When Skylar Raiyn Johnson was “early 8” as she describes her age, she was watching a kids show on television where the main character was upcycling her clothes. Skylar was fascinated by the idea that she could take old clothes from her closet and turn them into something even better. “I had a size 3T Donna Karan dress in my closet,” she recalls. “It was way too small, but we had it because it was a Donna Karan dress, so I cut that and made it into a skirt.”
Her mom recognized her potential talent and enrolled Skylar in private sewing lessons. Turns out, she was a natural seamstress. “By my third lesson, I pretty much knew most of the ropes,” says Skylar. “My sewing teacher even said she could tell by my hand movements that I was a seamstress.”
Her sewing quickly went from a hobby to designing custom pieces for high-profile, local clients. Phyllis Randall, the Loudoun County Board of Supervisors chairwoman, wore one of her designs (white wide-leg pants and a purple satin shirt) to deliver the State of the County address in 2018, and she created a one-of-kind red dress for Reston Limousine CEO Kristina Bouweiri, who wore the design to the Sterling Women 10th Anniversary Luncheon last summer.
This spring, Skylar officially launched her clothing business with sewflysky.com, a website where clients can connect with her for custom designs, sign up for sewing lessons and, coming soon, she’ll have ready-to-wear designs available in her online boutique. In April, she was also honored by the Northern Virginia Business and Professional Women’s Club with their Young Entrepreneur Award 2019. She was also the winner of the “Make it in Wool, Virginia” design contest last fall for her one-piece gray jumpsuit.
Still in middle school, Skylar already has her sights set on attending the Fashion Institute of Technology in California for college. Given her early success, an acceptance letter can’t be far behind.