Chatting with Heidi Elnora is like gabbing with a close friend you’ve adored for years. Feeling blessed and delighted in what she has accomplished as a designer, this gal from Alabama had high hopes, along with the confidence to seek a path in life true to herself.
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“I’m a firm believer that things happen as they should. God is bigger than I’ll ever know,” said Heidi when asked if she would do anything different as a Season 2 contestant on Project Runway. Answering with a quick “No,” Heidi said she could not have handled all the drama.
Growing up in the small town of Morris, AL, Heidi said, “In 1998, it wasn’t hip to be a fashion designer. Nobody wanted to do that and I was told I couldn’t.” By sticking to her true self, she came across her personal motto of “faith over fear!” “No matter what’s going on, you have to have faith over fear! You’re going to be scared to do something but don’t be; you can do it. I’m a BIG believer in what God can do,” Heidi declares.
That zest and spunk has led her to her entrepreneurial spirit. Enjoying doing her own thing and not paying attention to others has allowed Heidi to grow as a designer. Once a children’s wear designer for Carter’s, Heidi now designs couture bridal gowns. “Opening my second location in Atlanta on Peachtree Street in the heart of midtown is a true blessing. Seeing my name in lights was pretty neat. It seems like everyday something fabulous happens. It’s a pretty amazing life!”
Encouraging others to follow their passion in life, Heidi’s words of wisdom for aspiring young designers is “go to college!” Heidi adds, “Unless you have this amazing apprenticeship or connections you need to know your trade. I knew in high school I wanted to be a famous designer. You have to have confidence in what you’re doing.”
When finding inspiration, Heidi admits she gathers perspective from “all sorts of things: people, objects, antiquing, random things…whatever catches my eye at the moment.” Initially Heidi discovered the spirit of design from her family. Heidi found designing was a part of her that she was born to do coming from a long line of ladies who loved fashion.
As Heidi wakes up (around 10 a.m.) to discover everyone she loves is doing good, she begins her daily meeting with brides as they share their joyful spirits with her. Heidi finds comfort that she is helping people. “You have one shot at this life. One shot at this day. Do what makes you happy!”
Read about another pair of hip, young fashion designers!