Textile Design Lab



Learn from Industry Leaders

Take Courses, expand your network and improve your craft

Hello there! I’m Michelle Fifis, founder and creator of Textile Design Lab. I’m a successful textile designer and entrepreneur who knows just how rewarding it is to build a business doing work I love. When I first started out, inspiring people came alongside me and shared their wisdom and experience. Their help made a huge difference in my life. I created Textile Design Lab to help you in the same way they helped me.

In 2010 I left my role as a textile designer for a large corporation to start my own freelance business. It was an exciting and challenging time for me, full of lots of hard work and trial-and-error. I learned to truly listen to my clients, improve my craft and level of service, and listen to my heart. Today my business is thriving, and I’m able to balance my work with a full life as a wife and mother. It’s amazing!

In 2011, I started teaching online classes and since that time I’ve helped thousands of artists and designers...people just like you… improve the professionalism of their artwork and grow their businesses.

I’ve joined with an awesome team to give you the ideal environment for learning. We’ve created easy to absorb video tutorials, audio lessons and PDF guides to help you. This year we’ve improved our membership site to make your experience welcoming and easy to navigate.

Most importantly, we know learning doesn’t have to be lonely. We’ve created a warm, friendly community where you can ask questions, get answers and build relationships. I’m proud of what we offer, and I’m excited to connect with you as you achieve your textile design dreams.


Trending Courses In the Lab

Our Team

Chelsea von Hasseln [ Community Manager ]

    Ken Chapple [ Help Desk Support ]

      Sherry London [ Tech Talk Expert ]

        Chelsea von Hasseln is a freelance textile designer who loves living in the sweet little mountain city of Missoula, Montana. She studied Textile Surface Design at FIDM in Los Angeles, and prior to that earned a BFA in Dance at the University of Montana. When Chelsea is not designing patterns or helping manage the Textile Design Lab community, you can find her enjoying Montana’s numerous outdoor activities or scouring local thrift shops for design inspiration.

        Looking for help with your account or the Textile Design Lab website? Ken's your guy. Ken Chapple is an accomplished software engineer and flatpicking guitarist who lives in Asheville, NC with his wife Michelle and two daughters, Cora and Ruth. You can learn more about Ken at www.kenchapple.com

        Sherry London has written over a dozen books on Photoshop, Illustrator, and Painter, taught Photoshop, Illustrator, prepress, history, systems design, ballet, and knitting, and been a fiber artist, digital artist, graphic and surface pattern designer. In her spare time, she spins, creates off-loom seed beaded jewelry, and knits. She is based at the Jersey shore and is delighted to be able to share her love of Photoshop and her eclectic skills with you.

        Laura Olivia [ Home Decor Expert ]

          Lise Gulassa [ Apparel Industry Expert ]

            Mary Jane Mitchell [ Quilting Expert ]

              Laura studied Textile design at Nottingham Trent university and now runs a surface pattern design studio which specialises in hand painted artwork. Although she works mainly with home decor clients, she is also regularly involved with fashion projects.  When she is not running the studio she is looking after her one year old daughter Jasmine with her husband based in Nottingham, UK.
              Lise Gulassa is one half of the creative duo behind Sisters Gulassa, an international design house that produces art, patterns, products, and trend forecasting. Throughout her career she has been head designer for a number of clothing designers, including Levi Strauss & Co., and instructor for the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising in San Francisco. Lise has worked with countless activewear brands including Athleta, The North Face, Timberland UK and Title Nine.

              MaryJane Mitchell has been designing textiles for the babies and children’s markets for over 25 years. She has a wealth of experience designing for home decor products for kids, apparel, the quilt market and sleepwear and we are thrilled to have her on the TDL team of experts!

              Melissa Schulz [ Licensing Expert ]

                Laura Coyle [ Illustrator Expert ]

                  Amanda Rouse Letscher [ Project Administrator ]

                    We met Melissa Schulz of Branded Licensing at SURTEX and immediately loved her warm, inviting personality. She’s outgoing, a champion for designers in this industry, and she’s also a licensing rock star. Melissa’s vast experience as a Creative Leader is associated with leading brands such as Hallmark, Hard Rock, American Greetings, and Kathy Davis to name a few. With over 20 years of experience in the art licensing and product development fields, Melissa has strategically led creative teams through transitional, successful and growth periods. Charged with entrepreneurial spirit, she has spent years helping artists and companies strategize their business growth path.

                    In her 25-year career Laura Coyle has illustrated for major brands including Target, Hallmark, Hasbro, Amazon, Disney and Papyrus. She studied studio art and design at Auburn University and spent time freelancing in New York before establishing her studio in her hometown of Atlanta. Since discovering a love for teaching Adobe Illustrator, she’s worked for Pluralsight, Adobe and CreativePro, but her favorite is her monthly live session in the Lab, where it’s always inspiring to be part of such an engaging community of artists.
                    Find out more on Laura’s website and Instagram.

                    Amanda Rouse Letscher creates art and patterns in her forest view studio in Durham, New Hampshire. She has been a member of the Textile Design Lab from the start and loves collaborating with our pattern design community. Amanda teaches workshops around northern New England in painting, printmaking, and indigo dyeing, in addition to managing her design business, Rouse House Design, and spending time with her family of boys. She has lived in three of the four corners of the United States, some cities in the middle of the country, and for a short spell in Italy; so far New Hampshire is her favorite spot. 

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