SPOTLIGHT: Dream Key Academy

Local academy opens doors for fashion enthusiasts of all ages

Crystal Lake, Illinois senior Shannon Hubbard, a Dream Key Design Studios teacher, helps Mount Pleasant resident, Sally Morgan with the measurements for a tote bag at she is sewing. (Tanya Moutzalias | Grand Central Magazine)

Sandra Howell and daughter Ashley Howell recently noticed the rising enthusiasm in fashion and fashion design around Mount Pleasant.

They wanted to create a venue where these enthusiasts could explore the fashion world, pique their interest and learn the skills needed for garment design. Aspiring from this vision, Dream Key Design Academy, 2120 E. Remus Road, was created.

Noted as “a place where hands and minds are trained, lives are enriched, and beauty is created,” Dream Key’s curriculum is aimed to give students a peek at what the fashion industry is all about.

Classes range from beginner to advanced sewing, jewelry making, textile dying and everything in between. Students even have the opportunity to sell the garments they create.

Some of their latest projects are designing holiday table runners, aprons and throw pillows.

Dream Key’s main focus is that of its students. One of the academy’s main goals is to keep the classes affordable for students. Dream Key caters to every age group and skill level with much help from friendly and encouraging staff members like Shannon Hubbard.

Remus resident, Janet McCall and Shannon Hubbard look over a pajama sewing pattern for McCall's granddaughter's doll. (Tanya Moutzalias | Grand Central Magazine)

Hubbard is a Central Michigan University apparel merchandising and design senior who teaches multiple sewing classes at Dream Key.

She got started in fashion with a profound interest toward the idea of being able to express herself through designs.

“It’s important to express yourself,” Hubbard said. “And fashion is one way to express what you stand for.”

Better yet, learning to create your own pieces is also a great tool, she said.

“It gives you limitless possibilities to develop your style,” Hubbard said. “It gives you freedom to express yourself in any way imaginable!”

Hubbard’s passion for eco-friendly fashion has also helped shape her desire to design.

“What’s so great about this academy is that it gives anyone the opportunity to feed their personal styles,” Hubbard said. “There are classes for everyone [that] are small and work with you and your personal interests.”

Hubbard describes Dream Key as an inspiring environment “to let your creative side flow.” Her favorite part about working at the academy is being able to teach the art of sewing.

“It’s empowering people with the skills to be creative,” Hubbard said. “Something they designed themselves might instill the confidence and desire to do more!”

Dream Key’s 8-week courses begin January 2011.


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