Meet 2018 Project Tutu "Runway" Competition Winner, Samantha Austin of JBdesignS. Samantha will be on the Judges Panel for the 2023 Tutu Designer Search Contest.
Learn more about Samantha and how participating in Project Tutu impacted her costuming journey positively in so many ways in the following 2023 interview.
WHAT’S THE NAME OF YOUR BUSINESS + WHEN DID YOU START IT?
JBdesigns. I started my business in 2010, located in Elkton, FL, south of Jacksonville, near St. Augustine.
HOW DID YOU GET INTO COSTUMING?
I have always loved costumes from a young age and it grew as I went through my professional dance career.
HOW DID YOU HEAR ABOUT TUTU.COM’S PROJECT TUTU DESIGNER COMPETITION AND TUTU FASHION SHOW?
Claudia sent me an email advertising it and I could not wait to attend!
TELL US WHAT YOUR 2018 PROJECT TUTU – USA-IBC EXPERIENCE WAS LIKE?
I loved every minute of it. Two and a half very-intense days designing, building, fitting, and finishing a professional-quality tutu! The designers were amazing and most of all, meeting Claudia Folts.
WHAT WAS THE MOST CHALLENGING PART OF PROJECT TUTU FOR YOU?
Picking my packet to start. Each designer had to pick their design pack, which had all the materials, basic patterns, and two choices for what role you could make the costume. You could see the basic color of the fabrics, but could not tell much else without opening the packet.
WHAT WAS THE MOST IMPORTANT LESSON OR TECHNIQUE/TID BIT YOU TOOK WITH YOU FROM PROJECT TUTU?
To think outside of my box. The most important thing I got was finding more confidence in myself and lots of techniques for better patterning.
FAVORITE PART OF PROJECT TUTU FOR YOU?
Meeting the designers and Claudia Folts. I loved every minute of it.
HOW DID YOU FEEL WHEN YOU WON 1ST PLACE? WHAT DID YOU SPEND YOUR PRIZE MONEY ON?
I was very surprised. There were so many talented designers. I was very shocked and extremely happy. It brought me to tears. The money went towards my business.
Photos 1 & 2 - Examples of Samantha Austin / JBdesignS costumes.
Photo 3 - Samantha at 2018 USA-IBC Project Tutu "Runway" Competition Fashion Show explaining her winning design to the audience.