Fly Female Entrepreneurs
Fly Female Entrepreneur
This may have been Bryant Park’s last hurrah for Fashion Week, but that certainly didn’t prevent things from heating up an otherwise chilly time in New York City! Join us as we take a peek into In Her Shoe’s contributor, Kamari Chelsea’s conversation with our favorite Project Runway alumni, Korto Momolu. She’s giving us the low down on life after reality television, how she juggles parenting while maintaining a successful career, her new partnership with Dillard’s, and much more. Check it out…
In Her Shoes: It’s been a long journey since you appeared on Season 5 of Project Runway; tell us about life after the show and how you and your work have developed since then.
Korto: Life has been crazy, but in a good way. The show (Project Runway) opens up so many doors that would otherwise be closed. I have done everything from hosting events and speaking at schools to developing an eco-friendly line of jewelry alongside the work I’m developing for Dillard’s.
In Her Shoes: Congrats on successfully scoring a distribution deal with Dillard’s stores for your new line of accessories! Tell us how this amazing opportunity came to life:
Korto: Well, Dillard’s is an Arkansas-based company so it was an easy fit to collaborate on the jewelry and handbag line (as I am based in Arkansas). After the show we sat down to talk about how we could develop a cost-friendly line that was high fashion yet still very Korto.
In Her Shoes: Tell us what a day is like in Korto Momolu’s shoes?
Korto: I wake up at 6:30 a.m. to get my daughter ready for school, drop her off at 7:50 a.m. and head to my workspace. My work day begins with returning emails and calls and then moving on to working on the line. I am very hands on with everything. I still sew a lot of my samples and make all the original inspirations for the jewelry and handbag lines. At 2:40 p.m. it’s school pick-up time then we head home to do homework and get dinner ready. Sometimes we do movie night or just read books before bed and off to rest and on to the next day!
In Her Shoes: As an entrepreneur, mother, wife, designer, etc. it’s clear that you’ve mastered the art of multi-tasking. Any tips for other women juggling a family, a job and a dream?
Korto: I put God first, my priority is my family. If they are happy, I am happy. I always try to make time for the family fun time or vacations so we have some quiet times together. Choose your battles and never mix work and home. Everyone needs to feel they have their time with me so I always try to make time for them, even if it means I have to push my work aside.
In Her Shoes: On the show, you spoke about your move from Liberia to America and how difficult that was for you. However, you always bring elements of your origin into your work. What about this new collection captures who Korto is and where she’s come from?
Korto: I took inspirations from northern Africa-the traditional wears, interior design, textile design, and some of the military inspiration came from the African military uniforms.
In Her Shoes: Where can we expect to see some of your clothing designs next?
Korto: Hopefully in Dillards and high-end boutiques around the country. The sky’s the limit on this one!
For additional information on Korto Momolu visit www.kortomomolu.com.