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 in anything I chose to do. 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 as I continued to build life of impact.
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. Through this opportunity I was able to strengthen my adaptability to change and find more efficient ways to work as team through different processes and systems.
Due to structural changes within the company and the effects of Covid19, this chapter closed in March of 2020.
To turn adversity into opportunity, I sought out, in April 2020, to assist and work with Dr. Tererai Trent. We initiated a launch of a short virtual series on how we can lead ourselves through times of adversity and unite together as women in the un-silencing of our voices.
A Little About Tererai
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 bronze life size statue in New York City; alongside Oprah Winfrey, Jane Goodall, Gabby Douglass, Cheryl Strayed, Pink, Nicole Kidman, Cate Blanchett, Janet Mock, Tracy Dyson.
In working together, we have learned, grown and empowered one another especially during the times of 2020 with a world-wide pandemic, social justice movement and it being an election year.
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.
To also 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.
Dr. Tererai and I continue to work together where I volunteer as Marketing and Project Coordinator with occasional contracted work for The Awakened Woman LLC. I give in being a liaison and marketing creative for expanding her mission, vision and developing new business strategies to pass on a legacy to her children; changing the baton of poverty and giving other woman a platform to create businesses for themselves: Tererai's 6th dream.
We are currently in the final stages of producing Tererai's first journal that enables readers to dig deep in Healing their Soul Wounds, Unlocking their Great Hunger and Igniting their Dreams.
Ultimate Passion: The Art of Giving
Coming to New York City, I sought opportunity and fulfill my life purpose as a creative and entrepreneur: to live by loving others unconditionally and inspire them to live their own authentic life. Crazy enough, shortly after moving to NYC, I met a friend on the train, yes the the train ;) , and my life dreams began to bloom. She had connected me a highly successful couple here in the Tri-State area who challenged my way of thinking. I didn't just see their financial success but was drawn to their servant humbled hearts. I chose to pursue them and they agreed to guide me in living authentically to my values and principles.
Through their mentorship and guidance I have been able to get my finances on track by paying off debt and learning about creating wealth as an entrepreneur. 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 is on a radical mission of change; A Cure Called Contribution.
One way we do this is by giving holiday gifts to kids and parents who are in severe need. We partner with TARGET for our Annual TAKEOVER in purchasing the gifts. This year was our fourth year where we raised over $200,000 and expanded the mission globally to 4 different countries.
I currently serve as a Lead Marketing and Communications Volunteer where I hold various responsibilities from email marketing, to social media strategies, content creation and growing our global partnerships across 5 different countries: Honduras, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Colombia, and Netherlands. I give a heart filled with gratitude to the support of the Social Media Dream Team that holds our team together and keeps me moving forward! <3
I look forward to continue contributing to the movement of Being the Change. This world becomes a more generous place one radical act at a time.
Katie Sabalones Photography | Jordan Anthony Photography | Emily Schlangen Artwork & Apparel Designs | Erin Dulmes & Rebecca Miller Models