Today, as a part of our Behind the Seams with A.K. Rikk’s series, we would like to introduce you to the latest addition to the tailor shop, Sonja Grasman! Sonja brings a unique set of skills to the store. Learn about her favorite brand at the store and get a book recommendation in her Behind the Seams interview.
What initially drew you to working at A.K. Rikk's?
I had never been inside the store. In the regular fashion, I googled it and it was like a whole new dimension of work. I'd rarely interacted with the luxury clothing world, but I was intoxicated by the slim experience I had. Once here, the biggest draw was how the real thing pushed past my highest expectations.
What is your favorite part of working at A.K. Rikk's so far?
The single minded commitment to do the best work we can. It's so easy to do things fast and follow the mold of what's been done before. A.K. Rikk's provides the unique opportunity to do things in the best way, for the best results. We are encouraged to do our most excellent work each day. Our entire team strives to go above and beyond and it is so incredible and unbelievable to be a part of it.
Nudie. Fashion is the second most polluting industry in the world with many articles of clothing made to be worn for the season that they are in fashion and then thrown away--if their poor quality doesn't put them out of commission first. Nudie and I are in agreement that craftsmanship, quality materials and repairs for wear and tear are not only the superior method of product production but also the superior style choice aesthetically. I have to stop myself from reading the mission statement on their tags every time a pair of pants comes into the tailor shop.
What was something you learned this week?
This week I started learning the finer points of shirt tailoring such as taking in sides, adding darts and shortening shoulders. I've also been getting more experience with fittings.
When did you learn to sew? Are there any memories associated with that?
My neighbor started teaching me when I was 11. She showed me how to read a pattern, buy fabric and use a machine. She also got me my first machine in exchange for yard work. I went out into the world with that knowledge and YouTube tutorials to fill in the gaps and I've come so far since then.
What three words best describe you?
Grounded. Creative. Ethical.
Time freezes for everyone but you for one day. What do you do?
Crime. I would go so many places I'm not supposed to be. This is limited to trespassing. I am taking nothing but memories.
What superhuman power would you choose?
Perfect comprehension. I want to be able to understand exactly what people are saying no matter how they say it. I'd be able to tell what people mean, even if there are obvious barriers like language, poor cell reception or children who can't speak that well yet.
What was the last book you read? Tell us about it.
The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman. I'm a big fan though I've only read a few of his books. It follows the story of a toddler adopted by graveyard spirits and their mysterious groundskeeper and how he grows up between the worlds of the living and the dead. Even though it's got a lot of dark, uncomfortable and unresolved themes and scenes, by the end of it I'm left with the same feeling of catharsis you get after reading a favorite book from when you were a child.
This concludes our Behind the Seams interview. The next time you are in need of alterations, Sonja might be the one working on your garments. If you stop into the store, be sure to say hello to her.