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Jenny Ambrose

Jenny Ambrose is the owner/founder of The Makehouse. She first founded her own eco-fashion label in 2004 while residing in the United Kingdom. Jenny returned to Canada in 2011 and opened The Makehouse a year later. Jenny has been working in the fashion industry including design,  manufacturing, tailoring, wholesale, and retail. Her portfolio also includes fashion shows, photo-shoots, teaching/mentoring and marketing.

Jenny grew up in the heart of Saskatchewan watching her mother cut and sewed everything from clothing to home furnishings. Her inspirations have always come from past decades focusing mainly on the 1920s to 1960s including fashion, interiors, cars, lingerie and of course music! The 1980 newspaper clipping below shows Jenny helping her mother Jeannette with a sewing project when she was just 2 years old!

Tanya King

Tanya King grew up in the interior of British Columbia and as a child was creative, artsy and loved dressing in oddly unique clothing. As a teen she was inspired to pursue a career in fashion from her creative mother who is a freelance writer and painter and who made Tanya’s clothes as a child. She attended UFV in Abbotsford, BC where she graduated with a Diploma in Fashion Design and Technology. For over 10 years, Tanya worked in the fashion industry honing her skills in many areas, and developed her own Fashion Consulting Company. Here she did everything from custom design, alterations, styling (print, film, and theatre), fashion retail merchandising, draping teacher, private lessons and more. In 2012, she made a brave move to close her business, move to Victoria and pursue other interests in Mental Health and Herbal Medicine Studies. To this day she enjoys being creative by painting, drawing, crafting. She loves to teach and inspire others to create beautiful things for themselves. 

Alice Hawes

Alice Hawes

I've been designing clothes and sewing for as long as I can remember. Inspired by my grandmother, who every year made my sister and I what I thought were the most beautiful dresses ever. I started sewing on a Holly Hobby machine, making dresses for my dolls. Wanting to make clothes for myself soon followed, and with the help of my mother, my grandmother and my aunt Ruth, I learned.  

My imagination and passion for sewing lead me to study costuming and theatre arts. I received a BA from San Jose State University. I had the good fortune to spend several years working at the San Francisco Opera and then at the Metropolitan Opera in New York where I learned how to make elaborate period costumes and worked with many talented people.

I've now been sewing costumes for performing arts companies for over 25 years, sewing everything from opera gowns to bow ties.  As a seasonal employee for Pacific Opera Victoria I enjoy sewing for designers from all over Canada helping to make their vision come to reality. In the past few years I have also worked for the Belfry Theatre, Kaleidoscope Theatre, Theatre SKAM and the TV shows Spooksville and Gracepoint.

Our other staff and contractors include J. Scott, Cameron Lizotte, Kat Camfield and Jessica Knowles. Stay tuned for their stories!