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Evelyn Siefert Kennedy '69

International Society of Appraisers
By Laura Nelson

People from around the country send Evelyn Siefert Kennedy '69 their wedding dresses, antique clothes, furs, needlepoint, and even dolls for alteration or restoration.  Kennedy's business, Sewtique, enjoys a reputation that extends far beyond its Groton, Conn., location.  It is a reputation that has taken Kennedy 25 years to build, and she is justifiably proud.

Sewtique offers a number of services, from alterations to sewing machine sales and repair to appraisals, but it is most famous for its restoration work - the cleaning and repair of old wedding dresses and other heirlooms for new generations of wearers.  With a staff of six, Sewtique services close to 2,000 customers a year.

Quality control and attention to detail are the main reasons for Sewtique's success, according to Kennedy.  Another is Kennedy's ability to adapt to a changing market.  "Sewtique started out as a fabric store, but within a few years, I knew I couldn't compete with the other stores.  So I branched out, adding new services such as fur and leather repair, and fabric restoration.  Diversification has been the key to Sewtique's survival," she says.

Kennedy is tireless in her promotion of Sewtique.  Recently certified as a textiles appraiser, she speaks throughout the country and in the media about restoration and other topics.  Kennedy is also the founder of PRIDE, Promote Real Independence for the Disabled and Elderly, a national organization whose mission is to provide altered and specially designed clothing for the disabled.

After 25 years, does she ever think about slowing down? "I don't think I'll ever retire," says Kennedy.  "I love my work too much."

Evelyn Siefert Kennedy, ISA

Evelyn Kennedy received her B.S. in Textiles and Clothing from the University of Rhode Island and graduated Magna Cum Laude.  She then went on and achieved her M.S. from the same institution and had her thesis published.

Ms. Kennedy is now the President and Founder o Sewtique, Inc., a professional total sewing service center dedicated to the restoration and preservation of Textiles.  In addition to her business, Evelyn is on the Board of Trustees, University of Rhode Island; serves on the National and State advisory Councils for the Small Business Administration; belongs to the International Fabrics Institute, is on the National and Sate Board of Home Economics in Business is a member of Omicron Nu and Phi Kappa Phi, both of which are National honor Societies.

She has been recognized as an Expert Witness, earned a Research Citation from the Eastern Regional College Teacher Association and is the author of two published manuals on assisting the physically challenged with fashion and clothing issues.  She has been featured in Americana, Boson Globe, Bride's Magazine, Christian Science Monitor, Fiber Arts, Hartford Courant, Los Angeles Times, New London Day, Modern Bride, New York Magazine, New York Times, Norwich Bulletin, Sew News, Treads, Yankee, and Women's Day periodicals with regards to the restoration and preservation of apparel.  Ms. Kennedy also has the great honor of being features in Marquis' Who's Who:  American Women, In the World, Finance; The East.

Currently, Evelyn Kennedy lectures on issues in relation to the disabled and elderly and the restoration of textiles all throughout the United States, Australia, Canada, Haiti, Japan, and Russia.

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