Nation/Clan: Seneca/ Turtle clan
Media: Bead work and fabric
With roots in Western New York, my upbringing was surrounded by the culture and community of the Seneca Nation of Indians on the Cattaraugus Indian Reservation. It was a part of my upbringing that I learned the cultural importance of Iroquois Raised Beadwork and sewing. Traditional garments reflect the wearer, their clan, family, status in the community, wealth, and the Haudenosaunee people. The elaborate beadwork is incorporated on different areas of the garments, and is inspired by the natural environment of the woodlands and the great lakes. The garments are forms of art and create a great sense of pride in self and the people.
Inspired by the lifestyle of fashion designers, and the showcase of high end runways in New York City, I decided to continue my education in Fashion Design. With enrollment at Kent State University, I was able to be creative in my fashion studies, and explore my interest in Criminal Justice. I witnessed the detailed process of fashion design and the competitiveness of the industry.
Although I learned to come into my own at Kent, I left my studies join the United States ARMY. As an 88M; a Motor Transportation Specialist, I was excited for the opportunity to travel and see what life in the military would teach me. I was able to experience different cultures and travel to different countries in Europe and the Middle East. I was able to become self assured and be confident to follow my dreams.
After my enlistment I continued education at the University of the Incarnate Word. I started to be creative again and use my past experiences to drive the inspirations behind my designs. I entered and place in the 2011 Going Green for San Antonio Fashion Show, the 2011 BRAvo Night Fashion Show for Delta Beta Chi, the 2012 Red Dress Fashion Show for UIW, selected for the 2013 Lila Bath Memorial Fashion Show, and the 2014 6th Annual BRAvo Fashion Show for Delta Beta Chi. Although I excelled in design, I wanted to pursue a sustainable career in fashion and chose to study Fashion Merchandising. My senior year I interned with jewelry designer Elizabeth Herff of Hazel Smyth. Under her direction I learned the details, process, and responsibility of owning and operating a small business. I graduated in May of 2016 with a Bachelors in Fashion Management with a concentration in Fashion Merchandising. I followed the inspiration of my mentor Elizabeth and I entered retail as a jewelry sales associate.
The years following my formal education I have explored many areas of retail from jewelry, accessories, clothing, footwear, home and even vehicle accessories! I still have the interest to create and I believe in making something beautiful others could wear and enjoy. In all my designs I always incorporate my cultural roots and hope to expand the appreciation and awareness of design. Although I still make garments, my more recent work has been in jewelry and handbags. I showcase my work at various art shows and vendor events.
I currently am developing the Fashion Merchandising part of my education as a part time front desk receptionist and office assistant at Coyote Canyon Truck Accessories and Custom Welding. In this role I operate the email and social media marketing of the business as well as assist in office operations, and customer orders. I drive to educate the consumer on available products and assist them in making in an educated purchase. I hope to expand my marketing for the business to trade shows and other automotive and construction industry events.
Color is often the most recognizable feature in any item. Using color, combination, and the natural beauty of the materials, I seek to enhance and highlight my hand-made one of a kind piece’s. Meant to compliment any fashionable woman, each piece evokes a sense of style either being paired with a dress and heels, or a t-shirt and jeans. My art is meant to stand out and transcend seasons and trends. With the love of creativity, my designs come from the heart.
Aspiring to be a part of the Fashion Industry since high school, I have continued to follow my dream regardless of life’s obstacles. With a background in fashion design, and a BA in Fashion Management, with a concentration in Fashion Merchandising from the University of the Incarnate Word, I have developed my interests in accessories. I love to explore and be inspired by interior design, architecture, salvage, culture, nature, metalsmithing and of course fashion.
With the intricate use of beadwork and textiles, my goal is to instill beauty and confidence in the wearer with that right handbag or piece of jewelry. I hope others can appreciate the labor, and the love in each piece.