With part gumption and part perseverance, Jennifer Olivo has been able to get her designer-and-apparel business off the ground in a nondescript office park in Cotati.

Now if only she could find some more workers, Olivo may have a shot at becoming the next Stella McCartney or Vera Wang.

At her Jennifer Loel Designs, Olivo juggles the demands of 30 clients who are seeking help on design or manufacturing at the same time she tries to develop her own clothing designs. On a mannequin, her design for a bikini top rests, a reminder of why she got into the business: a childhood passion that sprung from a fascination with ballet costumes.

Demand is there, and she is at the point of turning down work. Her firm has three industrial sewers and could use three more to fill these skilled jobs, which pay from $12 to $18 per hour, depending on the mastery of machines that have such names as coverstitch, 4 thread/3 thread serge, chainstitch and leather walking foot.