Debra McClarin Emig is a fiber artist living in Jersey Shore (PA), where she also has a small shop, Evanthia, on Allegheny Street. A native of Jersey Shore, Deb has traveled “near and far and came back here to settle and raise a family, as there is no place like it”.
Deb is an apparel pattern maker by profession, and can create a pattern for anything. For college, she studied fashion design in London and Paris in the 80′s.
“I have always wanted my own little atelier shop and now I have one. I have been preparing for several years, taking small business classes here and there, etc. It took a long time to “find” a location in my small town that had personality….it was once a barber shop for many years,” says Deb. “Evanthia is a Greek female name I picked up while attending college in the London. I had British friends of Greek decent with a young daughter who was named Evanthia. I fell in love with it and planned on one day naming my daughter that, except I had a wonderful little boy instead, named Jameson (He’s 21 now). So the next best thing was to name my business that.”
Deb’s mother, Lucy McClarin, was a seamstress and taught her to sew at a very young age. Her mother worked at the Pajama Factory in Williamsport, then known as Weldons Mfg., sewing pajamas.
“There were 5 floors of workers there when I was young, I remember…can you imagine? 3 of those floors were sewers. They all lost their jobs….the end was near I say 1979 maybe. My mother went on to another place until she retired, which is now also just a warehouse of sewn goods from offshore contractors. Actually many apparel industries that were in the Williamsport area are gone, almost all really.”
“I am a firm believer of hand crafting in the USA, and growing up in the ‘PA Wilds‘ I want to share my love of artisan goods and be able to make a living from it right here in the Pine Creek area. It is wonderful to have this Artisan Initiative raising awareness of the home grown arts-related businesses in our area.”
And Deb is doing just that from her shop in Jersey Shore. She has designed and made bridal, prom, and formal gowns, kids items, totes, and various one-of-a-kind garments. She also creates quilts and some home décor. The prom dress shown here was designed a few years ago for a local young lady.
“Actually she also designed it, I helped make it real,” says Deb.
It has a blue jewel shade halter top with an olive green satin underlay skirt and over skirt of green organza, just covered in peacock feathers. Each feather was attached by hand by Deb and her mother.
Deb hopes to eventually begin offering classes for sewing, design, and apparel pattern making.
Artists living in the PA Wilds Region are invited to come meet Deb and others at a February 23, “Meet & Greet” at the Pajama Factory in Williamsport. For more information, visit www.ntculturalalliance.org.Jen received her BA in Journalism/Public Relations from the University of Maryland, College Park. After living and working in MD for several years, she returned home to northern Pennsylvania and began working in the nonprofit arts community. Jen is currently the Communications Director for the Bradford County Regional Arts Council, does consulting/freelance work on the side and runs her own blog.