WL? Summer Illustrations by Stephanie Surtida

Screen Shot 2014-05-03 at 7.37.46 PM.png

YAY it's the weekend and I have some fun news
WL? teamed up with a very talented illustrator/ trend forecaster Stephanie Surtida who took my entire Summer 2013 collection and made an amazing illustration series of my designs!!
I am so excited to share her wonderful work!  They are just perfect and I love them all!! Thank you so much Stephanie!!!

Screen Shot 2014-05-03 at 7.47.35 PM.png
Screen Shot 2014-05-03 at 7.47.57 PM.png

Stephanie said " All in all I wanted to keep it simple...way more simple than my usual illustration and with less distractions."

Screen Shot 2014-05-03 at 7.53.20 PM.png
Screen Shot 2014-05-03 at 7.53.31 PM.png

Some of her inspiration came from a Japanese artist  that she follows on instagram named Mizutamahanco. "I love her cute and animated illustrations, and it was perfect for the look of this collection!" Stephanie.

One Girl One Dress -Coachart

It’s important to me that every little girl have at least a few magical memories to take with her along life’s journey. That's why I’ve established the One Girl, One Dress Project. Through One Girl, One Dress, I work with non-profit organizations to provide dresses to underprivileged, chronically sick or terminally ill girls who need the lift only a special dress can provide.  And last weekend I was able to see first hand the power of what a new dress can do while working with the CoachArt charity in Los Angles at the Seely Studios. 

Together, we hosted a fashion show in which the girls modeled my collection on the runway. This star turn—complete with the full hair and makeup treatment—allowed the girls from Coachart to feel like pretty little celebrities and helped to give them a momentary reprieve from the harsh realities of their day-to-day lives. It truly was a joyous time made even more so when the girls realized they got to keep the dresses they modeled. 

So much hard work went into making this show the best it could be for the girls and the CoachArt team was amazing to work with!! I can not wait to work with them again and put on another successful fashion show!!

A big shout out to the CoachArt team their friends, all of my family that helped from afar and my LA friends that came out on Saturday to give a helping hand.

All of my friends are so talented in so many different ways and everyone contributed something for this event. From Dj'ing, makeup and hair, Cookies made by my aunts and shipped to me from Chicago, helping the kids, sewing, putting the space together, and just everything!!! My heart is still smiling seeing so many people coming through to help!! THANK YOU!!

Below are some pics from this great event... 

Screen Shot 2014-05-03 at 12.21.18 PM.png
Hundreds of cookies made it all the way from Chicago!! Thank you Auntie Mella and Auntie Fran!! 

Hundreds of cookies made it all the way from Chicago!! Thank you Auntie Mella and Auntie Fran!! 

Almost ready....

Almost ready....

Perfect :) 

Perfect :) 

Now for some behind the scenes... 

The girls rehearsing for the runway

The girls rehearsing for the runway

Changing into her new WL? dress

Changing into her new WL? dress

Brenda doing some fittings

Brenda doing some fittings

Armita taking a breather from Styling 

Armita taking a breather from Styling 

Shannon doing her thing with the girls hair! 

Shannon doing her thing with the girls hair! 

Screen Shot 2014-05-03 at 12.06.28 PM.png
Make up time

Make up time

Alyssa cutting what will be the runway curtains  

Alyssa cutting what will be the runway curtains  

and Stephanie staring to string them together

and Stephanie staring to string them together

And we are ready for the show to begin!!

Screen Shot 2014-05-03 at 2.43.30 PM.png
Screen Shot 2014-05-03 at 2.43.38 PM.png
Screen Shot 2014-05-03 at 2.43.55 PM.png
Screen Shot 2014-05-03 at 2.44.11 PM.png
Screen Shot 2014-05-03 at 2.44.03 PM.png
Screen Shot 2014-05-03 at 2.44.19 PM.png
Screen Shot 2014-05-01 at 2.32.27 AM.png
Screen Shot 2014-05-01 at 2.38.20 AM.png
Screen Shot 2014-05-01 at 2.45.08 AM.png

My Pledge -One Girl One Dress One Month

 I started the WL? kickstarter campaign to raise money and awareness of my companies business model. The goal is to be able to finally go into production and support an online store front. This in turn will help me get the One Girl One Dress Project off the ground and running as well. It is such an important part of my business model and I can't wait for WL? to start helping others!!

As many of you already know I have also made a pledge of my own; for everyday of the campaign I have been wearing the same dress to help raise awareness to the huge problem we have here in the US. There are currently 16.4 million children living in poverty and everyday they go without necessities. I have read countless claims from teachers nationwide about families requesting clothes each year to give to their children and I want to do something to help!!

This is why I'm wearing the same dress everyday for a month! We take for granted the freedom of having the ability to change our clothes everyday. If I am going to be someone that helps I need to truly understand what it is like. So I am going to try and walk in the same shoes as these little girls who don't have the same luxuries I do. That have to deal with kids making fun of them for wearing the same clothes.

Today Who's Little? has 50 backers, 63% funded with 10 days to go!! Please pledge, share, and like Who's Little? Kickstarter project- and remember "You are never too little to make a big difference"!!!

 

Screen Shot 2014-05-04 at 10.13.58 AM.png

Honored!!

I couldn't be more honored to have received an email from one of my past teachers that is on the fashion board of the Art Institute of Hollywood. She asked if I would return and show-case my collection for Who's Little? at their fashion show. I was one of a group of four successful working alumni that were asked!! Of course I said YES!! And what a great experience it was not just for me, but for each of the girls that did a fantastic job working the runway!!

I am so proud of each one of the girls that braved this very BIG runway!! They ROCKED it!!! <3

I am so proud of each one of the girls that braved this very BIG runway!! They ROCKED it!!! <3

I have to thank my boyfriend Jason Cook and one of my dearest friends Stephanie Surtida for helping me prepare back stage and prior to the show- I couldn't of made it all come together without you!! The kids had so much fun getting all dolled up and being back stage with all the older models. Here are some of the behind the scenes shots...


Just a little blush never hurt!

Just a little blush never hurt!

How fun!! 

How fun!! 

LOL... well most girls were having fun!! I think there was just too many curling irons and a lot of staying still that wasn't fun here!! :)

LOL... well most girls were having fun!! I think there was just too many curling irons and a lot of staying still that wasn't fun here!! :)

After much preparation: hair, makeup, getting all dressed up and a lot of waiting, the time came for the girls to make their way down the runway!!

Screen Shot 2014-05-03 at 8.56.39 AM.png
Screen Shot 2014-05-03 at 8.57.11 AM.png
Screen Shot 2014-05-03 at 8.57.31 AM.png
Screen Shot 2014-05-03 at 8.58.17 AM.png
Screen Shot 2014-05-03 at 8.58.33 AM.png
Screen Shot 2014-05-03 at 8.59.01 AM.png
Screen Shot 2014-05-03 at 8.59.12 AM.png
Screen Shot 2014-05-03 at 8.59.31 AM.png
Screen Shot 2014-05-03 at 8.59.45 AM.png
Screen Shot 2014-05-03 at 9.00.07 AM.png
Screen Shot 2014-05-03 at 9.00.25 AM.png
Screen Shot 2014-05-03 at 9.00.43 AM.png

Ah-Ha Moment!!

Wow!!! I can't believe that I finally booked my first One Girl One Dress Fashion show event!! The first annual show for Who's Little? I will have the pleasure of teaming up with the most amazing non profit organization: CoachArt. CoachArt improves the lives of chronically and terminally ill children and their siblings through art! You can learn more about them here: http://coachart.org/

Screen Shot 2014-05-02 at 11.28.49 PM.png

 

Together, we will host a fashion show in which the girls from CoachArt will model my collection on the runway. This star turn—complete with the full hair and makeup treatment—allows them to feel like pretty little celebrities and helps give them a momentary reprieve from the harsh realities of their day-to-day lives. But what I am most excited for is the moment they realize that they get to leave with the dress they modeled. I can't wait to meet these girls and help them feel like the princesses they are!!  

Looking back to when Who's Little? was just an idea, a floating thought in my head, I remember thinking that if I can make this dream come true and actually launch this company that I would make sure I give back in some way.  In fact, I knew that it was the only way that I would allow myself to start my own company.  I just didn't know how I was going to do this!!

It wasn't till I was designing for a company called Baby Nay and had the honor of working with Disney on a children's clothing line called "It's a Small World" that I had the ah-ha moment!! There I was at some big creative review with the all the buyers when I was casually introduced to Blake Mycoskie from TOMS. When I say casually I mean he would not remember this moment or me at all!! It was a hand shake in between a great display of food and that was about it.  But for me it was the defining moment, the answer, the fire under my ass, if you will, that I was waiting for to start my company. I was so inspired by Tom's business model of One For One, that it made me realize I wanted to do the same thing with my own company.

It's a Small World at Nordstrom 

It's a Small World at Nordstrom 

TOMS shoes for the It's a Small World Collection 

TOMS shoes for the It's a Small World Collection 

 

I went home that night and created the Who's Little? tag line " You're never too little to make a big difference". A chance to show children that no matter your age you can make a difference in the life of someone else. And that was the start of this journey.... 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fashion Star... Finalst ... What

I can't believe that I have got this far...

When one of my best friends Armita Tabassi told me that the tv show Fashion Star was going to have their casting call here in LA, I wasn't even going to go because I design for children's wear. But that Saturday morning I woke up and looked in the mirror and said why not? I put my entire winter collection in a garment bag, grabbed my WL? flyers,  look books and off I went.

Screen Shot 2014-05-03 at 9.58.55 AM.png

When I arrived at FIDM the line was around the block. I was even two hours earlier than when it started. I was in a line filled with so many talented and hopeful designers just like myself, ready to just put themselves out there, show their work and hope that it gets noticed. I didn't realize till I got to the front of the line how nervous I was. Oh was I ever. There was no turning back!

Once in the building they lead us to the FIDM lunch room where we filled out all this paper work. Then we waited again in a small hallway outside a room where there was about 8 long tables and one rack behind each table.

As soon as a table had opened for me I went in and placed my look books, flyers, and my business card on the table beside just one dress that I laid out nicely. The rest I hung behind the table on the rolling rack.

When the ladies came over to my table all my butterflies flew away and I was focused. What was I nervous about anyway? There was absolutely nothing that I could lose but a couple hours spent in line. So I just sold my collection, my brand, my idea's, and I was just- me! Well it worked. I got a call back!!  WHAT ??? REAALLY??? ME??? I get to come back and do an on camera interview? Okay!! How fun!!

So a couple days later I went before work and met with a very nice girl that held my on camera interview. She asked a ton of questions about who I was, what I would do in certain situations and of course about WL?

A week later I got an email saying that I was chosen as one of the finalists and was given a producer who was going to try and sell me to the director of the show. Well they needed one last thing from me and that was a 15-20 minute at home video that they could use to cut with my on-camera interview I did before.

Well I am the luckiest girl because my very talented boyfriend said he would help me out and video tape me, as well as edit all the footage and create something that I could send! I couldn't be more grateful to have this man in my life!! He has been such a big support system!!

In the end, I believe because I was a children's designer, I didn't ultimately make it on the show. Getting that far along in the process, however really made me confident I was on the right path!

Screen Shot 2014-05-03 at 9.55.27 AM.png

Here they are! This is all me , the raw, behind the scenes- Sara :Designer of Who's Little?