When boredom strikes and there’s a sewing machine around, it’s amazing what can happen. At least that was the case for Ty’Viana (Ty) W., a junior at Lincoln High School and a member of the school’s Purple Flash dance team.
As an eighth-grader in 2020 when the pandemic struck, Ty said, “I was randomly scrolling on Google and came across the term fashion designer, researched it, and decided that’s what I wanted to do with my life.”
When she shared her plan with her parents, they immediately went to buy her a sewing machine, investing in her creativity. Ty did what any young teen would do and lost interest for a while, letting the machine collect dust bunnies until boredom struck again. Then, once again on the internet, she decided to check YouTube for how to make a mask, and from that her business, Ty Wood’s Final Touch, was born.
“It was really easy for me to learn. I didn’t go to anyone for help,” she said, “I sat and watched a couple of videos, then it kind of just came to me.”
Starting her business during the pandemic, Ty began by creating matching mask sets. That soon transitioned to making accessories, then expanded to clothing. She was her own first client, designing her dress for the homecoming sneaker ball with accessories to match.
After creating her own dress, she decided to seek help from an experienced seamstress to learn how to make prom dresses. And from there was born what she calls “The Red Dress.”
During that same prom season, she got a call to make her favorite piece to date, “The Blue Dress.” This was the defining moment that made her realize she was doing exactly what she was called to do.
“After I delivered the dress, I got into my car and cried because I really did that,” she says. “It clicked for me. Although this wasn’t my first prom dress, it was definitely my best, and I told myself I have to keep going for real now.
With her parents’ support – they even took her to New York City to visit her dream school, the Fashion Institute of Technology, and then made the master bedroom her new sewing space – she kept designing.
This time, instead of waiting to be asked, Ty took the initiative and asked her coach if she could design the team’s dance uniforms. It was just in time for Lincoln’s big football game against James Madison High School, also known as the “South Dallas Super Bowl.”
“We always wear the same outfits, so please let me make some new ones,” Ty pleaded with her coach.
When the coach obliged, she sprang into action, gathering inspirational pictures to send to her team officers, and soon a final design was selected. In a month filled with multiple practices a day, kick-starting her junior year, working at Whataburger, and getting little sleep, all 15 uniforms were completed in time for the big game.
“Every time it gets hard, I tell myself, going through this is going to be hard, but I promise you’re going to like what you’ve created when you’re done,” she says.
This young entrepreneur doesn’t have any plans to let up anytime soon. She wants to continue designing for her team and community while putting the money she makes into savings to support her New York City dreams.