Betsy Garcete Cohen, a native Washingtonian, is the founder of ZOPHIA. Shortly after obtaining her undergraduate degree in Psychology, Betsy seriously considered medical school and a career in neurosurgery. Having been drawn to fashion from a young age however, she made the decision to change course and pursued her childhood passion instead.
Having been raised in a family of strong Latina women, Betsy wanted her fashion to be an expression of the same strong, empowering femininity she grew up admiring and emulating. In 2010 and while attending Catholic University in a Masters in Management program, Betsy launched ZOPHIA, naming it after her Grandmother who was a highly skilled seamstress from Peru. Inspired by the women she met in her program, she wanted to design a product that would cater to women of all sizes and help them to feel confident about their own unique shape and body type. After two years of testing different products and researching the market intensely, in 2013, ZOPHIA proudly launched the powerskirt collection.
With a real passion for the business of fashion, Betsy enjoys the challenges of the entrepreneurial world. As an advocate for women, Betsy also feels strongly in working with other female entrepreneurs and helping them pursue and achieve their own dreams. She, her son and husband currently live in Maryland.
Stitcher / Patternmaker
Michele started her sewing career at a tender age of 10, learning from her grandmother and aunt. After high-school, she attended Sinclair community college in Dayton, Ohio, where she discovered her love for theater. She honed her stitching skills working in the costume shop and eventually transferred to Ohio University where she polished her skills and earned a BFA in production design and technology, emphasis on costume construction. After OU, Michele moved to Washington DC where she works full time for the Shakespeare Theatre Company. Michele joined ZOPHIA in 2011. She started as just a stitcher, and has since moved into patterning and production coordinating. She currently lives in Maryland with her spunky daughter and husband.
Stitcher / Patternmaker
Manuela has over 20 years of experience in high fashion sewing, pattern-making and fashion design. Her knowledge of fashion and garment construction inspired her to move to Washington, D.C> and start her own business. She’s worked with several fashion houses in LA, NY and DC. She has a certificate in industrial sewing from the San Diego Community College. In 2004, Manuela received a Certificate in American Culture and Language from the California State University in LA. In 2006, she also obtained a fashion design certificate from the LATTC: Los Angeles Trade-Technical College. She and her husband currently live in Virginia.