My name is Sydney Wittman. I am a wife, mama, sister, and daughter. I am a lover of people, arts and culture, and it is in the connecting of these entities that I feel most alive. Whether bridging the language gap between people and culture while translating, learning about the stories that God weaves together to form an individual, welcoming the outsider, sewing, embroidering, songwriting, playing the cajon or my favorite four chords loudly on the piano--there is no mistaking that these are the things that stir my soul and lift my eyes to my God the Ultimate Creator and Inspirer.
My vision for Ita Collective is to provide quality heirloom clothing with an organic style. It has been an absolute joy working with our team for this first line and learning from what each woman has brought to the table. I look forward to further artistic collaboration with our talented team and with other refugee women adept in their home culture's hand embroidery. I want to catch glimpses of their own stories and words of wisdom. Working with these women inspires me to love my own daughter well, walk with her, and challenge her to find what makes her eyes open wide, and her little feet dance with excitement as she discovers the passions for which she was simply made.
Meet Lisa. She is our Jane of all trades and one of the most generous and joy-sharing women I know. She is truly a light, refreshing presence and an encourager who makes a habit of championing others.
Lisa's sewing career began at the ripe young age of eight when she asked her mother to give her scraps to make Barbie clothes.
She is currently having a marvelous time as a sewing instructor for refugee and immigrant women in Charlotte, NC, and says she thinks she has found her people and her calling!
Engaging in any of the creative arts is a form of worship for Lisa; it is when she feels most alive, joyful, and in tune with God. If we were flies on her wall, we would hear her singing and praying over her sewing projects and the people for whom she is sewing.
An intelligent, kind, and courageous woman, Alia welcomed me into her lovely home at our first meeting and showered me with hospitality as I met her family and discussed details about the job.
At age thirteen Alia tried her hand at sewing and embroidery. After watching her mother and sister sew, she asked her sister for help making a dress.
"She said I was big enough to make it myself. So I thought of a dress in my mind, and cut out the dress and made it. I also made dresses for my younger sisters. Before, I had used a needle to embroider. This time I used the machine. I was not afraid. Then I made clothes for my whole family. There were 10 children."
A sweet and spunky, diligent and attentive woman, Heather is a third generation seamstress. She traces her sewing heritage to her grandmother who drafted patterns by making outlines of her daughter on brown parcel paper.
Now an accomplished seamstress, Heather recalls, "I remember feeling a sense of pride over my first A-line skirt with an elastic waistband." Her sewing endeavors now range from elaborate costumes, to custom draperies, and an entire custom nursery set. My personal favorite of Heather's work is an exquisite silk vogue pattern evening gown accented with hand-sewn rhinestones. The dress was so stunning I wanted to hold my breath when she showed it to me!