Stephanie Carlo followed her dream of being in the fashion world by assisting designer Gustavo Arango in Puerto Rico. While working under his wing, Carlo’s friend recommended her for a teaching position at Stephens College in Columbia, Missouri. Carlo spoke briefly to the recruiter and decided to follow a new passion of hers: teaching.
Carlo packed her bags and left her entire family on the island to teach fashion design and product development, among other courses, at the all-womens college. Her weekdays consist of teaching back-to-back classes and meetings, but her work isn’t limited to Monday through Friday. On weekends, Carlo helps her students with their collections on her own time.
By the end of most days, Carlo goes home exhausted. “I don’t want to talk to anybody or do anything else,” she said. “I just want to sit down and maybe watch Netflix.”
It took Carlo seven years to complete her bachelor’s degree because she said it is important to know to relax and enjoy her time, especially in making decisions such as choosing a future for herself.
“What if, I don’t know, someone offers me a job in Paris…Am I going to say no because I had another plan? I just can’t live on just not knowing what would have been,” Carlo said.
As of right now, Carlo said her plan is to one day start her own brand for plus-sized women. Carlo identifies as a plus-sized woman and does not want other women like her to feel like there are rules determining what they should wear.
“I like to break all the rules. I don’t like people to tell me that I have to dress a certain way,” she said.
The 31-year-old said she learned most of her fearlessness from her father. Her mother worked a full-time job as a hair salon owner while her father raised her and her older sister.
“My dad never told us, you can’t do this because you are a woman. He always was the opposite,” Carlo said. “I was raised in a feminist family because there were no gender roles.”
Carlo said the most important part about being a feminist was never giving up and following her passions, which is exactly what she plans to continue.
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