Hand-sewn and ready to wear: Women's clothing shop, BlueSmith Studio, opens in Sheffield


SHEFFIELD — Lisa Smith has had a passion for fashion since she was a teenager.

"My uncle worked in the garment industry, and he would bring home fabric from Europe," said Smith, owner of the women's clothing store BlueSmith Studio in Sheffield. "When I got older, I would start making items for myself. We're talking in the '70s, so shift dresses, very short, very of the moment."

Smith's interest in designing clothes only grew as the years went by. She attended the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising in San Francisco and worked for a string of small companies before opening her own business, Lisa Smith Designs, in the 1980s. After moving back to the East Coast to help her husband with family matters, Smith, originally from the Hudson Valley, decided to stay local and open up BlueSmith Studio in November. To her, it was a perfectly natural decision.

"My husband happened to be driving by the area I'm in and saw a 'for rent' sign," said Smith. "It's something we always talked about, and a decision was made."

Not only did Smith's husband spot the space Smith now rents for her store, he also had a hand in its name.

"My last name is Smith, and 'blue' is a nickname my husband has always called me. I don't know why," Smith admitted with a laugh.

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BlueSmith Studio, 755 N. Main St., is open Friday through Monday, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Smith works alone, designing, cutting and hand-sewing all of the clothes, which include a variety of pants, tops, jackets, and accessories. Prices vary, based on the type of clothing: tops range from $59 to $99, jackets from $100 to $150, and pants, on average, cost $100.

"Fabric is in my inspiration," Smith said when asked about the style of her clothes. "I gravitate toward easy-wear clothing: soft pants, nothing too fitted, lots of knit tops, a little bit of detailing. It's what I like to wear myself."

Talking to Smith, you get the sense that she's committed to making life a little easier for women. Not only do her clothes provide the perfect mix of comfort and fashion, she also offers to meet with clients on her days off and gives out her cell number should they want to reach her.

Smith finds her work important because women often want to wear something soft and relaxing, but still be stylish while they're doing it.

"You express individual style by what you wear. It's how you present yourself," Smith said. "Most people like to be comfortable, and my clothes are definitely comfortable."

Reach Sophie Gaddes sgaddes@berkshireeagle.com.


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