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She also visited several art design schools

door boutique owners in Shadyside create the clothes and accessories they sell

Not only are the fashion designers friends, but they also make the clothes sold in their Shadyside boutiques.

Iman B, which Stewart opened in November 1996, and Little Black Dress, established by Misetic canada goose outlet shop in July 2000, sit side by side on Ellsworth Avenue. The street’s flavor, the stores’ facades and their sparse, intimate interiors recall stores in New York’s trendy Soho district.

Although the women are now in the same place “we seem to feed off each other nicely,” Stewart said the paths they took to get there were quite different.

Mary Margaret Stewart cheap canada goose uk and Iman B

Art classes were the only courses that really interested Stewart at Allderdice High School. But Canada Goose Coats On Sale when the Squirrel Hill resident graduated, she wasn’t sure what she wanted to do next.

So she flew to France and stayed with a friend for six months to ponder a direction. She also visited several art design schools.

“The fashion thing sort of came up,” said Stewart, 36. “It wasn’t a deliberate choice. It seemed practical, convenient, at the time. I always liked clothing when I was younger, but I wasn’t passionate about it.”

She ultimately enrolled in Esmod, a Paris design school, and graduated in 1987. Then she began designing and making clothes and selling them at Paris flea markets. She and a friend from design school, Nadia Chebah of France, became business partners and eventually wholesalers after a Japanese agent saw their creations and persuaded canada goose outlet canada goose outlet sale them to allow him to sell Canada Goose Parka their clothes in Japan.

Thus began three years of working 12 canada goose jacket outlet hours a day, seven days a week.

“We were working like dogs but very successful,” Stewart said.

She was going through a divorce, had a daughter to look after and was just worn out. She took a six week break, visited Pittsburgh and decided to move back here.

Stewart soon found retail space on the South Side’s East Carson Street. It was 1996. Within three months, she had made enough clothes to open. She named the store after her daughter, “who has a more interesting name than myself,” she said, laughing.

Iman is a North African name that means “faith.” Canada Goose Online Stewart tacked B on the end (pronounced “bay” in French) for distinction after learning that supermodel Iman was making a special appearance in Pittsburgh the same November day that she was opening the store.

Stewart visits France twice a year to buy fabric from the same supplier she used when she lived in France. She loves to work with jersey. No two of her designs are exactly alike. canada goose black friday sale If she’s creating wrap dresses, for instance, she might change colors, hemlines, sleeves or another aspect to make each dress unique.

Stewart usually works eight hour canada goose uk outlet days six days a week, but things are busier during spring and canada goose factory sale summer wedding season. She designs and cuts patterns and has two seamstresses do the sewing. (She’s looking for a third.)

“I know how to sew,” she said, “but my speed is canada goose factory outlet about a fifth of what a qualified seamstress could do.”

Still, she says she may have it easier than regular retailers because she doesn’t have some of the same concerns.

“My inventory depends on the needs of the client,” she said. “I canada goose outlet new york city don’t have to depend canada goose outlet jackets on suppliers or buying decisions. And I can manufacture things pretty quickly.”

The average price of a dress is about $170, with the most expensive about $320. She also makes pants and tops.

From buying fabrics to designing clothes, Stewart has developed a canada goose outlet store uk passion for fashion that she didn’t have in her youth.

“I love the daily canada goose outlet creativity,” she said. canada goose outlet nyc “I could talk to customers all day. It’s not the selling I like, but creating and buying canada goose uk black friday fabrics, which makes me go wild. And making one of a kind pieces.”

Diana Misetic and Little Black Dress

Diana Misetic and her husband, Zoran, fled war ravaged Bosnia in 1993 and came to Pittsburgh in 1994. The region’s sizable population of Croats and Serbs was a factor in their settling here.

Although she had heard about the proliferation of canada goose outlet online steel mills and polluted skies, she was pleasantly surprised to find this wasn’t the case.

“It’s a good place to start a new life,” Canada Goose sale said Misetic, 44, a former city planner.

She got a job at Westminster Designs in the exact address where her shop is now. Over the next four years, she worked as a seamstress, a pattern maker and then a handbag designer.

When the business closed two years ago, she decided to open her own store. Stewart, whom she had met while at Westminster, urged her canada goose outlet black friday to remain on Ellsworth.

“I already had my customers through Westminster Designs,” said Misetic. “And [Stewart] helped a lot. When you start a business, you have a million questions. She was really helpful.”.

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