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DEBORAH SENSEL-DAVIS


Joined SV: January 2019

Deb grew up in Cincinnati, Ohio and like many girls her age, learned to sew on her mom’s forty-pound “portable” sewing machine. She was a Girl Scout and became a serious merit badge overachiever, especially for any subjects related to art, crafts, and sewing. Eschewing the efficiency of glue and staples, she hand stitched every one of those badges to the front and back of her overcrowded green sash. Eventually, handmade pantyhose-stuffed pillows gave way to prom dresses, and artful patching of Levi’s jeans uniquely “distressed” over many months of actual friction inflicted by the real-life activities of the original human wearer.

Deb’s love of Art and How Things Work led her to earn a BFA in Painting from Michigan State University, followed by a Master of Science Degree in Medical Illustration from the Medical College of Georgia. As the pattern of her career and family life unfolded, sewing and needlework remained background threads woven throughout. She designed, sculpted, up-cycled, and sewed Halloween, Renaissance Fair, Theater, and Dance costumes for her three boys. Out of desperation she learned to design and sew dance wear for her six-foot-tall, 125-lb. ballet-dancer/musical-theater-actor son (think, “Bob Fosse”).

Other threads running through Deb’s life are her enjoyment of dance and a desire to remain strong, flexible, healthy and active until life’s unraveled end. As a teenager, her body type was more “Gidget” than “Twiggy”. Maturity and motherhood just added to the bumps and curves. Finding dance and exercise wear that doesn’t fit like glossy sausage casings has been a decades-long frustration. Taking Serena Williams’ powerful, healthy body, and her bold on-court style as inspiration, Deb has set out on her own odyssey of discovery, hoping to design and create active wear with the perfect balance of form, comfort, and functionality for women with robust, real-life bodies.

Women are strong enough to carry the world on their shoulders, bearing the weight with grace, resilience, and flexibility. Deb wants them to have fun and feel good while they do it.