Carmel Valley resident’s MODA by Sofia clothing line created for all women
By Karen Billing
Susan Jentzch was tired of her workout wear not fitting. As a Jazzercise instructor she was constantly in motion but, unfortunately, her clothes were too.
“I found exercise clothing was usually structured to fit very skinny girls,” said Jentzch, a self-proclaimed curvy woman. “Nothing fit me appropriately. I was always pulling something down or something was falling down. I decided we need an exercise line for women that are built like women. That was one market that wasn’t being taken care of.”
She created MODA by Sofia two years ago, giving stylish, comfortable workout gear not just for the curvaceous, but also for all women. The fun part of MODA is the ability to self-style the clothes. The garments come as a blank slate for customers to decorate with appliqués of cool designs or sparkling crystals.
“We allow the customer to be the designer,” Jentzch said. “You can choose anywhere on you to place the appliqué. You’re creating a one-of-a-kind look.”
MODA has also become involved with several local companies, doing all their custom-designed logo work. Frequent clients include Belloccio Boutique and Salon in Del Mar, and Cupcake Love and Ubuntu Hair Salon in Solana Beach.
Jentzch has always been interested in fashion and design. She earned her degree in fashion marketing and worked for several retail chains before moving into a job in corporate America.
“The last couple of years I realized that my passion does lie in the fashion industry,” Jentzch said.
She thought about representing a line but realized she didn’t want to sell someone else’s creations; she wanted to sell her own ideas. The name MODA by Sofia is for her 9-year-old daughter Gabriella Sofia, her little inspiration who played a hand in helping mom design the company logo.
With MODA, Jentzch has successfully made her segue back into fashion but she remains at her corporate job, with the hope of being able to leave it behind all together someday.
In addition to her work with MODA, Jentzch continues to teach Jazzercise at the Boys and Girls Club Polster Branch in Carmel Valley, and with her partner Jim Callaghan hopes to open their own Jazzercise branch in 4S Ranch in June. She wants to couple the MODA line with the Jazzercise offerings at the venue.
MODA’s easy-to-use website lets people design all kinds of clothing from shirts, pants, jackets dresses, even hats and scarves. There is a wide variety of appliqués to choose from, as well as clothing colors.
“There’s a little something for everybody,” Jentzch said.
Jentzch is very excited about the newest addition to her line, the MODA performance gear. She worked extensively with the pattern makers to build clothes that really work for women.
Made from Supplex fabric, the clothing moves with the wearer, is fully breathable and fast drying. She designed the tanks to be longer than average, the built-in bra straps come with elastic that is an inch thick to really be supportive. The pants, patterned off one of Jentzch’s favorite pair of jeans, have rear pockets, contoured stitching and are higher rise in the front and the back.
“I call them carpool couture,” Jentzch said, noting they are perfect for a mom or women on the go because they don’t look like workout pants. “How great is it to offer a comfortable line of clothing ready to wear for exercise followed by coffee with friends, stopping at the grocery store, casual work days and just being a mom? I’m always wearing my MODA, I rarely go out of the house without it on.”
As MODA also offers clothing for young girls, Jentzch has recently developed a birthday party element to her business, as well. Called MODA Walk, the party has girls design their own T-shirts and then get their makeup and hair done to hold a fashion show to showcase their designs.
MODA takes care of the location of the party, lunch, cupcakes, invitations and even supplies “thank you” notes with photos.
Building strong self esteem for her daughter and other young girls has become important for Jentzch and she sees the party as a great way to boost confidence—the girls take proud ownership of their designs and have fun getting dolled up with crazy flowers, feathers and beads in their hair.
“It’s a lot of work but it’s the most rewarding work to see those kids just light up,” Jentzch said.
Check out MODA by Sofia’s clothing line and MODA Walk parties at MODAbysofia.com or call (858) 735-2714.
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