With so many paths to choose from after graduation, we love seeing how graduates leverage their Fashion Development & Merchandising degrees when seeking their first “real job.” For alumna Danielle Calcara, her path led to a global fashion design and manufacturing company headquartered right here in St. Louis, Stars Design Group.
Stars partners with Siba to empower students with hands-on internships and other opportunities to explore the fashion industry. An internship is exactly what helped Calcara get her foot in the door: “I reached out to my awesome mentor and fashion department head, Lynne Wasson, and told her that I would love the opportunity to work at Stars. She reached out to Stars and shared my resume. I went through two interviews and started as an intern before being offered a permanent position as merchandiser.”
In her role as merchandiser, Calcara acts as a liaison between product development, the art department, the factory, and her clients. “I love that I get to work with a vast array of textiles and the newest fabric developments on the market. And the amount of industry experience among my bosses and coworkers is amazing; I feel very blessed to work at a company with so much talent, intelligence, and experience in the industry.”
Although she continues to learn something new every day at Stars, Calcara also credits her time at Siba for helping to prepare her for the position. One area of study that turned out to be surprisingly instructive was learning all of the terminology used in the fashion industry. “It seems like something so small, but it really is its own language which anyone working in the industry should know how to speak fluently.”
Calcara’s path to a dream career was not a straight one. After spending 10 years working in a different field, she took a leap of faith when she enrolled in Siba’s fashion program. “Going back to college at the age of 27, then becoming employed at Stars Design Group—these are achievements that I am very proud of and prove that no matter how old you are, if you have passion and dedication, anything is possible!”
Other accomplishments that Calcara is proud of: graduating with a 4.0 GPA while becoming a first-time mom to her daughter. We at Siba know that list of accomplishments is likely to grow as Calcara continues to make her mark on the fashion industry here in St. Louis or perhaps…New York? “Maybe one day—I never say never!”
By 2020 graduate, Kirsi Cushing
What was I doing? Was this an actual possibility, or a spur of the moment decision brought on by my frustration? Honestly, it was probably a little bit of both, but something felt right about it all, like this is where I needed to go, this was what I needed to do to find out once and for all, what I was meant to do with this creativity running through me.
When I stepped inside Stevens Institute for the first time, I felt a sense of belonging flood over me. It felt like a place that wanted it’s students not only to work hard and learn material, but thrive as they refined their skills. I felt all the more inspired as the tour continued on, and by its end, there was something deep down within me that knew, this was where I needed to be.
The rest is history. The next three years proved to be some of the most challenging, and yet most incredibly purposeful years of my life. I was brought to my breaking point, faced difficulties and curveballs I was not anticipating, but with each one, I became stronger and more certain that I was no longer an artist without a niche, but a designer with the goal of creating livable artwork through the medium of interior spaces.
I would not trade my experience at Stevens Institute for anything, because it gave me a sturdy foundation, reinforced by the challenges I faced along the way, and now, it is more than ready to be built upon as I journey into the mysterious post-grad years before me. It took a wrong turn, a leap of faith, and a 3 year journey at a college that allowed me to thrive and grow, but now I know, without a doubt in my mind, I am meant to be in this field, I am an Interior Designer.
With five start dates in 2021, you can pick the best time to get started with a degree program you’re passionate about. See when our terms begin and schedule your tour today.
Spring 1 | January 4, 2021
Spring 2 | March 15, 2021
Summer | May 24, 2021
Fall 1 | August 2, 2021
Fall 2 | October 11, 2021
Ready to set up your in-person or vitural tour? Or do you have questions about what Siba has to offer? Contact us today to learn more. We’re excited to meet you!
We’re enrolling now for our Fall 1 term! Join us August 3rd and take advantage of Siba’s hands-on programs and nuturing educational envrionrment. The deadline to apply is July 23rd.
Contact an admissions representative to learn more, or submit an application on our website to get started!
Being stuck at home doesn’t mean you have to be stuck in a rut. If you’ve been thinking about pursuing one of Siba’s hands-on programs, but haven’t had a chance to check out our campus, there’s never been a better time to reach out. Schedule a virtual tour to meet with an admissions representaive one-on-one, and explore the campus floor-by-floor. See how students utilize our labs and classrooms, learn how you can benefit from our programs, and find out how to get your application submitted. All you need is your computer or smart phone. We’re enrolling now for our Summer and Fall terms. We’d love to meet you! Click here to contact an admissions representive.
Stevens – the Institute of Business & Arts is proud to count itself among schools in the U.S. designated as Military Friendly®. We honor our veterans and active duty service members with specific benefits intended to show appreciation for their service and empower them to finish their degrees.
Our student veterans have told us that Siba’s close-knit, supportive campus culture and small class sizes (8-9 students on average) are determining factors in their decision to choose our school. The one-on-one attention all students receive means that no one is ever lost in the crowd. Far from it, our instructors and Department Heads know all of their students by their first names—usually within the first week of classes—and mentorships develop organically among faculty and students almost immediately.
Additionally, Siba waives all fees for veterans and service members including our application fee and our textbook rental/resource fee. We extend this benefit to military spouses and dependents, too, and we appreciate that these efforts haven’t gone unnoticed by Military Friendly® Schools.
The Military Friendly® Schools list sets the standard for higher education institutions to provide the best opportunities for veterans and their spouses. This prestigious list provides a comprehensive guide for veterans and their families using data sources from federal agencies and proprietary survey information from participating organizations. Institutions earning the Military Friendly® School designation were evaluated using both public data sources and responses from a proprietary survey completed by the school.
More than 1,000 schools participated in the 2020-2021 survey, with 625 schools earning the designation from every state in the country. Final ratings were determined by combining the institution’s survey scores with the assessment of the institution’s ability to meet thresholds for student retention, graduation, job placement, loan repayment, persistence (degree advancement or transfer) and loan default rates for all students and, specifically, for student veterans.You can learn more about the benefits Siba offers to our military service members as well as first responders and their families by visiting our website.
This senior-level Siba student is already putting her education to use—she’s been busy growing her business locally and is now establishing her brand internationally, too. When Kamyia Smith isn’t studying or in class finishing up her Fashion Development & Merchandising degree, she’s working to increase her brand’s reach—all the way to Paris (yes, the one in France)!
Like many successful enterprises, Smith’s business has its foundation in something unique that she’s very good at and loves doing. Smith’s specialty is faux dreadlocks that she is able to put in very quickly—in fact, she prides herself on delivering a style for her clients in half the time it takes many other stylists.
Inspired by her Siba classes and never one to stop brainstorming opportunities, Smith decided it was time to grow her already-successful local business, Kimmy’co. During the research process, she evaluated the other kinds of beauty services that would interest her clients, and decided to add lash extensions and brown micoblading as a “beauty bar” range of services.
Smith credits her business instructors with teaching her how to stay competitive in her field, and that running a successful business requires staying abreast of what the market demands. She’s also learned how to tailor her marketing strategy so that it suits her very specific business and her target clientele. Smith has learned how to maximize her marketing budget by promoting herself on social media and leveraging the positive feedback of her clients.
Her efforts are getting noticed! Siba adjunct faculty member and owner of CEOMom, Devon Moody-Graham, invited Smith to join her and other business owners on a trip to Paris, France, last year. The group explored entrepreneurship opportunities in the “City of Light” and participated in a number of speaking events where they shared strategies and business models.
Smith attributes her success to hard work and to her education, because of the edge it gives her, “My education has inspired me to be a better business woman. My classes have exposed me to new ideas about ways to make myself and my business more significant to the consumer.”
It makes perfect sense that Smith’s latest venture is a natural hair-care line built to address concerns she’s heard from clients. As her client base and offerings of both products and services continue to grow, we at Siba have no doubt that the sky is the limit for this blooming entrepreneur, and we can’t wait to see what comes next!
For more information about her business and/or educational journey, you can contact Kamyia Smith through her Facebook page or on Instagram at @iamkimmyco.
Support local businesses and join us for a fun evening of shopping at our campus on beautiful Washington Avenue in downtown St. Louis. Find more vendor details on our Facebook event page!
You asked, and we listened. Starting in Siba’s Spring I term on January 6, 2020, Interior Design courses will be offered in the evening. We understand that work obligations and other commitments can present a scheduling challenge when trying to earn a degree, and that evenings are the only time that some students can attend classes. That’s why we’re adding Interior Design to our slate of evening offerings which already includes Business, Paralegal, and Retail Management/Fashion Merchandising classes.
Evening classes at Siba are generally slated for Monday through Thursday between 5:30pm and 9:00pm and offer students more options on how to complete their degree. Depending on an individual’s availability, students may elect to take both day and evening classes to complete their coursework even faster!
If you have been considering pursuing your Associates or Bachelor’s degree in Interior Design at Siba whether during the day, evenings, or a combination of both, now is your chance to take advantage of Siba’s flexible scheduling! Contact a member of our Admissions team to set up a tour of our beautiful campus. Or, if you’re ready to submit an application, the process is simple and straightforward on our web page: Apply. We even take care of requesting your transcripts.
Explore all that an Interior Design degree at Siba has to offer on our website, then schedule your tour to come see what we’re all about in person. There’s never been a better time to get started!
Siba’s Spring I term begins January 6th, 2020. Apply before our priority deadline on December 19th, 2019!
Fall Term at Siba starts September 30th, 2019. See you there!
Siba student and U.S. Army veteran Tad Evans devoted his time over the summer term to a project honoring service members at Jefferson Barracks.
Used as a cemetery for Jefferson Barracks since its establishment in 1826, the location gained it’s designation as a national cemetery in 1866. It grew rapidly after the Civil War as thousands of Union soldiers were laid to rest there along the banks of the Mississippi River. Today, the cemetery stretches across more than 310 acres, features a number of historically significant monuments, as well as notable interments—including eight recipients of the Medal of Honor.
In the project for his Technical Illustration class, Tad created a re-imagined map of the National Cemetery on the grounds of the historic site. His purposes for mapping this particular site was to honor those laid to rest there, as well as to highlight landmarks, “[My instructor] suggested the location because he was aware of my military service and the deep appreciation I carry for those who served and are still serving. He knew that I’d be drawn to the challenge of sharing the history associated with Jefferson Barracks and really do the task justice.”
Tad was inspired by models of the White House in his approach to the project. Combining a 3-dimensional model he built of Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery with illustrations, he was able to create a cohesive and visually exciting version of the cemetery’s map.
The project wasn’t without logistical and technical challenges: “I learned a whole heck of a lot, that’s for sure! The amount of research that goes into laying out how to actually sculpt the terrain and make it accurate, photographing the finished model using different lighting methods, and communicating with others to gain different perspectives and input on how to tackle challenges along the way was quite consuming. Overall, I’d say that this class really gave me a chance to go off of the beaten path and experiment with different methods of approaching a complex problem.”
Having overcome hurdles in design, Tad has created a map he is proud of, and one that he hopes can serve the historic site that inspired it. He has plans to present the map to leadership at Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery.
For our part here at Siba, we’re very excited with the work Tad has completed!
Open doors = opportunity. That is our mindset and our culture at Stevens – The Institute of Business & Arts, where we incorporate a campus-wide open-door policy from the moment you first visit us. Open doors create pathways for easy communication among students, faculty, administration, alumni, and community partners. To us, an open door is more than an invitation to “Come on in!” It’s a challenge to explore new ideas and possibilities.
Accessibility to administrative staff at Siba begins in Admissions where prospective students have the opportunity to meet one-on-one with our Director of Admissions as soon as you apply so that there is already a relationship established even before your application is evaluated. We want to make the admissions/acceptance process as stress-free as possible for you.
We also know that navigating the world of financial aid can be intimidating to even the most experienced students, so our Financial Aid Director is readily available for both existing and prospective students for one-on-one meetings to help you complete your FAFSA, to explain the types and amounts of aid available to you, and provide the personalized information you need to make the best decisions about how to use your aid effectively. At Siba you will never have to figure it out by yourself.
Siba’s Academic Dean and Registrar, Dr. Emilee Schnefke, meets with all students every term so that she can help you plan a class schedule that meets your academic goals and works with your other commitments outside of school. At Siba you will never have to make your own schedule, so you will never end up off-track for graduation because you forgot to take a required class or took a class you didn’t need to graduate. Because Siba is so small, we are able to accommodate your ideal pace, whether you want to attend full-time and graduate as quickly as possible, or take things a little slower to allow more time for work or other personal responsibilities.
Accessibility to faculty members is an integral part of the culture at Siba. With an average class size of just nine (9) students, your instructors will know your name by the end of the first week of class. Siba instructors take an active interest in learning your goals and strengths and sharing their wealth of knowledge, which can uncover new skills and passions. Siba instructors also take notice when a student is struggling with a particular subject matter, and will offer extra help or tutoring when necessary. You will never feel alone or unnoticed in this community, that’s for sure!
Siba’s Department Heads not only keep their own doors open for students, but they also open doors in the professional world. With long-standing ties to the fields in which they teach, many students’ first introductions to their dream career come through their Department Head. Projects with real clients, portfolio reviews with industry leaders, field trips, and networking events are just some of the ways our program leadership help guide you on your path.
“In the Fashion program, many instructors including the Department Head, Lynne Wasson, are members of FGI (Fashion Group International) which gives students accessibility to the movers and shakers in the fashion community,” said Danielle Calcara, Retail Management/Fashion Merchandising student.
We know that life doesn’t always offer an open door to everyone at all times. But if you are enrolled at Siba, you will see that ALL of our doors are open to you, and it is our mission to open doors to your new career as often as we can.
New students for Fall: join us for Orientation!
Get to know more about Siba with informational sessions, opportunites to meet college leadership, as well as your peers, and a fun scavenger hunt at City Museum! Sign up by September 3rd to get in on the fun. Questions? Message an admissions representative today or call (314) 421-0949!
We’ve seen it happen more than once here at Siba—a student enrolls in a program with a very specific career goal in mind, and while in school, decides to change paths because a particular project or class introduces them to a previously unknown passion. And thus they are launched on a whole new trajectory. That was the case for Kinley Brady, the subject of this Siba Spotlight.
In 2018, while working toward her Associate’s degree in Retail Management/Fashion Merchandising, Brady was enrolled in Siba’s Fashion Promotion class. Her instructor, Brainchild Events CEO Dwight Carter, introduced the class project, which happened to be the entire production behind his Pins & Needles event, a well-known and longstanding design competition in the St. Louis region.
Brady’s assignment was to create the flyers for the show: “I had no prior experience with this sort of thing, but I really enjoyed making things come together on a page.”
Her work impressed her instructor so much that he invited Brady to intern for his company, Brainchild Events, so that she could help him with other projects he was producing. Among the items on her to-do list were social media, creating graphics, event planning, and managing events, and Carter said she accepted every task with enthusiasm. Coincidentally, Brady was also finishing up her Retail/Fashion degree when she discovered an equally strong passion for the graphic design tasks she’d been assigned. “I figured if I was enjoying doing a lot of graphics [for Brainchild Events], I might as well hone my craft. So far, graphic design and fashion kind of come together beautifully for me.”
That is when Brady decided to create her own unique educational resume by combining her newly earned AAS in Retail/Fashion with with an Associate’s degree in Graphic Design. She continues to intern for Brainchild Events, bringing new artistic skills and techniques to the table each time she completes another academic term.
Her boss, Dwight Carter, sees a lot of potential in Brady, “She can take an idea and communicate it very well through her artwork. I have never had anyone on my team that could design a flyer, poster and social media posts from scratch.”
Fitting in her homework with such a multi-faceted job takes effort, “Balancing school & work can be a struggle sometimes. I had a really hard time with it at first, but over the course of the last few months I’ve started to find a system that works for me when it comes to doing both. I make sure I do a little bit of work each day, and most weeks I wait until the weekend to do my homework.”
So what’s on the horizon for Brady and the rest of the team at Brainchild Events? That would be the second installment of Fashion Anarchy, a new event that challenges local designers to create a look inspired by St. Louis’ Garment District in just 48 hours. On July 18th, Siba will host the VIP reception for the competition, with the main show immediately following at St. Louis Fashion Fund, just a few doors down from the college. According to Brady, it’s an event you don’t want to miss, “The designers only have two days to create something, so it’s a HUGE time crunch and can be a really great challenge as well as a learning experience for them. It’s amazing to see the end results.”
When asked about her future goals, it’s no surprise Brady is looking forward to something with a little variety. “I really can’t see myself settling into one thing. In ten years, I hope to be self-employed, working on projects that incorporate the worlds of both fashion & graphics” We at Siba are so excited to see where Kinley’s path takes her!
In case you haven’t heard, it’s a very exciting time for the Garment District of downtown St. Louis—and we LOVE that our campus is right in the center of all the action! From the addition of a high-tech knitting facility to the upcoming grand opening of a boutique hotel whose name pays tribute to our neighborhood’s roots in garment production, we’re constantly reminded why it was such a good idea to relocate our campus to Washington Avenue nine years ago.
When we chose this location for our permanent home, it was significant that the building and others around it are steeped in history. Fun fact: 1521 Washington Avenue was constructed in 1917 for the George E Keith shoe factory, and one of our closest neighbors is the world-famous International Shoe Company (which has since been partially re-purposed as the world-famous City Museum). In recent years, interest has grown in revitalizing the area with an eye towards its roots in the garment manufacturing industry. We welcomed St. Louis Fashion Fund to our block in 2017, and they have worked tirelessly toward making our neighborhood a hub for fashion innovation, inspiration, and entrepreneurship.
Even more recently it was announced that Evolution, a high-tech knitwear manufacturing facility, will be opening in on Washington Ave in Grand Center which further advances St. Louis as a great city in which to produce clothing again. Evolution is scheduled to open in August 2019 with 35 state-of-the-art knitting machines. In the first three years, the apparel manufacturing firm aims to grow to 300 machines and employ up to 60 employees.
The Last Hotel, located just to the east of us at 1501 Washington Avenue, is nearly done with a major 18-month renovation of another building in the former International Shoe Company complex. It is scheduled to open in just a few weeks and is already taking reservations for July. We are especially excited about their rooftop pool and restaurant that will be open to the public!
Other new businesses the neighborhood include local grocer, Field’s Foods, as well as the unique, photo-op-friendly art exhibit space, The Selfie Room. These great additions to other established businesses and organizations like City Museum, Sliced Pint, and Star Clipper round out our fabulous corner of St. Louis.
It is so gratifying to see the diverse expansion and growth of Downtown West in the near-decade since we’ve called Washington Avenue home, and we can’t wait to see how the Garment District and St. Louis’ fashion footprint continues to develop!
Come shop some amazing vendors offering vintage apparel, jewelry, handcrafted gifts, sweet treats and more!
If you are interested in becoming a vendor, the registration fee is $40 which supports the Siba Scholarship Fund, a 501(c)(3). Vendor details here: http://bit.ly/2W1X0bA.
We’ve all seen the steadfast rule that a simple, one-page resume is the way to go. But at Siba, we’re not always about following the rules. For many of our students a better adage might be, “more is more.” Showing employers a more complete package, especially in creative fields, often means web-based as well as 3-dimensional portfolios, artistic flourishes on resumes, and more.
So what should your resume look like? Siba Career Services Director Steve Asher advises that there is no ONE right way to write a resume, but here are a couple of guiding principles that never go out of style:
If you’re in your 20s, your resume should only be one page—with rare exceptions, there is not enough relevant experience to justify a second one. If you’re past 30 and have significant experience in the position or field for which you are seeking, two pages are fine, but you go over that limit at your own peril.
Carefully consider what to include and what to exclude. Don’t get too attached to all of your responsibilities and accomplishments from the past. Instead, only include the accomplishments for each position on your resume that best align with the job you’re applying for.
If you are seeking a position involving creativity, be sure to supplement your resume with examples of your work.
When it comes to the more visual disciplines here at Siba, our Department Heads agree that the industry demands more than a simple resume. Employers want to see demonstrated talent – whether that’s in the form of a portfolio, website, or eye-catching business cards.
Siba Portfolio Design instructor Jamie Toon guides students as they refine their favorite projects, create self-branded resumes, and design web-based portfolios. An online portfolio gives students the flexibility to continue adding to their body of work while also showing the progression of their skills. It also gives students another layer of accessibility when they’re looking for a job. Says Toon, “These days, people are accessing as much information as they possibly can with their phone. If you meet someone at a networking event who may possibly help you in your career and text them a quick link that flashes a few images of your best work, you’re more likely to stick in their mind—and they can quickly forward that link to others on your behalf.” Toon also advises that students in the Interior Design field go beyond the black and white resume and develop a color scheme and “logo” that reflects their personality and design taste. “It’s never too early to start building your own brand.”
Students and recent graduates of Siba’s Graphic Design program are similarly encouraged to demonstrate their creativity and diversity of skills in their resumes and portfolios. Graphic Design Department Chair Ed Engel recommends that student portfolios should always include “a variety of design elements that include branding, collateral, packaging, websites, social media and other applications.”
Another consideration for Graphic Design students in particular is how those examples are presented within your portfolio. Recent graduate Erin Hopkins says that her employers took special notice of the work she put into the layout of her portfolio: “You can have a portfolio filled with beautiful projects, but if they’re arranged into a lazy or strange layout, that’s all anyone will see. I’ve also been told my portfolio stands out because employers can feel my personality in it.”
Graphic Design students exhibit their talent several times a year during portfolio reviews in front of industry leaders. Students have created a number of unique, eye-catching results that promote their brand and showcase their talent while giving potential employers something unforgettable. For example, one student’s “business cards” were actually laser-cut discs that included contact information, but could also be used as a coaster (see photo). It was a highly creative concept that was a memorable and functional alternative to the traditional business card.
Perhaps the best advice comes from Mr. Asher again, “Most important is that your resume [and portfolio] are properly edited and curated to effectively showcase your skills, experience, and knowledge for relevant job opportunities.” And when you need help, Siba has the experienced staff and dedicated classes to help students craft the resume and portfolio that will make them stand out from the crowd.
Field Trip to Nashville! That’s where some Siba Interior Design students went this month looking to enhance their education in window treatments. Both current students and alumni joined instructors Janelle Schrumpf and Jamie Toon on a weekend trip to the International Window Coverings Expo (IWCE) where their experience extended well beyond the trade show floor….
The IWCE provides certifications, training sessions, product demos, and free hands-on workshops for students and working professionals who want an immersive experience in this aspect of interior design. Students spent the weekend interlocking drapery layers, perfecting their swag execution, and trouble-shooting issues with roman blinds. They also had the opportunity to interact with successful Nashville designers who offered their insights on the spirit of Nashville: time-honored tradition blended with new and innovative ideas in design.
After the expo, the students got to visit Belle Meade Plantation, best known for its historic role in breeding elite racehorses. Students toured the grounds, stables, and the mansion itself, where they observed the old-world architecture and the extravagant window draperies appropriate to the era of its heyday.
Students also toured the grounds of Andrew Jackson’s historical home, Hermitage, and the gardens where the 7th president of the United States was laid to rest.
Finally, the group got to spend some time enjoying the city of Nashville! Instructor Janelle Schrumpf commented, “It was exciting to share my passion for the grand historical homes with all their glory and to have the students experience the period furniture, the history, architecture and window treatments. And the expo got our creativity flowing with all the emerging and exciting trends in fabrics, window coverings, decorative hardware, and the endless possibilities for customization.”
See why different makes a difference at Siba.
Join us for the Spring term starting April 8th!
Sign up by the first week of March to take part in our Orientation including informational sessions, food, and a day pass to City Museum. Contact an Admisssions Representative today!
Join us as we celebrate our Summer and Fall 2018 graduates!!!
Parking available in the adjacent parking garage for $5. Ticket must be validated at the front desk.
Cake and punch will be served after ceremony.
Mother Model Management’s over-the-top November runway show, Tribute, was huge success, and Siba student and alumni volunteers are reflecting on a job well done. This year’s event was inspired by the intrigue of the circus and iconic moments in fashion. Held at “The Big Top” on Washington Blvd in the revitalized Grand Center and featuring big-name models who got their start through Mother, the show proved to be an excellent learning experience and resume builder for Retail Management/Fashion Merchandising students and alumni alike.
Sarah Bross, a 2016 Siba Retail/Fashion graduate who now works for Mother Model Management, oversaw the entirety of the show. “Tribute at the Big Top was the highest level of production we have achieved thus far. Mother Model created stunning video and audio content, impeccable styling complemented by Caleres shoes, and a show that was fun and immensely inspiring.”
Another Siba alum, Olivia Perez, facilitated back-of-the-house for the show—a job where organization and the ability to think your feet are essential: “Keeping an organized space is the most important aspect of back of house. After a few years of working with this team, we easily found our groove on the day of the show. Each stylist had his or her own space, and owned that area.”
Both Perez and Bross agree that having Siba student & alumni volunteers on hand was a HUGE asset. From helping with front-of-the-house responsibilities like seating guests and accepting last minute ticket purchases to back-of-the-house duties such as assisting stylists and designers, Siba students made a difference in the hours leading up to show time.
According to Perez, “The volunteers from Siba were wonderful—each one took on a task and ran with it! I think keeping a positive attitude as a volunteer is something I notice most, and did notice with students. We always appreciate any time and effort a volunteer puts in, and the show surely wouldn’t run as smoothly without them.”
First year student Monea Patton especially loved her role of scanning tickets because it allowed her to see all the fashionable attendees. Participating in the show gave her new insights into the fashion industry: “The entire day was a learning experience. There’s a lot more that goes into productions like this than what I thought before, and seeing everything first hand gave me new perspective on this particular aspect of the industry.”
Siba was also a proud sponsor of Tribute 2018. Congratulations to everyone who participated in the show—what a fantastic production!
Courage is a word that comes up often when talking to Tranisha Herrington. Tranisha, or Triggy, as she prefers, isn’t afraid of facing a challenge. And she thinks a positive outlook makes those challenges that much easier to conquer, “I think the courage to get up despite what life has thrown you is seeing life through rose-colored glasses in the best way possible. In fact, when it’s time for me to get new prescription glasses, they will be rose-tinted as a reminder to always see life as such.”
What this Siba graduate does see all around her are stories of bravery. From her own experience of taking the leap from corporate America into the life of a working artist, to the experiences of the African American women she profiles in her work, Triggy lives and breathes courage. Now, with an upcoming exhibit at St. Louis Lambert Airport, people are starting to take notice.
Triggy first realized her artistic ability at Siba while taking Perspective Drawing. Prior to taking that class, she describes herself as having had “tunnel vision” for the fashion industry. While in that drawing class, however, her instructor (and working artist), William LaChance, encouraged his students to pursue an artistic style that spoke to them. For Triggy that was pop art – and it was a revelation.
From that inspirational experience, Triggy began to form her artistic vision. The stippling effect of pop art appealed to her because she liked that the smaller dots worked together to contribute to a bigger vision. She was so inspired that she quit her 9-5 job to pursue her dreams. We spoke to Triggy at the outset of this brave, new adventure in 2016. “Life inspires me. Everyone has a story to tell, so I have lifetimes of material. I just need to keep up my courage to pursue it.”
In the past few years, Triggy’s own artistry has gained momentum, which brings us to her latest series: SMILE. The series is a response to societal pressure for women to put on a mask—oftentimes a smile—despite the reality of their personal lives. Triggy was inspired by watching old-school television shows like Leave it to Beaver, The Jeffersons, and Good Times, where women were either portrayed in very one-dimensional roles or were faced with challenging the status quo. As Triggy remembers in The Jeffersons and Good Times in particular, “These shows depicted women of color in a light that had not previously been shown on primetime TV, with restrictions to the gender roles seen at that time.”
According to Triggy, for many multi-faceted women, herself included, it takes courage to wake up, face the day, and pursue your purpose – and that shouldn’t come with the added pressure of maintaining a façade. “Life isn’t always pretty. My message is to stop telling us what to do with our faces – we are already enough without having to add a smile.”
Soon her work will be on display at Lambert. The exhibit will feature six local African American women who were nominated for the portraiture, representing activists, leaders, and educators who are working to bring positive change to St. Louis, and particularly for the black community. In capturing their images, Triggy aims to also capture their “why”—the inner courage these women have to be a positive force in the community.
We applaud Triggy’s own courage in pursuing her passion and telling the stories of women who are making a difference in St. Louis. Her series will be on display starting in March of 2019. You can check out Triggy’s ongoing work on her Instagram page and DM her for pricing. She’s also available by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
St. Louis design competition Pins and Needles closed out its 10th and final year with panache – thanks in part to the hard work of Siba student and alumni volunteers. The annual runway show showcased the work of scores of emerging fashion designers while providing them with media exposure and awarding cash prizes to the winners.
Dwight Carter, one of Siba’s talented adjunct instructors, is the CEO of Brainchild Events, the company that has produced the show from its inception in 2008. Along the way, Retail Management/Fashion Merchandising students and grads have had the invaluable experience of helping Carter execute his vision for the annual show. Their roles have included planning and implementing marketing strategies well before the event, as well as participating in day-of activities such as setting up the venue, dressing and directing the models, working on choreography and timing of the show, and guest and VIP relations.
This year, Danielle Calcara was among the volunteers who, along with her classmates in Siba’s Fashion Promotion class, also helped organize and host the “Designer Meet and Greet” event the day before the runway show. Rather than working on a fictitious project made up by an instructor to present in a classroom, this particular Fashion Promotion class had the opportunity to work together to coordinate vendors, designers, and models; identify, procure and prepare the event space; market and promote the event; and work at the event itself. Not only was it a fantastic resume-building and networking opportunity, but it was also clearly a meaningful learning experience for the class. As Calcara reflected, “I’ve learned that planning a large event takes months of advanced planning and diligence to stay on task and make sure everything comes together.”
The students’ work wasn’t done after the meet and greet, though—the runway competition was still to come the following night! Students and alumni worked both backstage with the models and designers and front-of-the-house coordinating guests and event sponsors. Calcara was working front-of-the house, “For the runway show I welcomed and checked in all guests at the door including ticket purchases and VIP guests, handling check-in through Eventbrite and using square for credit card payments. [It was] exciting, hectic and so much fun to be a part of!”
It was a memorable way to close out ten years of “Pins and Needles.” We’re so thankful for the opportunities the competition and Dwight Carter at Brainchild Events have offered to Siba students and alumni, and can’t wait to see what Carter’s next big fashion project will be. Whatever it is, we are confident that Siba Retail Management/Fashion Merchandising students and alumni will be jumping at the chance to participate!
The Gallery @ Siba is proud to present an exhibition of work from our Graphic Design students and alumni. Join us for light refreshments and check out the work our students have done!
When: November 29th at 6pm
Where: 1521 Washington Ave.
RSVP: via our Facebook events page
Take a tour, find out more about our programs, and learn how to lock-in our current tuition rate before it goes up.
Siba Graphic Design students took on an “odorous” challenge recently when they were given the opportunity to work with nationally-acclaimed St. Louis ad agency, Rodgers Townsend, in developing concepts for “Nature’s Miracle Urine Destroyer,” a consumer product designed to combat pet odors. Current Siba students and grads of the program created marketing campaign concepts for the product and then presented those ideas to Rodgers Townsend executives.
Students were given a great deal of creative freedom in developing concepts for “Urine Destroyer,” which promises to be tough on that cat urine odor that so many felines leave as their calling card. And their imaginations definitely ran wild! Using their individual creativity, skills honed in Siba’s Graphic Design program, and a touch of humor, students and grads came up with a variety of memorable designs:
A kitty vandal with a talent for graffiti…
A crazy cat lady with a not-so-stinky secret….
Members of the Cat Mafia who have finally met their match…
… And, of course, a scratch and sniff ad, that promises not to offend.
Some students created print campaigns, while others story-boarded a potential TV commercial:
For Department Chair, Ed Engel, inviting alumni to participate in these projects serves a number of purposes, “By observing the advanced skills of our graduates, it gives the current students something to shoot for, while also giving the grads additional face time in front of potential future employers.”
A special thank you to our partners at Rodgers Townsend, particularly Vice President and Creative Director Kay Cochran. We very much appreciate her ongoing support of Siba’s Graphic Design program by providing useful insights, constructive reviews, and thoughtful guidance to our students.
Another impressive “real-world” project by our talented students and alumni!
Join us for a reception featuring mixed-media artist and jewelry designer, Cindy Royal.
Thursday, August 2nd from 6pm-8pm.
Meet the artist, check out her work, and enjoy light appetizers at this free event open to the public.
For six Siba Interior Design students, their latest learning experience happened in an entirely different city—Chicago. The group visited the famed Merchandise Mart for this year’s NeoCon event. Neocon is an annual trade show that touts itself as, “the commercial design industry’s launch pad for innovation.” But students discovered much more than just innovation this year.
In just two days at NeoCon, students explored more than 500 exhibitors and a huge variety of seminars to expand their knowledge and inspire their designs. Among the showrooms they visited was Holly Hunt, where the group met designer Tom Stringer who was autographing copies of his latest book.
Students also visited exhibits for True Residential (a high-end appliance company based in St. Louis), Koehler, and Herman Miller—a showroom focused on trends in healthcare design. They visited fabric showrooms for Robert Allen, Schumacher, and Romo as well; collecting fabrics and wall coverings to inspire upcoming projects.
This access to industry leaders and innovators is a huge advantage to students both now and after they graduate. As Siba 3rd year student Amanda Kinney explains, “Inspiration is such a huge part of design. I personally think attending these types of events (and staying as current as possible with new products) is crucial to being a good designer. You can have a wonderful vision, but if you’re limited to what you already know, you can only do so much.”
Perhaps the highlight of the trip was a visit to DIRTT’s exhibition space. DIRTT is a Chicago-based, sustainable design company that offers its clients the opportunity to tour and change designs in virtual reality. The exhibit was something new and exciting for students like Kinney, who found the experience very worthwhile: “DIRTT is another company that I am always keeping up with. They create innovative solutions to commercial design (including healthcare), and each year they have products that I have never seen anywhere else.”
Guided by Siba instructors Janelle Schrumpf and Jamie Toon, students also visited the Chicago suburb of Oak Park where they explored the home and studio of Frank Lloyd Wright and toured the surrounding neighborhood in which Wright had also designed homes.
Over the span of their three-day-trip, students explored both architectural historical design and the latest innovations in residential, commercial, healthcare, and children’s design. The best part? They go every year. In 2019, Siba students (and any alumni who wish to tag along) can take the short trip north to see what’s up and coming in the design world. Without a doubt, our students will be looking forward to it.
A long-time member of our Siba family is making a big change at the end of the spring 2018 quarter. Emily Huey, Siba’s Career Services Director and Retail Management/Fashion Merchandising faculty member, will be giving up her full-time position to pursue a retail enterprise of her own.
Mrs. Huey’s career at the college began in 1995 when Siba was known as Patricia Stevens College (our name changed in 2010). Not long after graduating from grad school, “I looked in the phone book (that’s how many years ago it was) for colleges and universities that offered Fashion Merchandising programs, prepared my cover letter & resume, put on my best suit, and went to Patricia Stevens College and asked to speak to the hiring manager about a position. I got an interview on the spot.” After getting her foot in the door at the college and working as an Admissions Rep and Field Recruiter for a couple of years, Emily pursued an opportunity with the Missouri Athletic Club as their Retail Operations Manager. While there, she enhanced and expanded her experience in retail buying, merchandising, product development, and inventory control. But while she was gone, she had not been forgotten….
When Cindy Musterman took over the office of college president in 1999, one of her first missions was to get Emily back to the college…and this time as a faculty member. Thankfully for her colleagues and hundreds of students, Emily accepted the offer and has been an exceptional mentor, educator and administrator ever since.
The fearlessness to take a chance on the unknown is a lesson Emily has passed on to her students over the years, “I tell this story to our Career Orientation students because I want them to have the courage to go get what they want!”
In her current role as Career Services Director, Emily has worked to help students polish their interview skills, edit their resumes, facilitate meetings between students and potential employers, and identify internship/externship opportunities. She has also been primarily responsible for organizing and hosting Siba’s annual Career Seminar where panels of alumni and employers come together to advise and mentor current students on industry trends and tips for getting hired.
Emily’s efforts have helped students connect with outstanding employment opportunities both before and after graduation, yet she humbly credits those successes back to the students who “worked really hard to network, and put themselves out there!”
In addition to her work in Career Services, Emily has never lost her passion for the retail field. Through her leadership at Fashion Group International St. Louis (FGI), Emily gave her students a wealth of educational and networking opportunities. Her connections in the fashion world opened doors so that students could gain invaluable experience working behind the scenes at fashion shows in St. Louis and beyond, including New York Fashion Week.
Next up for Emily: she’s joined Source Retail Consulting to provide merchandise planning, peace of mind, and work-life balance to independent retail clients. After spending the summer growing her business and enjoying time with her husband and two daughters, we hope to see Emily again: “I will always be there for my Siba family, students & alumni and I want to stay connected. I would enjoy coming back to teach some of my favorite classes!” And of course, she will always be welcome to return.
Summer in the City!
Join us for our term starting July 9th. Enrollment is open for all five our programs. Flexible schedules, real-world experiences, and faculty & staff that are invested in student experiences.