Our Team


Lauren Hawley

Owner, Instructor, Team Member

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Lauren’s obsession with fabric and sewing started 10 years ago and has since spiraled out of control culminating in the opening of Sew Modern!  She is so grateful for all of the support and love she has received from her customers and employees.    Lauren has 4 children and is constantly trying to find balance between work and family.  Any tips?

Liz Hansen

Manager, Instructor, Team Member

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Liz first learned to sew as a child from her grandmother. As a teenager her passion for fashion grew from redesigning and altering her clothes to making them from scratch.  She attended the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising with a major in fashion design.

Ariga Mahmoudlou

Instructor, Team Member

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Lisa Alexakis 

Instructor, In-house Quilter, Team Member

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Lisa has sewn and crafted as long as she can remember.  She had a big kitchen table in her bedroom when she was young and would sew for hours. She started teaching sewing and quilting in 1995 and has taught at many LA area shops.  Her specialty is quilting, especially free-motion and long arm quilting.

Natalie Yamashita

Instructor, Team Member

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Latifah Saafir


Sewing has been Latifah Saafir’s portal to creativity ever since she “took it up seriously” at the age of 11. Having learned the basics at the knee of her mother at age 6, she focused on sewing garments throughout her teenage years and through college eventually sewing most of her own wardrobe. A Mechanical Engineer by training she took classes in Design “to keep her sanity”. In search of a new avenue for her creativity Latifah discovered quilting in 2009 and just a few months later with only one quilt under her belt co-founded the Modern Quilt Guild. She quickly transferred her sewing skills to quilting as she sewed over 20 quilts in her first year. Latifah is known for her bold use of color and innovative design.

Latifah looks forward to sharing her passion for spreading beauty in the world one quilt at a time. She blogs at thequiltengineer.com.

Ramona Burke


Ramona has been stitching her whole life, from childhood embroidery samplers to her custom wedding dress to almost every article of clothing her children have ever worn (yes, even diapers).  She specializes in modernizing vintage looks for both children and adults.  While she is relatively new to teaching sewing classes, she has successfully wrangled classrooms full of elementary through high school-aged students, and is excited to be part of the Sew Modern family.