If you're strolling the streets of Deep Ellum, you may be surprised when you stumble upon Petit Atelier. It's not a hot restaurant or a cool, craft beer joint, and it doesn't have music radiating from its doors. This French-inspired studio is where aspiring clothing designers gather to hone their craft.
Co-owners Michael Wysong Crigger and Mario Alberto Gallegos Jr. just opened the studio in July, but they have worked in the fashion industry cumulatively for a decade. Their time spent in the fashion industry is what ultimately drove them to open this new concept.
“We both remember how difficult it was to get a foot in the door in the fashion world, let alone procure all the equipment that goes along with it,” Crigger says. “We figured why not treat the studio as an incubator space for young designers just starting out?
“Rather than invest in all the equipment, they can come here and utilize open studio time for a fraction of the price.”
Like so many other places in Deep Ellum, Petit Atelier is all about creativity. The concept is simple: Bring in your own fabrics or purchase fabrics at the studio, then get to work. People can learn to sew, drape and create alongside like-minded folks who are trying to make something of themselves — or at least make something).
Have no clue what you’re doing? That’s fine too. Topic-specific classes can help set you on the path to becoming the next Ralph Lauren.
For something more social, try the Thursday Stitch & Bitch, during which creatives sew in a group, watch a movie and drink wine. Classes are $35-$40, not including materials; the Stitch & Bitch will set you back $20. Fees include access to all equipment.
“There is no one like us in Dallas,” Crigger says. “We offer industrial equipment and classes suited for every level in a very rich, inspirational space. People tell us all the time it feels like a doorway into another time.”
Crigger and Gallegos were attracted to Deep Ellum’s rich history and its walkability. When searching for the perfect space, they stumbled upon what is now their studio and the rest, as they say, is history.
“There is such a strong sense of community coming back down here,” Crigger says. “You can literally feel the buzz when you walk around.”