Fashion brings inspiration and the pursuit of dreams

By Lisa Burnett Originally Published January 27, 2013 at 12:00 a.m.
Updated January 25, 2013 at 10:49 a.m.
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PHOTO BY: Curt Youngblood

Cecelia Rosa, a recent University of Central Arkansas graduate, pins a sleeve to a jacket. Rosa creates her own fashion line, Ivy Rose, out of her apartment in Conway. She plans to move to New York to pursue a career in the fashion industry.

Cecelia Rosa of Conway, a recent graduate of the University of Central Arkansas, has dreams that reach far beyond her Arkansas roots.

Rosa wants to move to New York to pursue her dream of working in the fashion industry. The 22-year-old, originally from Marion, has her own clothing line, Ivy Rose.

“The ivy is like the wild, crazy side,” Rosa said. “The rose is a way to bring it back, and you can still be classy.”

She began sewing at the age of 12, when she got her first sewing machine. Although she is not formally trained in sewing, she learned what she knows from her aunt.

“It makes me feel closer to my aunt when I sew because that’s what it kind of stemmed from,” Rosa said.

Rosa’s passion for fashion has inspired her to stay committed to the craft throughout her life.

“I love different styles and love being able to express myself in that way,” Rosa said. “Being able to think of something and create it with your hands is a surreal feeling.”

Creating a piece from start to finish requires a lot of work, and Rosa prices the pieces based on the amount of work she has put into them.

“I’ve been up late nights and early mornings,” Rosa said. “Some of my pieces range anywhere from $15 to $40.”

Most pieces take Rosa from three days to a week to complete. Sometimes she will see a fabric, and an idea for a dress or jacket will stem from the fabric alone.

“Design is a lot about construction, but it’s a lot about detail and the fabrics you use,” Rosa said. “A fabric can make or break you.”

Rosa was featured in Little Rock Fashion Week in 2012, and she said it was an entire week full of events.

“I went to model calls, [which are when] models come to audition for a show,” Rosa said. “You recommend what you prefer.”

When it was time for Rosa’s Ivy Rose fashion show during Little Rock Fashion Week, she said it was all about her line, and her vision for her line.

Music and models were chosen for the show, and it went off without a hitch.

Since Rosa just graduated in December from UCA, she is able to spend more time working on her fashion line now that she doesn’t have homework to do. She graduated with a degree in public relations with a minor in marketing.

“I just really hope to reach a broader audience,” Rosa said. “I’m hoping to expand and get more exposure.”

When she moves to New York, Rosa would like to work at a fashion magazine as a stylist or fashion assistant or “even in public relations because that’s what my degree is in.”

Rosa has a website that she uses to sell her clothing, She said her friends encourage her to make clothing for them if they see something they like.

“They see pictures, and they say, ‘I want something like this!’” Rosa said. “It’s funny, and sometimes it actually benefits me on birthdays and stuff when I’m low on money. I can make them a nice outfit.”

Dresses are Rosa’s favorite clothing item to make.

“You know kind of the average size for [dresses], and I wouldn’t say that they’re easy to make, but they’re not as extensive unless you’re doing hand beading or detail like that,” Rosa said.

Rosa wants to put more time and effort into her clothing line and the pursuit of her dreams.

“I just hope for my line to be a household name,” Rosa said. “Wherever it takes me from here, I’m ready and willing to travel this journey. I’m excited.”

Staff Writer Lisa Burnett can be reached at (501) 244-4307 or

Online News Editor Lisa Burnett can be reached at

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