RUSKIN – Folks who specialize in alterations may be a dying breed these days. It seems no one wants to fix stuff anymore.
But Mandy Burdick thinks that’s foolish, given the price of things, especially clothing. She loves to sew and can barely remember a time when she didn’t have a needle and thread in her hands.
The 52-year-old Ruskin resident owns Mandy’s Mendings, an alterations business she started out of her home in the late 1980s.
“I’ve been sewing since I was 10,” she said. “I taught myself to make school clothes and liked it so much I just kept doing it. I don’t really consider it work, though. It’s more like a hobby than a job.”
Seamstress is but one of three hats Burdick wears to make a living.
She also owns a commercial cleaning business and does part-time sales and networking for BluMarc Printing in Apollo Beach.
But its the call of her craft that motivates her most.
“It’s is relaxing,” Burdick said. “I can go to my sewing room, close the door, turn on the music and be in there for hours. I find it therapeutic.”
Burdick, mother of one and grandmother of three, takes on pretty much anything that involves stitching.
“One thing about Mandy, she does it all,” said customer Carolyn Jones of Ruskin. “She does everything from making wedding dresses to changing hemlines. She even covers couches and chairs.
“Her work is excellent, and she’s very reasonable,” Jones continued. “I wouldn’t use anyone else.”
Prue Menton of Sun City Center, a customer for the past nine years, agrees.
“I had things done elsewhere for awhile until a friend told me about Mandy,” she said. “She does beautiful work; it’s done to perfection.”
Customers include individuals, businesses and nonprofit groups.
In addition to alterations and repairs, Burdick makes custom slip covers; costumes; children’s and adult clothing; curtains, pillows, drapes and handbags. She’s made period costumes for the Ruskin Woman’s Club and wench attire for members of the Krewe of Charlotte de Berry. And she makes covers and drapings for Sun City Center Funeral Home. She does military alterations for free.
“Everyone can afford to have their clothes fixed,” Burdick said. “They’re just too darn expensive to throw away anymore.”
For more information or to schedule an appointment, call (813) 240-9009 between 9 a.m. and 8 p.m.