Gaia (pro: guy-ay’) Nesvacil recalls being three years old and putting, say, 10 overlapping socks on her feet, wondering at the colors and textures juxtaposed. That was 25 years ago, but Nesvacil’s curiosity about fabric, color, texture and design has not ebbed. Today she
designs and sews clothing from a studio at Grand Traverse Commons. Women of Traverse City and, thanks to the Internet, places far flung, are taking notice.

Scan Nesvacil’s collection and what come to mind are words like natural, elegant, simple, beautiful, individual, practical—characteristics she demands of clothing she wears herself. “I ride my bike everywhere,” Nesvacil says. “I need clothing that won’t get stuck in my bike chain. I want clothing that holds together, and I want clothing that makes me look beautiful on my bike.”

Nesvacil studied textiles and design at Michigan State University, an expensive program because of materials costs. She saved by hitting resale shops hard, buying cast-off clothing cheap and reassembling it into fresh designs for class. But the cast-off clothes also offered this insight: Nesvacil saw lots and lots of clothing that plain didn’t work, hence its home in the thrift shop bin.

“I am a designer through and through, however, my most important goals are to help women find a clear vision of themselves,” Nesvacil says. “Clothing is one way that I do that.”

See Nesvacil’s work at or call her at 231-620-4242.