Jennifer Sumko is an interior and clothing designer and style specialist.
She grew up in Salt Lake City and attended the University of Utah. After living in Washington, D.C., she returned to Utah where she met her husband, Mike, and moved with him to Pennsylvania for his medical training. Four children were born to them there. The family then moved to Arizona.
During that time, Sumko said she developed interests in photography and design. She also began sewing.
About a year ago, a designer at Dillard’s saw Sumko’s online shop and sent her an Instagram message about a possible collaboration. Her collection came to stores at the end of February 2023 and will be available through the summer.
- The collection is also unique because Sumko designed it for compatibility with temple garments — special undergarments worn by adult members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints who have made promises to God in temples.
- Sumko said Dillard’s asked for designs that she’d be comfortable wearing herself. She hopes that her collection appeals not only to Latter-day Saints, but to anyone wanting fashionable clothing options that include sleeves and longer hems.
- “We don’t have to compromise our beliefs to feel like we’re (fashionable),” Sumko said.
- Mike Sumko, Jennifer Sumko’s husband, said his wife has interacted with people of all faiths through her fashion career, sharing the gospel with them along the way. “She’s made great connections. … There’s a lot of goodness out there.”
- He also said his kids love watching their mom being successful at something she loves. She shows them that it’s never too late to pursue dreams and goals.
- Jennifer Sumko agreed that her family has been blessed by watching her fulfill a lifelong dream of becoming a fashion designer.
- Doing work she loves while still staying at home and being a mother “is miraculous,” she said. “Your relationship with God and your relationship with your family is what’s most important. … When you know those things are your number ones, the other things miraculously can happen and do happen.”