Callie Works-Leary received her undergraduate degree in business from Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs, New York. She worked briefly in corporate communications but left because, “I was tired of talking about what other people were doing, and wanted to be the one making the strategic decisions,” said Works-Leary.

(Photo Courtesy of Callie Works Leary)

(Photo Courtesy of Callie Works Leary)

What made you decide to teach yourself to sew?

“I discovered all of the independent designers coming out with their own fabrics and patterns and thought, ‘How hard can it be?’ I’m not afraid of making mistakes so I saw any imperfections in my early sewing as a learning process.”

Works-Leary returned to school and earned a Master’s in Business Administration (MBA) from Southern Methodist University with a focus in entrepreneurship and marketing.

“I founded CityCraft, a haven for modern sewers and crafters looking for designer fabric and sewing classes. After teaching myself to sew and recognizing a need in the Dallas market for a shop that catered to smart and stylish DIYers.”

What makes CityCraft so successful?

“The success of CityCraft would not be possible without my educational experiences. I learned to love the learning process, and I consider myself a lifelong learner. I’m constantly teaching myself new skills and hobbies.”

What would you say to those who are considering going back to school?

“Have a distinct goal in mind so you make strategic curriculum choices. I always knew I wanted to start my own business. If you are going back to school just because you have no idea what you want to do in the future, you will tend to flounder. Pick at least a few options of your ideal careers that require advanced degrees so that your education is tailored.”

Robin D. Everson is a native Chicagoan who resides in Dallas, Texas. Her appreciation for art, food, wine, people and places has helped her become a well-respected journalist. A life-long lover of education, Robin seeks to learn and enlighten others about culture. You can find her work at