A full-service studio that provides design, production, consulting and educational services with a focus on personalization and sustainable practices.
We provide a local resource for the development of custom-made items and opportunities for kids and adults to learn about sewing.
Our aim is to provide:
- more opportunities to learn to sew to empower you to be able to create the things that you want
- greater accessibility to custom sewing to have unique items designed and crafted based on your specific needs
We offer complete design and sewing services for clothing & accessories, decor, items for pets, soft goods, fabric, and just about any custom sewing projects. We strive to provide high-quality and custom design, as well as options for sustainably sourced materials, and paths for refashioning and upcycling existing items.
Gain expert knowledge on how to make and repair sewn items in our sewing classes, or in personalized lessons that are tailored to exactly what you want to learn. We develop solutions for any learning experience, including one-on-one lessons, group classes, camps, and specialized instruction for other sewing businesses.
Who We Work With
Who We Are
SEW | DESIGN | TEACH | REPAIR
Vanessa started sewing as a way to express her style wherever she could, understand where materials are sourced and create quality items that will last. She is a professional designer, seamstress and instructor with over 20 years of experience in marketing, animal welfare, teaching and creative roles.
Vanessa teaches beginner to advanced sewing lessons, including as an instructor in the Fashion Design Program at Austin Community College. Previously, she was an instructor at The Stitch Lab for several years where she taught children and adults intro and specialty sewing classes, gave private lessons, hosted parties, and ran summer camps.
Always yearning to learn as much as possible Vanessa trained under and eventually became the lead sewing machine technician at The Stitch Lab. There she performed all of the cleanings, repairs and maintenance as part of the sewing machine repair service. Since then she has worked on hundreds of machines, new and vintage, gaining intimate knowledge of overall machine functions and performance that enables her to personalize sewing lessons for the types of machines students are using. Beyond sewing Vanessa has taught art, yoga and English, and her experience extends overseas when she was in the Peace Corps. She has taught adults and kids of all ages and enjoys seeing her students apply their newfound sewing skills to express themselves.
Collaborating closely with clients Vanessa guides product development projects for fashion, wearable tech, decor, accessories and soft goods. She works with individuals and businesses to turn their ideas into physical items, guiding them from initial concepts to finished samples, and coordinates with other development teams when they need consultation from an experienced stitcher.
STRATEGY | DESIGN | OPERATIONS | BUILD
Michael began his career as a graphic designer, building upon his drawing and painting experience from a young age.
He has over 20 years of experience in marketing, web design, and development. Before starting Ronkita Design with Vanessa, Michael was the Global Marketing Director at a marketing research organization where he led digital strategy and operations. Through his career he's had the opportunity to develop websites, design for print, web, and video, direct live events, work with people around the world, deploy global campaigns and manage talented teams of other designers and developers.
Not satisfied to only design and build in front of a screen, Michael applies the same approach and tenacity to wood working where he builds furniture and makes never-ending modifications to their home. Sustainability is a consistent thread here too, where projects often include scrap and reclaimed lumber.
Sewing enables another extension of Michael's design and development skills, both through the production of physical items and exciting advancements in the integration of digital components.
When We're Not Working
We love the outdoors - hiking, camping, and winter sports - and when we can we take our dogs with us.
We draw inspiration from the places we visit and the people we meet, and continuously look for new things to learn and ways to push ourselves. We try to live a low-impact lifestyle with gardening, composting, and creating stuff we need, like clothing, accessories, home decor, and even furniture.
This all opens up experiences where we can explore new activities, techniques, and resources, enabling us to integrate these into the work we do and keep progressing.
Ronkita Origin Story
When her sewing progressed from a part-time hobby to a full-time passion, we setup an online portfolio site under the name Ronkita where Vanessa could share all the items she was creating for herself and others. As demand for her work grew we seized the opportunity to establish a business, and Vanessa's portfolio and everything she was doing with sewing, teaching, and servicing machines evolved into what is now Ronkita Custom Sewing & Design.