ST. GEORGE —A local fashion designer whose designs have been featured in fashion shows, magazines, music conferences and even New York Time Square, talks about overcoming adversity and finding her own success amid the chaos.
Marie Nohr, whose fashion design experience spans over 15 years, told St. George News she’s faced several struggles since she made the decision to build a business for herself.
“I was in survival mode for many years, but I’m grateful that my family, friends and long supporters of my fashion artwork never gave up on me,” Nohr said. “I’m grateful I never gave up on myself.”
Nohr said she moved to Washington County eight years ago as an independent parent to be closer to family while going through a divorce. Shortly after the move, her son was diagnosed with autism.
At that time, she had to navigate between multiple part-time jobs that would allow her to take her son, who did not qualify for daycare, to his multiple therapy appointments along with school obligations. She said that amongst the disarray, she started to endure health issues and even experienced blackouts behind the wheel.
Nohr told St. George News that as a teen, her original dream was to acquire her degree in fashion design, have a salary job designing, marry, have kids and continue her life as a designer. She said when she had to start over with just herself and her son, that future seemed out of reach.
“No, it didn’t happen overnight and there are lots of blood, sweat and tears I’ve put into and will continue to put into my dream life,” Nor said. “I’m grateful I can show my son that strength isn’t perfect.”
Nohr said she originally had started her own fashion design business as a side job to her full-time designer jobs in California. She has worked for several fashion companies, doing everything from design to technical design. She has been featured in multiple fashion magazines in New York and Los Angeles and has done work for large brands such as Rue 21.
Nohr said that when the pandemic hit, most of the part-time jobs she was working at the time quickly seized to exist. That’s when she decided to start making her own fashion masks on Etsy and was shocked at how fast the business took off.
“I started my own business because I wanted to be able to create my own designs forms start to finish,” Nohr said. “I do my own pattern work, my own designs, my own ‘fits. What I love the most about my business is that I get to be the artist. I design clothing and bring the art back into fashion.”
When she first brought Marie Nohr designs to Washinton County, she specialized in customized maternity designs, including dresses and shirts for breastfeeding mothers under the fashion label “MaLux”. She has since broadened her available designs to include everything from shirts, dresses, skirts and more under the new transitioning label “Marie Nohr Designs”.
Nohr emphasized how much material waste she has seen throughout her career as a designer. She said that as designs are cut from fabric and materials, especially in mass production, all the leftover scrap pieces are thrown away. She didn’t want her business to add to the growing problem of designer waste. That’s why she chose to use leftover fabrics to design scrunchies, headbands, earnings and more.
Nohr also said that the fabrics and designs for her product line are unique and limited in supply. She said she has what she refers to as a “dealer” in Los Angeles, who sends her photos of any fabric he receives and that once she cuts them up for designs, she’s unable to obtain more. She added that while she does identify as a seamstress, she is also a designer, which means she doesn’t do alterations on other people’s products. She does provide custom alterations to her own designs.
To see Marie Nohr designs available for purchase, visit her Etsy shop or come see her at the Tuacahn Saturday Market.
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