We'd like you to get to know us better. Meet Summer Collins, Tutu.com Costume Shop Manager. Summer Collins has been an integral part of Tutu.com since 2012.
Q: What brought you to Tutu.com?
I met Claudia when I was working for NCDT, now known as Charlotte Ballet. She would drop her daughter, Sophie off for dance class and come and chat with us in the shop and I would buy some fabrics from Tutu.com. When I left NCDT Claudia gave me a call and invited me to come work for her.
Q: How did you get into costuming?
A: I always loved the fun costumes you would see in old movies and musicals but never realized that was a career I could pursue until I got to college. I come from a small town in Ohio and my exposure to theatre was the school or local productions and we didn’t really get to help out backstage. When I got to college they made us do a general theatre class where you spent time in the costume shop, scene shop, prop shop and working with lights and sound so you could get a feel for everything before you picked a focus. Once I got into the costume shop I knew what I wanted to do for the rest of my life.
Q: When you're not running the Tutu.com Costume Shop, what are your favorite activities?
I’m a total introvert/homebody. I enjoy reading, working in my garden and hanging with my cats.
Q: What has your time at Tutu.com been like?
A: It’s great, if a bit of a rollercoaster. Claudia and I have gone through some ups and downs with the company and our personal lives through the years, but I think those things have made us stronger as a team. I really feel like we can depend on each other and value each other.
Q: What is your favorite costume you have designed?
A: I don’t think I have a favorite. I’ve enjoyed each one for different reasons and try to make every costume something I can be proud of and that the dancer loves.
Q: What is your favorite Tutu.com memory?
A: There have been quite a few through the years but I think my favorite thing is when we have little celebrations. Whether it’s someone’s birthday or because it’s been a long week and we all need a little treat. It’s great that we all stop and take a moment to celebrate with each other over some coffee and good food. We always have a great team that works well together to get things done and it’s nice to take a moment and enjoy everything.
Pictured Below - A few examples of Summer's exquisite work as a tutu designer and technician.