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Intern Spotlight: Sarah Leabu

Since day one, brightlytwisted has had a small team. The Michigan production center currently has 8 employees daily. We dye, pack, and ship every piece of brightlytwisted apparel to each store or individual by hand. This summer, we’re excited to announce a new addition to our team, our summer intern, Sarah Leabu! We’re thrilled to have her working with us, and wanted to give you the opportunity to get to know her too!
          Sarah found brightlytwisted last summer at the Glen Arbor, Michigan store while on vacation. As an Apparel Merchandising major at Central Michigan University, she is required to complete an internship, and immediately thought brightlytwisted would be the company for her. Sarah said, “I wanted to work for a smaller, growing, creative company so that I could learn from the bottom up and see all the aspects of how it’s run, while being able to contribute my creativity and skills.” Sounds like the perfect definition of brightlytwisted!
            This is the company’s first summer with an intern, and it is going to be a learning experience for all of us. But Sarah has definitely been showing us what we’ve been missing! Within a month of working at the production center, she has already designed and produced the dressing room for our customers. If you attended our open house and tried on clothes, that’s the one! We love the new dressing room, and can’t wait to see what other projects Sarah has up her sleeve.
            However, just when we thought we knew Sarah, she threw out a curveball. To our surprise, we recently learned her favorite hobby is riding motorcycles! She has yet to exhibit these skills to the team, but we’re all anxiously awaiting the day we get to see her in action. Along with riding motorcycles, Sarah also takes hula-hooping lessons! Every Thursday after work she spends time with a private instructor, learning everything she can about hula-hooping. She told us, surprisingly enough, it’s an intense work out. Who would have known?
            When asked her favorite part about working here, Sarah says, “It’s not predictable, and I get to see new and beautiful works of tie-dye art everyday!” We’re looking forward to learning much more about Sarah this summer, and are so grateful to have her working with us.

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Behind the Scenes at brightlytwisted: Lauren Paulauskas

Everyday in our production center, we see a myriad of colorful dyes working together to produce something new on a previously blank canvas. This blending of several components is an accurate representation of just how brightlytwisted thrives. This company is made up of many pieces of different sizes, each with a unique purpose, creating an exceptional product. From the dyers to the office manager, the photographer to the processors, each person adds their own color to the canvas. 

In the last five years brightlytwisted has grown tremendously, and the need for a new set of hands quickly became more apparent- only it wasn’t in the dye room. Soon enough, a different kind of artist came into the picture: Graphic Designer and Illustrator Lauren Paulauskas. After she graduated from Michigan State University with a BFA in Apparel and Textile Design in 2011, Lauren was introduced by BT designer Zack McKeever to Velda Kirby, brightlytwisted’s seamstress. Lauren soon began working as an apparel production intern under Velda, gaining, as Lauren states it, “the rare opportunity to observe and learn the apparel production process from start to finish.”

As Lauren brainstormed possible garment ideas for the company, she would sketch out her thoughts and give them to Velda. When Tammy learned of Lauren’s eye for design, she asked if Lauren could begin doing illustration and graphic design work for brightlytwisted. She started designing line sheets for the company, and quickly moved on to gift cards, labels, and apparel. Lauren says, “My work for brightlytwisted is very similar to my personal aesthetic, and it is a blessing that I get to do work for them that I personally think is beautiful. Tammy and I collaborated to match her dreams with my ideas and abilities, and I think the work I’ve done so far has displayed that to it’s fullest.” The rest of the brightlytwisted team couldn’t agree more. 

Since her early days as an intern, Lauren has become an important part of brightlytwisted’s success. Of Lauren’s style Tammy states, “Lauren’s illustrations have a whimsical, trendy edge, and her style reinforces that what we create is an art form. [brightlytwisted is] Artists working in the fashion industry.” It was with much ease that Lauren’s artistic designs became a key element in brightlytwisted’s line. Lauren’s work became irreplaceable to brightlytwisted, so when she decided to follow her dreams and move to Brooklyn, NY in the spring of 2012,keeping her on as a freelance artist was a no-brainer. 

Lauren’s passion for her art emanates through the work she does for the company, and as a result, the feedback from customers has been overwhelmingly positive. Speaking of her time spent with the company Lauren says, “To work for brightlytwisted is a one-of-a-kind experience. The work is drop dead gorgeous- really something you believe in, want to stand behind, and want to spread the word about. They are unique in the fact that they act as a tight-knit family, yet have the ability to maintain a level of professionalism not seen by many companies so young. Also, they ensure that the workplace atmosphere is one where any member of the team can jump in and really let their ideas and inputs be heard and thoughtfully considered. It truly is a group effort fostered by some really brave people. It’s the kind of hands-on experience you would never get at a big corporation, and is one that I find much more rewarding for it.” We couldn’t have said it better ourselves. 

-ot

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