We are so lucky to have Tevlyn Schwerd and Bargain Barn on board for CST's Little Black Dress Party. We thought we'd take this opportunity to share Tevlyn's incredible background in fashion and design.
Hand selecting and purchasing small quantities of various styles, Tevlyn gives her customers the experience of Boutique shopping without the “Boutique” price tags.
Born a raised here in Valparaiso, Tevlyn Schwerd developed her niche for fashion early in life. Known for pressing the limits on the dress code rules while in school, Tev’s parents bought her a sewing machine for Christmas so that she could create her own unique designs. After graduating from Valparaiso High School in 1998, Tevlyn attended Indiana University and after her first year, decided that she would major in the Apparel Merchandising Department and in turn do an Individualized Major Program in Fashion Design and Costume Construction Technology. After interning for Walt Disney World Orlando, FL and Limited Too in Columbus OH, Tevlyn landed her first internship in NYC for Women’s Wear Designer James Coviello. Two summers of internships with Coviello and partaking in an extra semester of college so that she could complete her degrees by designing, developing, and sewing a 20+ piece fashion collection and putting on a fashion show; Tevlyn had secured an Assistant Design Position with James Coviello. After graduating from college she left to start her life in NYC that same week. James took Tevlyn under his wing and taught her the art of knitwear design. In addition to being his assistant designer and sourcing his fabrics for his collections, Tevlyn assisted in the knitwear design and production of his world famous sweaters as well as the sweater collection of Anna Sui. Throughout the 4 years she worked with James, she took part in New York City’s Fashion Week twice per year, travelled to Moscow, Russia to showcase their collection inspired by St. Petersburg, and was invited by the Italian Consulate to learn and shop the Italian fabric market in Milan and Florence.
Yearning for change and further development of her career in NYC, Tevlyn took on a Knitwear Design position for a young designer fresh on the scene 3.1 Phillip Lim. Helping with his first fashion presentation, Tev got the experience of working for a fully vertical small corporation.
Longing for her days back in a small design house, Tev met up with an old friend Jose Ramon Reyes and helped him on the launch of his Women’s Sportswear Collection under the label REYES. Tevlyn quickly moved from his Assistant to his Production Manager and Fit Model and together they rocked the fashion scene with her tough twist on his preppy designs.
On her way to a fitting for another young designer under the label Lialia, Tevlyn received a phone call that would forever change her life. Her brother Nick had gone into renal failure and Tev left the next morning to come home to Valparaiso to be with him. Tevlyn gave her brother Nick her kidney during their transplant in November 2008. Her brother once again healthy and full of life, Tevlyn left 6 months after to regroup in Europe where she ended up living and working in Germany for 2 years. While away, her brothers decided they wanted to open a retail store here in Valparaiso and asked Tev to come home and help get the business up and running. Unsure if clothing was the right decision to add to the business plan in the midst of an economic crisis, her brothers agreed to send =her to NYC on a shopping trip. She returned to having customers buying her clothing out of her suitcases!! The initial success of her purchases led to her fully developing the clothing department of the Bargain Barn. Almost 2 years later, Tevlyn has created quite a following with her specialization of bringing unique clothing into town at affordable prices. Hand selecting and purchasing small quantities of various styles, Tevlyn gives her customers the experience of Boutique shopping without the “Boutique” price tags.
-Posted by Kelly Hite, Director of Development