I began tailoring in South, Korea in 1968. At the time, there was a large demand for custom made suits and dresses among the Korean upper class. I left the countryside at the age of 14 and moved to Seoul, Korea to become an apprentice tailor. After years of hard work and study, I had gained enough skill to be known in Korea as a Master Tailor. I could create suits and garments for clients of any body shape from scratch.

After I married my wife, who had started seamstressing at the age of 16, we opened our first tailoring and alterations shop in Young Chun, Korea. Business was great, however, we decided to immigrate to the United States in 1983 after our son was born. We knew the United States would provide much greater opportunities for him.

We lived in Florida for a short time but eventually settled here in Portland, Maine where we had some relatives.

Our early years in Maine were pretty difficult. We could not speak English and we had to work multiple jobs in order to support our family. Times were tough but we were a young family with a lot of energy so we endured through those challenging times.

The longer we stayed in Maine, the more we appreciated how great this state is. The landscape is so beautiful and the people have been so friendly to us. Sometimes when we travel out-of-state to a metropolitan city, we can't wait to return to Maine where the air is so much cleaner!

Between 1985 and 1993, I worked as head supervisor of John Roberts Inc., a clothing manufacturer for such retailers as Brooks Brothers, L.L.Bean, and Jones New York. The job was good but we had dreamed of again opening a clothing alterations shop as we once had in Korea. We took a chance and opened The Sewing Shop in 1993. We have been happy to serve our customers since then.

The Sewing Shop
461 Stevens Avenue
Portland, Maine 04103
207-774-3412
sewingshop.yi@gmail.com