Atelier YQS

“Making a garment makes me feel really happy. It's so fulfilling to start from a sketch to produce a finished sample.”

Yaqi Sun

Yaqi relocated to NYC immediately after graduation.

Right after she earned her degree at the Savannah College of Art and Design, Yaqi was ready to begin her career in the Garment District. For five years, she worked as a pattern maker under a French tailor; during the pandemic, the tailor moved back home to Paris, and left the business to Yaqi.

Atelier YQS
Atelier YQS studio

“ …the most important part of owning a business is working hard to develop strong relationships with your clients.

Known for quality, high-end work, Yaqi has grown her client list beyond the original set she inherited. While some designers elect to use computers for pattern making, Yaqi maintains the more traditional style and lays everything out on a table. As a skilled pattern maker, she takes designer sketches and helps develop them into a finished garment. Creating couture samples for runway shows, dressing celebrities and private clients, and designing ready-to-wear looks are just some projects that keep her busy. She loves working with draping and eveningwear and is proud to collaborate with both established brands and new designers. Her clients know her as a perfectionist, fully trust the quality of her work, and these long-term relationships have been critical to the steady growth of her business.

“What keeps me up at night? Everything that needs to be done tomorrow!”

Yaqi feels fortunate to have started with an existing book of business but, with no experience in owning a business, she initially struggled. As she explains: she studied and learned how to produce beautiful garments, not how to manage a startup! Finding a workspace, managing finances and accounting, and handling overstaffing were all new skills she has needed to develop.

Although the company is still young, her hard work is already beginning to pay off. Yaqi is ready to expand, and is looking for a larger space, as well as a few additional highly skilled employees. Businesses that rely on repeat customers need to impress with every project, and Atelier YQS is no different. Yaqi is adamant about hiring support she knows she can rely on to reinforce her brand of perfectionism. She’s hoping that a new space will mean new equipment, and that the hires will follow. In the meantime, Yaqi is so busy that she must be selective about which projects and clients she can work with. While working so hard to make her clients happy, she seems wonderfully happy as well.

pattern making

Q&A with Yaqi

What work have you most enjoyed?

I enjoy the process of making a garment, that’s why I studied it! Making a garment makes me feel really happy. It’s so fulfilling to start from a sketch and produce a sample, and then seeing your garments presented.

Who most influenced you?

Designers and clients - everyone I work with inspires me in a unique way. They have so much talent that it can change the way I see or work on a design.

What’s your advice to someone starting out in this business?

You need strong technical knowledge to construct a garment. It takes a lot of patience. But the most important part of owning a business is working hard to develop strong relationships with your clients.