Sophia wins the Trashion Show

Every year Mālama Maui Nui organizes their Art of Trash & Trashion Show event. Participants create art and fashion out of trash, finding ways to rethink, reinvent, and repurpose used or recycled materials. We always love seeing how creative all of the participants are!

We are thrilled to share that First Hand Sophia Gallegos won 1st prize for her piece ‘Après Shopping’. Way to go Sophia! We are so proud of you and we love seeing you continuously step into your artistry through every new piece you create.

Below is a quote from Sophia on her creation:

“I wanted to experiment. I didn’t want the dress to look as though it were plastic. Mostly I used packaging materials, and though I do love to shop, it was frustrating to realize how many plastic bags my family had in our house from various shops. It felt really unnecessary. This was mainly an experiment to see if I could successfully transform the materials into a cute dress, but has the subtle message to remind people to bring your own bag!” 

Sophia has some very exciting future plans that will take her to Amsterdam this coming fall. She will be attending Amsterdam Fashion Academy to study fashion design and business. It has been such a pleasure to see her grow as an artist and continue to follow her passions in fashion and design. 


If you’d like to see the other pieces participants created, then check out the online catalog here:

In-Studio Stories!

The last few weeks at the Atelier have been filled with prom dresses, glitter, sequins, and endless smiles. It has been such a joy getting to see the excitement of the Maui teens as they get ready for their proms this year. After a two year pause, these teens were ready to experience prom!

Here are some photos we wanted to share with you from the teens and the JOA staff during these last few weeks. A peek into the prom busyness at the atelier…

Sewing Assistant Micah working on alterations for this sparkly glitter prom dress in a pale lavender. Every night after working we went home with glitter all over us! And if you know glitter, it is not easy to get off. We had so much fun during these weeks filled with lots of glitter and glam!

Here is Master Dressmaker Jennifer holding up a hot pink sequins prom dress we were working on. It is very Jessica Rabbit! We loved seeing all of the different tastes and styles of prom dresses the teens brought into the atelier. 

The Maui teens at their prom! We made some alterations for the lavender prom gown.

Here is Sewing Assistant Micah with his sister Sara at prom. Micah graduated last year during covid, so he didn’t get to experience a prom. But luckily, his sweet sister Sara invited him to hers. Such nice siblings! We created Sara’s silk brocade vest for prom. 

It has been a jam-packed month of prom alterations and wedding clients. We anticipate the busyness to continue with wedding clients as many brides and grooms move forward with wedding plans this year. Brides, please get in touch as soon as possible if you are in need of our services. Appointments are filling up quickly for the summer. The sooner you can book an appointment the better. Email to schedule your first fitting appointment.

The Dream Team & Unexpected Surgery

Today, we wanted to send thanks and gratitude to our JOA team and our very understanding clients. Jennifer discovered a large mass in her neck at the end of January. After trying and trying to schedule appointments to have the mass removed, she was finally able to get a surgery scheduled in California. 

Jennifer had to step out of the studio for 2 weeks in March – a very busy time for the Atelier – to have surgery done on the mainland at Stanford Hospital. Thankfully, when the large mass was removed it was benign. We were all very relieved when we found out.

Jennifer in California during her recuperation after her surgery.

In the meantime, her wonderful crew at the Atelier held down the fort while she was away. She is incredibly appreciative of her amazing team, their dedication, and their ability to handle the unexpected with such ease and grace. We are very lucky to have so many talented people working at the Atelier! A big thank you to Elaine Gima – Head Seamstress, Lynne Donaldson – Alteration Specialist, Sophia Gallegos – First Hand, Micah Oberg – Sewing Assistant, and Yasmine Lindskog – Office Coordinator! Endless gratitude for being there for the unexpected and keeping JOA running smoothly.   

Our team handled nearly 40 fittings while Jennifer was gone. From prom dresses to custom wedding gowns to general alterations. The Atelier was busier than ever with client appointments and busy sewists working on all the garments. Jennifer called in many times via video and everything worked well.  The JOA team managed this unprecedented time with grace, grit, intelligence, quick-thinking, and determination. 

In addition, during prom season, our staff stayed the course and helped dozens of girls get their dresses done. We are all so happy about this! It has been two years since the teens were able to have their prom, so we were very passionate about ensuring they felt confident in their gowns at prom this year. Bravo JOA team!! And we are very happy Jennifer is back in the studio, healthy and well! When she got back she treated her staff to a special lunch at Hali’imaile General Store. 

Thank you to my incredible staff for their herculean efforts during my hospital stay and recovery in California.  They kept the studio running, did amazing work, and most importantly – took care of so many girls with their prom dresses. The thought of being gone from the studio during prom season was overwhelming to me, but the team took the bull by the horns and gracefully muscled their way through!  They are the best!” – Jennifer

The Magicians of an Atelier

In a professional Atelier, there are many different people who help make the sewing and creating process run smoothly. Often when people think of getting alterations or custom garments they will usually search for a seamstress or tailor. We wanted to break down the different roles and people of the Atelier.

We are grateful for our skilled and diverse team of sewing professionals at JOA. Our Atelier consists of Jennifer Oberg, Master Dressmaker, Sophia Gallegos, First Hand, Elaine Gima, Head Seamstress, Lynne Donaldson, Alterations Specialist, and Micah Oberg, Sewing Assistant. Our wonderful and collaborative team makes every project an absolute pleasure to work on.

Below find the descriptions of the various roles and what their responsibilities entail:

Seamstress: Typically they have a strong knowledge of sewing, cutting, mending, and adding details to garments. A seamstress sometimes may only specialize in a few of these areas, while a Dressmaker or Tailor will be well-skilled in the construction of original or custom garments, as well as, alterations for garments.

Dressmaker: Historically dressmakers were women creating custom clothing for women. Today, a Dressmaker can refer to any sex and can work on all types of clothing. Typically a dressmaker designs and creates bespoke garments from scratch but they also are highly skilled in altering clothing.

Alterations Specialist: Focuses on the alteration of garments to give clothing the best fit possible. They are highly-skilled in dealing with all types of alterations, from the most basic to the most complex. They usually have a sharp eye for articulate details.

First Hand: The First Hand advises the team in the sewing and construction of garments. They usually assist the Cutter/Draper or Costume Manager in constructing new costumes and patterns. And they will also supervise the other sewists in the shop.

Tailor: Historically tailors were men creating men’s clothing from scratch or altering clothing. Today a tailor can refer to any sex and can work on all types of clothing. They can create both menswear and womenswear from scratch or alter clothing.

Patternmaker: They usually create the patterns used for making clothing or for making the base design of a garment. These patterns can be used to make the same garment over and over. Or if it is specifically for one garment, it would be the pattern created on paper or muslin before it is cut out of the fabric to be used on the original fabric or muslin test garment.

Cutter/Draper: Their main responsibility is the creation of the costumes. They work with the construction and preparation of the garments. They also interpret the design of the garment created by the Designer and the Patternmaker.

If you are in need of any alterations, custom gowns, or restyling, then please get in touch with JOA. You can email us at to schedule an appointment.

Prom Season!

Maui High Schoolers and Teens! It is finally Prom season again. After two years without Prom we are thrilled to welcome teens back into the Atelier for fittings and alterations with their prom attire. We’ve already had many girls coming in for prom dress alterations. Wow, we are so excited for them to be able to experience prom again!

Below are photos from two years ago, right before the pandemic began. We had some prom dresses in the studio and then suddenly everything got canceled. At the time, we had no idea it would be a whole two years until Prom returned.

High schoolers, teens, and parents: get in touch with us as soon as possible if you are in need of alterations. Our schedule is filling up quickly with prom and wedding appointments. We want to be able to help everyone! The sooner you reach out to schedule your appointment the more likely we will be able to assist you.

For all appointment bookings reach out to Yasmine at Mahalo!

The Knot Best of Weddings in 2022

We are incredibly honored to share that Jennifer Oberg Atelier has been awarded the Best of Weddings in 2022 by The Knot! 

Last year our Atelier took many big steps forward.. From moving into a larger studio, growing our team from what was the year before just 3 to now 6, to hosting The Sewing Hui, a community organization, 1-2 times a week in our Atelier. It has been a year of growth for us. And all along the way we have had the pleasure of encountering so many wonderful clients. 

We are incredibly grateful to our dedicated team at JOA who are always creating the highest quality work while simultaneously always being ready to learn and further their skills. And a huge thank you goes to both our new and past clients for your continued support and belief in what we do. We are truly passionate about curating a memorable and unique experience for each of our clients. At JOA, we love what we do and we try to always share that along the way. 

Thank you to our Maui community, to our clients, and to our wonderful team! We look forward to seeing what this year brings!

Promotions at JOA

At Jennifer Oberg Atelier, we feel incredibly lucky to have such a strong team behind all that we do. In the last year we have grown our studio in immense ways. This in part is due to the wonderful team making all the nuts and bolts of having a sewing and design studio run smoothly and efficiently. We are thankful to have so many talented and highly skilled team members working at the Atelier. And with this, we are thrilled to share three new promotions at JOA: Elaine Gima as Head Seamstress, Sophia Gallegos as First Hand, and Lynne Donaldson as Alterations Specialist. 

These three team members have gone above and beyond in the work they do at the Atelier. We are so honored to have them working for us. We can’t wait to watch them continue to grow in their roles and to see all the richness they continue to add to the Atelier. 

Below our JOA team members with their certificates of promotion:

Elaine Gima holds a long and rich background in designing custom hand painted silk creations on Maui. Her designs under the name “Gima” are cherished by their owners. Her extensive expertise in sewing and design, and her ability to lead with patience and grace has earned her the new role of Head Seamstress.

Sophia Gallegos is an aspiring fashion designer with a strong natural talent. She has been working at JOA for the past year and a half. In this new role as First Hand, Gallegos will be learning more about draping, patternmaking and advanced sewing. She is a senior in high school and will be pursuing fashion design in college.

Lynne Donaldson, a dedicated and loyal team member, has the meticulous eye and attention for detail that the work of an Alteration Specialist demands. She has a wide variety of interests in sewing and design, including custom embroidery and dance costumes. In this new role, Donaldson will continue to hone her skills on wedding gowns, special occasion gowns, and other items.

Quote from Jennifer Oberg, Master Dressmaker & Founder of Jennifer Oberg Atelier: 

I’m so grateful that Elaine Gima, Lynne Donaldson and Sophia Gallegos are part of the JOA team. They are a pleasure to work with, thoughtful, creative, and reliable. They care about doing the best job possible, and enjoy helping our brides and clients look their best. They also care deeply for the community and volunteer their time for The Sewing Hui of Maui.


Humble Beginnings

This week we have a fun throwback to when Jennifer first came to Maui 20 years ago and she started working from her home for friends and by word of mouth. She was fortunate to meet many lovely people on Maui who came to her home studio. Some of them include Bride Lia from Kauai and Bride Wailani from Maui, who she created custom wedding gowns for. It has been a beautiful evolution to arrive to where we are today.

A custom gown with lace for Bride Lia. The lace had a scalloped edge that we cut off and applied on the neckline front and back.

Bride Wailani Artates with her Bridesmaids on her wedding day. Another custom wedding gown we created.

It is with a warm heart we reflect on our humble beginnings – from Jennifer working out of her home studio to where we are today.

Our one room studio space in Makawao Plaza.

When we first moved into our studio space at Makawao Plaza, we had one room. It was very sweet and small and exactly what we needed at the time. There was just enough room for a small changing room, a few sewing machines, a table and a seating area for our clients. Then, we expanded into the second room. We quickly filled that space with an expanded fitting room, storage closet, and larger changing room.  In June 2021, we moved to the first floor of our building into a much larger and spacious studio to host our growing Atelier.

Our new studio space we moved into June 2021.

We now operate our professional Atelier off of Baldwin Avenue in Makawao in a beautiful, bright spacious studio. We have an amazing team including Jennifer, our talented sewing assistants – Elaine, Sophia, Lynne, and Lisa, our incredible office coordinator Yasmine, and our newest addition – Atelier assistant Micah. 

Many thanks to the Maui community for continuing to support our business! We are grateful to each client, new and old, we encounter. We are here for you! From your prom dress to your wedding gown, JOA is here for you for all of your special occasions!

Maui Wedding Creatives!

We are so excited to share that we have joined the Maui Wedding Creatives! For those of you who haven’t heard of them, they are a group of like-minded creatives aiming to elevate the Maui wedding industry through community, education, transparent business ethics, and client-centered practices. Though Maui is an intimate island, the wedding industry is abundant! You can easily become overwhelmed and lost in the many vendors that specialize in wedding planning, floral design, make-up, photography, videography, catering, bridal attire, and more. There are just so many talented creatives working across this island–how lucky are we?!

We are incredibly grateful to be a part of a collective that supports and uplifts one another in this wonderfully abundant industry on Maui. At JOA we are big supporters of building a community with creatives that share similar values. We have a small yet mighty island and supporting one another in their creative and respective practices is so important. 

Maui Wedding Creatives also offers an incredible resource for future couples in understanding the wedding industry and all it entails, particularly on Maui. We love seeing their blog filled with so much valuable information from creatives across different fields. Discover all you wish to know, didn’t know you should know, and more prior to planning your wedding. 

If you haven’t already, be sure to check out Maui Wedding Creatives at or via Instagram @mauiweddingcreatives_ ❤️ Have a look at the numerous talented creatives a part of this collective. And stay tuned for our Instagram takeover on their account in June! We will share more about what we do at JOA and some of our tips for finding your dream wedding dress!