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Two Female Entrepreneurs Connect Through Sewing to offer Stowe Project Bag Sewing Workshop

Arlene Kaye of Fashion Lab NY and Mary Grabenstatter of Needle Sharp have come together to collaborate on a new sewing offering. While Fashion Lab NY specializes in teaching people of all ages and abilities the fundamentals of fashion through sewing, illustration, and branding, Needle Sharp is in the business of selling monthly subscription sewing kits that enable clients to create various garments. Together, the pair have come up with a good fit, which is allowing them to grow their respective businesses, while supporting each other at the same time.

Back in October, we posted on Fashion Lab NY opening on Hertel, with Kaye heading up the sewing operation. Now, we are learning about Grabenstatter, who grew up in Buffalo, moved to NYC, and is once again back in the area following her dreams of being a crafty entrepreneur. Her business model is pretty neat too. Customers sign up online to receive the sewing kits, which come complete with everything necessary to make a garment.

Now the two have struck up a harmonious relationship, by creating a mashup of the two businesses. Kaye is incorporating Grabenstatter’s Needle Sharp’s boxes into a class this coming May. That means that students who take the Fashion Lab NY class will be working on “how to sew their very own tote bag from a curated kit containing hand-selected fabric, thread, and notions.” It’s essentially taking the best of the two businesses, by offering the two elements to people who want to learn the ins and out of sewing, while working on a singular project – in this case, a Stowe Project Bag akin to a tote bag.

This new business relationship is pretty exciting to see. We have Kaye – a 30-year fashion industry veteran, who originally moved to Buffalo with New Era Cap, and now runs fashion labs, workshops, and Summer Fashion Camps for students of all ages. Then we have Grabenstatter, who returned to Buffalo when she saw that there was a resurgence underway – she felt that she had something to offer in the form of fashion forward business acumen. “Buffalo was the perfect place to work on my business,” said Grabenstatter. “I’m thrilled to be back. The resurgence that the city has had since I left is amazing to see, and I hope to be just a little part of that growth.”

Hopefully this upcoming class offered by Fashion Lab NY and Needle Sharp will be the first of many joint classes moving forward.

The class will take place at Fashion Lab NY’s Hertel location (1205 Hertel Avenue) on Saturday, May 11 from 6:30-9:00 PM. You can sign up to take the class at

Teens and Adults, ages 16 and up. See Facebook event.

You can find more about Fashion Lab NY at and Needle Sharp at For more information on Needle Sharp, please contact For more information about Fashion Lab NY, please contact Arlene Kaye at or call 716.406.4067. Follow both Fashion Lab NY and NeedleSharpNY on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest.

Written by queenseyes


Newell Nussbaumer is 'queenseyes' - Eyes of the Queen City and Founder of Buffalo Rising. Co-founder Elmwood Avenue Festival of the Arts. Co-founder Powder Keg Festival that built the world's largest ice maze (Guinness Book of World Records). Instigator behind Emerald Beach at the Erie Basin Marina. Co-created Flurrious! winter festival. Co-creator of Rusty Chain Beer. Instigator behind Saturday Artisan Market (SAM) at Canalside, Buffalo Porchfest, and Paint vs. Paint. Founder of The Peddler retro and vintage market on Elmwood. Instigator behind Liberty Hound @ Canalside. Throws The Witches Ball at Statler City, the Hertel Alley Street Art Festival, and The Flutterby Festival.

Contact Newell Nussbaumer |

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