Salt Lake Community College fashion alumnus Krista Nielson is currently the owner and designer of Krista Nielson Design, writer for The Salt Lake Tribune and instructor at the SLCC Fashion Institute. Her own boot design was produced by Steve Madden and made available for sale in 2007.
“I have always loved fashion,” wrote Nielson in an email interview. “And I always knew that I wanted to do something creative and artistic.”
Before her career, Nielson was a student attending the SLCC Fashion Institute. With the skillful curriculum, well-rounded instructors and internship opportunities, Nielson quickly gained all the techniques to become an accomplished designer.
“My experience with SLCC [Fashion Institute] has been incredible, both as a student and now as faculty,” wrote Neilson. “It’s great that [the SLCC Fashion Institute] has such talented, knowledgeable instructors. And I have been supported every step of the way.”
The journey to success was not at all easy.
“In Salt Lake, the fashion resources and opportunities are not as prevalent as in larger cities,” wrote Nielson. “Getting my own fashion [design] line up and running, has been challenging.”
While attending the SLCC Fashion Institute, Nielson had the opportunity to participate in the National Shoe Design Competition.
“After I finished my design, I thought this [was] a pretty great shoe – I loved it,” wrote Nielson. “I kept telling myself that I was going to be a finalist, and doing a lot of positive thinking [helped].”
The top five finalists for the National Shoe Design Competition were posted on the official Steve Madden website. Nielson promptly discovered she was one of those finalists, but little did she know she would receive a personal phone call from designer Steve Madden, founder and former CEO of Steve Madden, congratulating Nielson on making the top five finalists.
Although Nielson had received second place overall, Madden decided that the SLCC fashion design student would be flown to New York, along with the first place winner, to meet up and discuss the once-in-a-lifetime moment of their shoe illustrations becoming an actual product.
“I am thankful that through [all of] this, my shoe design was actually produced,” wrote Nielson.
Although many obstacles have been faced along the way, Nielson is open to new ideas and possibilities. She has the confidence to be strictly dedicated and persistent in order to reach the highest potential possible.
“I have been focusing my efforts as opportunities have been presented,” wrote Nielson. “Through networking, referrals and industry contacts, I was presented with many great opportunities, and writing [about] fashion and style stories for The Salt Lake Tribune was one of them.”
Maintaining balance is essential for the fashion instructor. Nielson has learned working independently for her own design company was more manageable for self-promotion.
“I love what I do, and am lucky to be able to have jobs that I am passionate about,” wrote Nielson. “When things get crazy or unbalanced, I just need to remind myself how fortunate I am and how much I love what I’m doing.”
Nielson is currently teaching a Portfolio Development class at Library Square Campus. It is a course that helps students prepare for future employment, as they create their own portfolio and receive helpful feedback from instructors. Nielson has had enough experience in the market to provide the best critique as possible.
“It’s really nice,” says Celest Bright, Fashion Design Major and Portfolio Development Student. “I like having a teacher who’s actually in the field that they teach.”
Even with all the success Nielson has had throughout the past few years, there is still so much more to be accomplished. From winning “Best of Show” at her first fashion competition to having her own design company, Nielson is definitely on her way to the top.
“Be persistent, believe in yourself, have confidence in your abilities,” wrote Nielson. “Don’t be afraid to take risks. And love what you do.”