Get to Know Your Designers: Betsy

Published December 29, 2016 by in All Things Dance, Wishful Thinking costumedesignerbio-betsy

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You love the costumes they create, now get to know the creators behind them.

Get to know: Betsy Skaroff. Betsy is our Design Director and is celebrating her 20th anniversary at ‘Wish’ this year! She’s held a variety of positions here but now she heads up the Design and Product Development department, working with the creative team to develop over 1000 designs in 8 annual catalogs.

Q: What kind of work did you do before coming to ‘Wish’?

A: I started my career as a retail buyer at Macys, then Charming Shoppes. I did a lot of private label development for both companies, which ultimately prepared me for this position.


Q: Where and for what did you go to school for?

A: I graduated from the University of Delaware (Go Blue Hens!) with a BA in Communications. I was interested in broadcast journalism, but did not end up going that route. While I did not formally study fashion design, it was always a passion of mine. From an early age I was always sketching, designing, sewing… I found it to be true that if you follow your heart, your passion, you will find yourself exactly where you should be. I can honestly say I love my job and look forward to getting up and doing it almost every day. I am lucky and privileged to be able to work with a very talent, creative team.


Q: What did you want to be when you grew up?

A: Hmmm… at the age of 5 I was pretty impressed with “Sally Star”, so I wanted to be a cowgirl in a sparkly dress with a long blond ponytail… with a white horse. I can still do the ponytail and boy do I have access to sequins now!! No horse though.


Q: Can you describe your design process? 

A: Forever ongoing! I’m constantly sketching up designs, writing down ideas, collecting fabric swatches. I would say fabric is the most important element of the design and determines which way I’m going to design with it. I have folders of many unfinished styles that are still “in work”; because I want to make sure they will be strong designs.

I question everything I design. I try to determine the end use… what will the demand be for this style? Is it unique; does it stand out? Am I excited about it? How will it look on different body types? How will it look on stage? How will it move? Will it be affordable? I make sure I know the sales history on all costumes we make (the good & the bad) for future design direction. We also have to make sure we are offering our customers a well-rounded assortment of designs, for all types of performances, across all of our catalogs.


Q: Where do you get your inspiration?

A: From current or upcoming fashion trends, Dance & Guard competitions, TV dance shows, movies, what is happening on Broadway. What is currently doing well for us in our catalogs.


Q: What costume were you really proud you designed and why?

A: I have a lot of them. After all, I’ve been doing this for quite some time. Styles that become best sellers make me happy and it feels great to see them being worn on stage, looking beautiful, moving! My favorite this year 17584 – Free, with the skirt.


Q: What are a few of your favorite things?

A: Spending time with my 3 kids, my family, exercising/dancing, music, fashion, football, the beach, wine, dining out, a good laugh, my 2 cats.


Q: Dislikes?

A: Laziness, mean people, racism, misogyny, having to pay for car repairs. Waiting in lines.


Q: What’s your spirit animal? 

A: A Cardinal.

We hope you enjoy getting to know your designers!

You can look forward to more designer and ‘Wish’ employee bios coming soon! And want to know more about our inner workings’? Add an idea in the comments and we can make your with come true!

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