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!