Our Staff

Rachel Epperson

(owner/instructor) holds a degree in Fashion Design from University of North Texas, and has been sewing for 30+ years. An early entrepreneur, she started sewing as a child and peddling her wares in the school parking lot and classrooms. Out of college she designed 3 fashion lines that went to market, then moved to custom designing interiors for 11 years before discovering her great love of teaching in ‘03. She founded The Needle Shop in 2005 as a sewing school and quickly learned that her students needed a source for unique, modern fabrics, which prompted her to develop the retail shop. Rachel hand-picks every fabric in the shop, and in 2011 she ventured into fabric production with the Outside Oslo line.

Alison Simonian

(instructor) is an accessory designer with a love for color, shape and function. After originally going to school for technical theater, Alison finished an Apparel Design program and a Furniture Design And Fabrication program. Twenty-plus years at the sewing machine have led her to work in the fields of pattern making, accessory design, alterations, custom sewing and fabrication. For 12 years she has been designing cute accessories (available at missalison.com) and has been a fixture at craft fairs across the country like Renegade and Art vs. Craft, and recently celebrated her fourth anniversary as a TNS teacher.

Cheeri Ong

(instructor/store staff) is a regular both in the shop and the classroom, and in fact began her sewing career as a TNS student. Several years later, she's a natural at bringing whimsical fabric prints to life (usually as some kind of bag). Cheeri is our resident hand-embroidery expert, taking students beyond ‘Home Sweet Home’ and into some really unique projects. The Japanese Kokka line of fabric makes Cheeri (and most of us) giddy.

Geraly Unite-O'Day

(instructor/store staff) had a habit of distracting her grandmother while she would sew, who in response, gave Geraly a threaded needle and scrap fabric to play with. Geraly turned sewing playtime into a career path and continued her education at Columbia College Chicago, graduating with a degree in Fashion Design/Illustration. She has worked in production for various multinational apparel designers/manufacturers for 10+ years. When she is not herding her children or cats, she sews gifts and children's clothing for her etsy shop, Paloma and Porkchop.



Design by Jessica Jones | Illustration by Ward Nipper | Coding by Hardage & Hardage
© 2014 The Needle Shop, Inc.