I began to draw fashion illustrations that reflected a thought, an emotion, a direction. One of which, was chosen to come to life by my high school art teacher, Ms. Hookham. Upon High School Graduation, she gifted me a handmade pebble with the word 'believe' engraved in it as encouragement for success. I carry that stone everywhere I go. Her belief in me encouraged me to continue forward no matter the obstacles that would come my way.
Color and Fabric inspired by the peaceful culture of Dubai. The white silk cashmere reflects the purity of Islam. The burnt orange represents the hot desert sun. The navy jacquard trim illustrates the coolness of the seas that surround the land.
Inspired by our imperfections.
Nothing in life is perfect. We are torn apart, scared by our pasts, but our strength and courage to let go and overcome allows us to become.
Inspired by the structures that surround our everyday lives and the choices we make. Yet, it is these choices that we develop our own structures. The forest green represents the Earth. The gold trim represents our successes as we live our chosen paths. The burgundy, lastly, represents love and loss.- 12/14
Jacket handmade: eleanor.
"Pulse. Heartbeat. Rhythm. Flow. These words describe the moments of creative energy that spark inspiration turning an idea into form. From a thought to a thread, from a concept to a cloth, we pull from our imaginations to create tangible objects. Through skill, time, patience and intuition, we tap into the vitality of making; of creatingthe flow, the rhythm, the heartbeat, the pulse." Pulse Statement - May 9th 2015
Threads is the student Creative Direction team through the School of Human Ecology at University of Wisconsin-Madison to put on a Fashion Show to showcase students designs in the Textile and Fashion Design program. Throughout this event, I had the opportunity to take on the lead role for the Graphic Design team and Creative Direction. I managed and created all graphics needed for PR and the day of the show. During performance day I lead in creating an experience for our guests outside the performance space by working with ticketing and sales. I curated an environment of positive hospitality and acted efficiently where needed to enhance the overall show experience.
One of my favorite passions is the art of giving. "Amor del Mundo Fashion Show" I organized and facilitated with the help and sponsorship by Studio Quest Salon. Our mission was to raise money for the Wild Coast Rural School Project in South Africa.
Designs by Daisy Lopez Designs, Emily Sugars and pieces selected from Studio Quest Boutique were debuted along with beer, wine and hors d'oeuvres donated by local Madison restaurants.
Raffle prizes were given away where guests received numerous items from local Madison businesses. Through this show we were able to bring together the community and celebrate culture and art in Madison's First Settlement District raising around $1000. A large thank you goes our to all who contributed to make this event a success. ~10/9/14
Director of Idea Incubator
Adobe Representative | Infegy Representative
I wanted to learn more about the digital world and how we can leverage it to benefit society. It was then, at UW-Madison, Spring 2017, a door opened to be the lead facilitator of a collaborative "Design Thinking" space for students to access. I was the representative of Adobe to help integrate their programs into the classroom while providing workshops for students. I also represented Infegy, a social listening program, to assist students in obtaining a basic certificate as they better understand online consumer behavior.
Adobe's creative cloud allows ideas to go beyond in digital story telling, while Infegy draws in direct consumer insights in understanding their true thoughts from online conversations.
In March of 2017 I collaborated with students to host the Journey of A Million Miles, JOAMM, Case Competition sponsored by Adobe, Infegy and the Kohl's Retailing Center.
My favorite part of coordinating the competition as well as working with Adobe and Infegy, was not only been able to expand my knowledge about consumer shopping habits but understanding human interaction and the importance of empathy.
I was able to accentuate my love in exchanging ideas with students to help them expand their creative minds as they pursue their future endeavors. In these interactions I learned new insights about others and their passions to help bring out the best in them (great book by the way called Bringing out the Best in People by Alan Loy McGinnis!)
To expand in adobe teachings, I had the privilege of being asked to present the importance of Creative Cloud and relevance to a student's career path at Adobe Creative Campus in Lehi, Utah to 75 faculty members in the Summer of 2017. I have been honored to have some faculty from this event reach out to share my spark page and insights I have as they expand how they integrate technology in the classroom.
Following my experience at UW-Madison, I had the privilege to speak at an Adobe WorkShop at the University of Georgia-Athens in January, 2019. I collaborated with Adobe faculty and University students to share how they can enhance their portfolio, resumes and bring their stories digitally to life.
Product Management Intern
Following my abroad experience I ventured to the Big Apple. There I spent 3 months interning at Kohl's New York Design Office in Manhattan.
During this experience, I was able to communicate with overseas vendors in Hong Kong, Taiwan, South Korea, Shanghai and India on sending styles for pre-classification, style finalization and meeting shipment deadlines for ad samples.
I assisted in the developmental cycle through databases such as Tradestone and Enterprise Data Warehouse. I also developed retail costing strategies in comparing prices of other competitors for white space opportunity in owning our dresses category.
In working on the Rock & Republic, I researched and presented a competitive shopping experience to capitalize on a growing opportunity with the Rock & Republic Brand to our product development, design and technical design team.
To wrap up our summer experience, I and another intern partnered up to present an innovative idea on how to maintain our current customer and market to millennials through an instore personal shopping experience to the management board.
Throughout my tenure at Kohl's I was able expand my learnings about the development and production cycle from concept to consumer. Being able to see ideas start as a thought, turn into a prototype and then be a finalized product is inspiring. The creativity of the mind and ability to work collectively with cross functional teams is essential to process. Outside of that we get to provide something amazing for our customer. I enjoy looking for new ways to streamline processes and innovate new ideas while still providing the best.
Full Time Offer
Two weeks following my internship I was offered a full time position as a Product Development Coordinator. I knew this opportunity would allow me to not only expand my creative path but open doors of opportunity. Taking this role was chance for change, challenge and personal growth.
After a year of being at Kohls, it was then time for the next adventure.
Through various connections I was able to change companies with an offer from COACH as a Product Development Coordinator for 1941 Men's Ready to Wear, RTW. There I was able to excel in my ability to effectively communicate with vendors and respond in a fast paced environment. I've strengthened my adaptability to change and find more efficient ways to work as team through different processes and systems.
In coming to New York, I wanted to build a life and seek opportunity and fulfill my life purpose. Crazy enough, in that pursuit I met a friend on the train, yes the the train ;) , and my perspective on my life changed. She had connected me a heartfelt couple here in the Tri-State area who challenged my way of thinking. I didn't just see their financial success but I saw how they lived their life: with servanthood and humble hearts. I chose to pursue them and they agreed to take me under their wing.
Through their mentorship and guidance I have been able to get my finances on track by paying off debt and learning about asset development. I have also developed a deeper understanding of my self through temperament analysis that has allowed me to develop better relationships with others. They have helped me learn how to connect with empathy and network more effectively through servitude.
With their round table of resources, I have also had the opportunity to be a part of organizations that contribute to society such as Operation Impact that gives hope to families in need year round and nationwide! One way we do this is by giving Christmas during the holiday season in raising money to shut down target and go on a huge shopping Spree. So far, in the last 3 years we have raised almost $500,000! I currently serve as a Co-Content Creator to the Instagram page to keep our mission moving forward in the digital space.
I continue to seek opportunities to read, learn, grow and associate with others who stretch me. I am always forward thinking and seize any given moment to add value to everyone I connect to.
This past spring I had the honor to begin working with Dr. Tererai Trent in launching virtual discussions on how we can lead ourselves through times of adversity and unite together as women in the un-silencing of our voices.
Dr. Tererai Trent is an internationally known voice for equal opportunity in education and women's empowerment. She is a scholar, humanitarian, story teller, mentor and my friend. She has been noted as Oprah’s “All-Time Favorite Guest”, and in 2019 was recognized as a world leader of change, to be gifted with her own life size statue in New York City, alongside Oprah Winfrey, Jane Goodall, Gabby Douglass and 4 other powerhouse women.
We have learned and grown from one another especially during the times of 2020 with a world-wide pandemic, social justice movement and it being an election year.
To see our discussions, visit her IGTV tab on her Instagram page @tereraitrent under "The Awakened Woman~Unscripted." For more on her story you can purchase her book "The Awakened Women" on Amazon.
In the beginning of June, 2020, she did an interview with another dear friend, confident and mentor of mind Frances Pappalardo, Co-Founder, with her husband, of Customize Your Life on Racism and Hope. She shares how we can heal our soul wounds and be better listeners to each other as we come together in unity, so that we can change ourselves, change our community and change the world. Visit the link below for more.
Dr. Tererai and I continue to work together as I serve as the Senior Coordinator for The Awakened Woman LLC in being a liaison and marketing creative for expanding her mission, vision and developing new product launches.
Katie Sabalones Photography | Jordan Anthony Photography | Emily Schlangen Artwork & Apparel Designs | Erin Dulmes & Rebecca Miller Models