Meet The Disruptors: Tatiana Kozorovitsky of Dressmaking Academy On The Five Things You Need To Shake Up Your Industry


“Great things take time — there are no shortcuts”. To make something truly meaningful and impactful takes time. I’ve been sewing for over 40 years; I’ve been in a bridal fashion for over 25 years and I’ve been tutoring for almost 15 years. That’s why “Dressmaking Academy” is making real changes in the world.

As a part of our series about business leaders who are shaking things up in their industry, I had the pleasure of interviewing Tatiana Kozorovitsky.

Founder and lead designer at “Dressmaking Academy”, recognized as a worldwide wedding fashion designer with 25 years of experience. Tatiana taught over 60,000 dressmakers around the globe since 2010, and her YouTube channel passed 100,000 subscribers. Tatiana’s students are living their dream of doing what they love!

Thank you so much for doing this with us! Before we dig in, our readers would like to get to know you a bit more. Can you tell us a bit about your “backstory”? What led you to this particular career path?

I was born in the Soviet Union, in oppressed and limited conditions. When I was 11 years old, my mother, instead of buying me a pair of imported jeans (that I’ve dreamed of), got me a simple sewing machine.

That was my epiphany moment!

I quickly realized that making my own clothes is an amazing way to stand out, so I did. By the age of 13 I was making dresses, purses and coats for all my classmates and even for some of my teachers. I was popular and made a dissent living (for a teenager in a dictatorship country).

The second revelation I had in my college years: I realized that there is one particular kind of garments, which is the MOST expensive and desired of them all.

You guessed it — I’m talking about wedding dresses.

After immigration to Israel in the late 90’s, I started my bridal fashion designer career and eventually opened my own bridal salon in the center of Tel Aviv. As the business grew, I needed more professional staff, but it was close to impossible to find skilled dressmakers to meet my standards. So I started hosting classes and the best graduates would come work for me.

Long story short, the classes became so popular that I started thinking about expanding this line of business and in 2010 my first online course was published.

Next is history.

Can you tell our readers what it is about the work you’re doing that’s disruptive?

Our online fashion design school “Dressmaking Academy” offers classes focused on making high-end wedding and evening (formal) dresses. Today we are the only ones who do that.

Now, anyone with internet access, can learn the industry secrets first-hand and use them for, say, making a gorgeous custom bridal gown for her daughter or to start and expand their own fashion business.

We illuminate the need for spending years and thousands of dollars for fashion colleges and we dismantle the myths behind bridal fashion creations.

My approach is simple — learn by doing. Our students make professional industry-standard garments from the first try, no BS, no useless theory, just practical step-by-step guides. And this approach works like magic.

Another conventional mindset that I’m trying to disrupt is that nowadays sewing is being widely considered as a hobby. But the reality is that anyone can turn their sewing passion into profit, just by gaining a few extra skills and switching from making pillow cases to custom dresses. Due to apparel mass market overflow, people crave for custom clothes, especially custom and perfectly fitted wedding dresses.

Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?

The basis, the inner structure, of the most classic wedding dress styles and red-carpet gowns is a corset (or bodice). When I started, I was saying that I’m teaching how to make corsets. Even our first school name was “Corset Academy”. Little that I knew, that in the United States ‘corset’ is associated with lingerie and being considered somewhat vulgar.

In my first years I couldn’t understand, why some of my sewing tutorials are being banned from YouTube ?

Even though the courses are focused on full dresses, skirts and embroidery, the name “Corset Academy” was still there…

Now, looking back, it seems silly and funny.

So, my lesson was — pay attention to your brand message in every detail.

We all need a little help along the journey. Who have been some of your mentors? Can you share a story about how they made an impact?

I had many mentors over the years, both in my fashion designer career and in my entrepreneurial journey.

One of the most impactful insights that I had, when one of my friends told me: “You are not just a sewing teacher, you are changing the industry. You have a start-up, treat it as such!”

Since then, my mindset has shifted and I started viewing my school as a tool, a service, that sewing enthusiasts crave all over the world.

In today’s parlance, being disruptive is usually a positive adjective. But is disrupting always good? When do we say the converse, that a system or structure has ‘withstood the test of time’? Can you articulate to our readers when disrupting an industry is positive, and when disrupting an industry is ‘not so positive’? Can you share some examples of what you mean?

Current education system is flawed, that’s no secret. The disruption and re-invention are inevitable.

But we must be careful, in online education lies the danger of misleading students. Therefore, the information must be at the highest standards.

My mission is to change and improve practical fashion design education. To make it accessible and efficient for anyone, anywhere.

Only then the disruption is constructive and makes a real positive impact.

Can you share five of the best words of advice you’ve gotten along your journey? Please give a story or example for each.

Create a community”. — Intuitively, in the early 2000’s I started my first online forum “Corset made easy”, even before there were any courses. I would share my insight with other dressmakers and soon they became my first clients. After my courses were out there, people would discuss them in this forum, share their results and ideas. Network and collaborate — that is beautiful.

Today, building a community is common wisdom, but it should never be overlooked.

“Have a simple and clear brand message”. — I can’t stress this enough! This is the most important thing you can do. It took me almost 10 years (!!!) to clarify my brand message.

“Be truly proud of your product or service”. — Having a great product is the key to success. No marketing strategy will be able to save your business if a product is not good. Be proud of what you do from the bottom of your heart.

“Listen to your audience”. — Your loyal customers wish you well and it is an absolute must to listen to what they say. And never stop improving your products or services.

“Great things take time — there are no shortcuts” — To make something truly meaningful and impactful takes time. I’ve been sewing for over 40 years; I’ve been in a bridal fashion for over 25 years and I’ve been tutoring for almost 15 years. That’s why “Dressmaking Academy” is making real changes in the world.

I’m not saying that everyone should spend decades on their projects, I’m just saying that persistence and patience are extremely important.

We are sure you aren’t done. How are you going to shake things up next?

Our next big goal is to bring “Dressmaking Academy” to the Spanish speaking market. We have thousands of requests and even though we offer text translation for the tutorials on the website, the demand for proper courses in Spanish is still incredibly high.

Do you have a book, podcast, or talk that’s had a deep impact on your thinking? Can you share a story with us? Can you explain why it was so resonant with you?

One of my favorite books for the past years is “Sapiens” by Yuval Noah Harari. This is not a fashion or business book, as you might expect from me ? . This book is a fresh take on viewing human history, the author makes meaningful comparisons between different nations and time periods and uses evolutionary psychology to explain human behavior. This book really helped me to put things into perspective and to better understand myself and people around me.

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?

Do what you love, and you’ll always love Mondays.” ?

I stuck to this principle all my life and I brought this mindset to my courses. Dressmaking Academy members are doing what they love for a living and that is a dream life, which everyone should be able to have!

You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. :-)

I’m a strong believer in bringing good to this world.

It starts with self love — first do what you truly love, then become really good at it and then share it with others.

Always (!!!) make sure that your work brings real value to the people and makes our world a better place.

I believe that it is the secret to success.

How can our readers follow you online?

Our website: www.Dressmaking.Academy




This was very inspiring. Thank you so much for joining us!