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Marah Carpenter


Fashion Design

When I attended Moore, Student Government became a big focus of my life.  As a result, I had the pleasure of working with the late Happy Fernandez numerous times. During my senior year, at the Honors Luncheon before graduation, Happy told my parents that while she believed I would be successful in anything I did, she saw me going into management and administration. A year later, I became an administrative and general manager at Rossi Shoe Service in Ardmore. I love every minute of it!

My current job gives me hands on experience with owning a small, but fast- paced business based in costumer service and high end products (we work largely with repairs to Chanel, Louboutins, Gucci etc.).  Also, I’m able to apply multiple skills I learned at Moore. In addition to the administrative work, I am the color expert for shoes and handbag refinishes, an apprentice in two departments (refinishes and rip work) and recently started making my own shoes. 

But one of the greatest things about my job are my bosses - the Rossi brothers, Rick and Joe, who are open and respectful of my art and design career.  While working at Rossi Shoe Service, I was given time to freelance and be involved in many side projects. In the last two years these were:

  • Craft work for an independent movie,
  • Assistant artist at Mural Arts over the summer
  • Illustrator for shoe production sketches of Schee’ shoes
  • RAW showcase of senior collection
  • Head costume tech for a performance during PIFA
  • CATS make up for a Lancaster skating group.

Two years out I still love my job, as the Rossi brothers and I work to build and rework areas of the shop. In my own time I’m putting together two new collections: one is my second line of art-based clothing and the other is a shoe- inspired embroidery collection.

My time post-Moore is nothing that I expected and that leads me to my final words of wisdom to students:

                              1-Never be ashamed of the job you have - it always leads you to your next step. Whether related to your degree or not, it gives you the means to your next end – and you never know who you will work with.

                              2-Do not stop working or sketching or creating. Even if you think no one is seeing it, keep producing - you never know, unless you have nothing to show.

                              3-Reputation and skill is what is going to get you farther.  Networking and who you know is important, but if you can’t perform when put to the test, who’s who won’t matter. 

                              4- Keep your dreams and goals but lose the expectations.