of knitting me that scarf, she taught me how to create my first stitch and knit on my own. It was both exciting and scary at first, but when I created my first sweater, I knew I could get the hang of knitting.
It wasn’t until attending JCI that my pursuit of becoming a knitwear designer became real. I have my instructors at JCI to thank for that as they encouraged me every step of the way.
What has been your prize moment throughout your career?
There have been many moments that I will cherish throughout my career. Some of those moments include designing for my JCI graduation fashion show and also seeing my designs come down a runway for the first time. I’ve also had my designs published in a magazine and have been approached by a photographer for British Vogue. These are all prize moments that allow me to take a step back and realize how grateful I am.
JCI gave me the opportunity to be part of Vancouver Fashion Week.
What advice would you give to aspiring fashion designers?
If you are truly passionate about getting into the fashion industry, then be prepared to take risks in order to work towards your dreams. Be open to opportunities that come your way and be brave enough to open your own opportunities. And remember to be kind and respectful to everyone you come across in the industry.
Each step throughout my career has prepared me for the next step forward.
When Sally isn’t knitting away and preparing for her next collection, she is passionate about writing, film, and photography. Currently, Sally is studying film making personally with a film director and hopes to be able to collaborate with film projects in the future. She has also applied to study film in Toronto.
Omeme will be releasing a Menswear Sweater Collection for Fall 2017.
Keep up with Sally on Instagram.
Love fashion and want to make it your career? JCI Institute Vancouver’s Fashion Business & Creative Arts Diploma Program provides students with a comprehensive overview of the fashion industry, combining creative and business elements. This diverse approach gives our fashion school grads a distinct advantage both in knowledge and skill. Prepare for many jobs in the fashion industry, including becoming a fashion buyer, fashion stylist, or for work in fashion merchandising. If becoming a fashion designer is more your speed, choose our Core Fashion Program. This course at our fashion design institute will give you all the skills you need to be a fashion designer. Choose between our fashion programs to find the best fit for you!