There are a lot of reasons I have to be a part of the Runway Tulsa organization. Here are a few of them:
Fashion is in my blood.
As a kid (in the late 1960's / early 1970's) I was around the fashion business on a daily basis because my grandfather owned Toddlin' Time and Bits 'N Pieces, children's and junior's clothing lines respectively near 31st & Sheridan in Tulsa. My mom was the Co-Designer at Toddlin' Time and Head Designer at Bits 'N Pieces and I spent hours climbing and hiding among industrial sized bolts of fabric, drawing my own creations on the giant work tables used for cutting fabric and of course watching the process from concept to creation and then on to market in Dallas. My mother insists, to this day, that as early as preschool I was already heavily involved in shopping for, and putting together, my own clothing - something that certainly not changed.
Art inspires art.
Albert Einstein said, “Creativity is contagious, pass it on.” I have always been inspired by creative people of many different disciplines. The beauty of Runway Tulsa, ExcellStyle Magazine and the Oklahoma Artist Showcase is that it's an opportunity to design, create and promote utilizing, and being directly inspired by, the unique abilities of talented fashion designers, photographers/filmmakers, models, hair and makeup artists, musicians, poets, architects and the list goes on. It is an honor, privilege and frankly a blast to work with and around the people that this organization puts me in contact with.
I want to be a part of it.
Something is happening in Tulsa. It's been happening for a while now. No longer do Tulsan's have to drive to Dallas or Kansas City or even Oklahoma City to enjoy a major concert, to eat fine cuisine and see exceptional art of all kinds. Thanks to the long-range efforts of the Runway Tulsa organization, which includes ExcellStyle and the Oklahoma Artist Showcase, in the not-too-distant-future Tulsan's can look forward to not only experiencing high-quality fashion shows, they will also be able to be a part of an active "fashion district" complete with designer workspaces, manufacturing and distribution. Tulsa is my home - I was born and raised here. We used to complain about having nothing to do and nowhere to go; and then Elliot Nelson, John Snyder, the Kaiser Foundation and Tulsa County's Vision Project and Visit Tulsa (to name a few) made downtown Tulsa a destination. The amazing Oklahoma poet Lauren Zuniga wrote, in A Poem for Progressives Planning a Mass Exodus, "Progress is a series of small bold moves. Don’t leave. Here is where we need you."
The tireless staff of Runway Tulsa are among the most dedicated, generous and talented people I have ever worked with. To a person, they are committed to producing the best possible events, educational initiatives, and economic development opportunities for Oklahoma. With years of experience in diverse areas including marketing, events, fashion, retail, education, business and economic development these people put everything they have into each day to make Runway Tulsa a success.
The mission of Runway Tulsa is simple - to promote, develop and sustain Tulsa’s fashion industry by producing signature events that showcase local talent, collaborate with community partners to identify resources and opportunities and to enable those involved in the program to pursue their passions into a professional career.
At a time of political divisiveness and economic challenges for our state I am proud to be a part of an initiative with so many potential positives for our community both economically and culturally. I am also incredibly grateful for the opportunity to work with so many truly amazing individuals both within the Runway Tulsa organization and other arts, business, media and educational groups. This experience shows me everyday that Tulsa’s best is yet to come!