Senior Spotlight on Mina Schaafsma

Part-time student, part-time fashion designer and entrepreneur.

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Senior Spotlight on Mina Schaafsma

A look from Mina's Non-Finito line at Charlotte Fashion Week

A look from Mina's Non-Finito line at Charlotte Fashion Week

A look from Mina's Non-Finito line at Charlotte Fashion Week

A look from Mina's Non-Finito line at Charlotte Fashion Week

Easily recognizable in her mustard yellow ankle boots, Mina Schaafsma is a senior at AMHS whose passion for fashion is well-known both inside and outside of our school’s community. On top of school and tennis, she has managed to begin and run two businesses that sell personally designed and sewn bathing suits and clothing. Upon my request for an interview to learn more about her inspirations and fashion lines, she graciously set aside ten minutes of her busy schedule, saying, “What can I say–I give the people what they want. 100 emoji.”

The designer herself in a piece from her Neo-Victoriana line

When did you first start to get interested in fashion?

I first really got interested in it when I got my first sewing machine when I was twelve. I started sewing little things like pajama pants and pockets on shirts; later, I started designing and making bathing suits and clothes.

How would you describe your own style?

Eclectic.

How often do you work on projects? Is it difficult to balance with school?

I probably make a couple of pieces every month during the school year, whereas in the summertime I try to sew new items every day. And no, I am a genius and can do both simultaneously.

Can you talk a little about your two businesses, Bikinis by Mina and Stitched by Mina?

A top from Mina’s summer 2019 collection

They are both businesses that I started based on my fashion designs. I developed Bikinis by Mina first in 2018 after I started sewing some bathing suits for myself. People told me that they would buy them from me, so now I design, sew, and sell my bathing suits (each piece goes for around $20). Bikinis by Mina is really more popular in the summer months, and I usually sell around 100+ items then. Stitched by Mina is another business I started that focuses more on clothing design, and I started it to give my clothing a brand name and to advertise my fashion designs beyond just bathing suits. I have made several collections under Stitched by Mina, including Neo-Victoriana and Non-Finito. You should follow @bikinisbymina and @stitchedbymina. My stuff is so cute (I’m not kidding).

I heard your clothing line made it to Charlotte Fashion Week. How did you prepare for it, and what was the experience like?

I was the opening designer for the Friday runway show in Charlotte, which was for emerging designers. I showed my collection called Non-Finito, which was inspired by the Renaissance era technique developed by Donatello. I designed and sewed all fourteen pieces of the collection this past summer, and I had to go to Charlotte multiple times before the show for meetings, fittings, and rehearsals. It was definitely a really unique experience, and I hope to do it again.

Mina’s plan for her Non-Finito line

Are you interested in pursuing this field during or after college and continuing your businesses?

Absolutely.

Finally, what is your dream collab?

Definitely @stitchedbymina x @bygwins.

You can check out her designs at the links below:

https://www.instagram.com/stitchedbymina/

https://www.instagram.com/bikinisbymina/

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