Deborah J. Nelson
Deborah J. Nelson founded Satin Stitches® in early 1978, as a one-woman venture after working as a Fashion Designer/Patternmaker for a high-end woman's apparel company for five years in Minneapolis, MN.
By 1979, Deborah added a team of costume design professionals to help create the very best custom dance performance costuming available. Satin Stitches moved to its current location in 1989, and expanded to double the space in 1994. Although many changes have occurred at Satin Stitches in its 40 year history as a high-quality, custom dance/performance costume manufacturer, the company still remains true to its beginnings, by consistently creating both completely original and customizable costumes for all types of performers including individuals and groups of any size.
Deborah’s 45+ years of professional design, fitting, alterations, and patternmaking experience hails her as a leader in the industry. A Bachelor of Fine Arts (Major: Fashion Design) graduate and former instructor at The Minneapolis College of Art and Design (MCAD), Deborah continues to share her knowledge and experience as both a speaker and writer on topics related to the design, selection, and care of performance costumes and uniforms. Her articles and designs have been featured in magazines including Dance Spirit, Dance Teacher, Productions Magazine, and other national publications. Deborah also presents informational seminars at various dance conferences around the country, is a member of United Dance Merchants of America and served on the Editorial Advisory Board of Dance Spirit Magazine for its first five years. Deborah has been blogging her performance costume expertise for over a decade.
As the newly appointed Director of Operations, Mercedes oversees production while continuing to work with clients as a designer and CAD patternmaker. Mercedes was first drawn to the apparel industry for the challenge to incorporate art with functionality. She joined our Satin Stitches team in 2017 after completing the Apparel Technologies program at MCTC. You can find Mercedes’ independent design work featured in Minneapolis runway shows and print publications. We are excited to have added Mercedes’ perspective and expertise in her new position with our design team!
Cheryl Lynch joined our Satin Stitches’ customer service team after relocating to our suburban Twin Cities area. Cheryl has previously worked in customer service (and related endeavors) for many years, and is committed to go that extra mile to get questions answered and resolve any issues that may arise. Besides on-the-job experience, her educational background includes earning a diploma from Dakota County Technical College for Secretary/Administrative Assistant. In her spare time, Cheryl enjoys watching her grandchildren play baseball and family time at the lake.
Haley Arens has been a design staff member of our Satin Stitches’ team since the winter of 2013. Haley’s tasks currently includes Online and Social Media marketing and coordinating our custom-design client’s needs with sketching, patternmaking development and prototype creation. Educated in the Apparel Technologies Program at MCTC here in Minneapolis, Haley has previously worked in the industry as a costume and athletic apparel designer and patternmaker.
Haley also designs under her own name for local and national artists, as well as producing a line of men's and women's loungewear that can be found in boutiques across the country. Haley's technical design skills and passion for creating beautiful garments make her well suited to work with our entire design team here at Satin Stitches, to make our client's visions a reality.
Rebecca Bellefeuille joined our Satin Stitches’ design/production staff right after completing her BFA degree (Fashion Design major) from the Illinois Institute of Art-Chicago in the fall of 2015. With her extensive experience with custom clothing creation and an interest in glitz and dance costumes, we are currently utilizing Rebecca for Social Media marketing, design/sketching, and rhinestone embellishment.
Our cutting department continues to run very smoothly with our cutter - Jan Hickle. Jan has been a Satin Stitches team member since 1999, originally starting out with both cutting and sewing. Jan is doing a wonderful job with our Lectra CAD cutting system which she learned on-the job, when we upgraded to this technology, back in the early 2000’s. Because of Jan’s previous garment industry experience which includes machine sewing, hand cutting and bridal veil embellishment she fits into our costume production team very well.