Designing Woman

Anthem chamber intern stitching her way to the top

By Christina Fuoco-Karasinski

Abby Davis is one of those multihyphenate talents.

She’s an intern with the Anthem Area Chamber of Commerce. She is an ASU powerlifter and a fashion student. The incoming sophomore easily balances it, using powerlifting as her stress reliever. 

“Fashion is the one thing that’s been so consistent in my life,” the 19-year-old Anthem resident says. “When I was super little, 5 or 6, I cut up my own clothes and stapled them to my dolls. 

“Once I got to high school, I just expanded my horizons with sewing. I took part in a couple camps before that, but outside of it I am self-taught.”

While she attended Boulder Creek High School, Davis designed her friends’ homecoming dresses. She still creates her own wardrobe. 

Davis’ designs are showcased on the second floor of Scottsdale Fashion Square in an ASU Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts-sponsored display through late August. 

“It is so exciting,” Davis says. “They only chose five freshmen and I was one of them out of 300 kids.”

Davis chose fashion as her major for one reason: “You really only live once.”

“I didn’t want to go through my entire life wishing I had trusted my gut,” Davis adds. “I’m so confident in my abilities. I will find success through this field.”

She’s well on her way. After graduating in 2022, Davis plans to travel to New York to earn her master’s degree. However, first, she’ll study abroad in France and in either the Czech Republic or Italy. 

“The school in Prague is so prestigious,” Davis says. “My parents took a trip there when I was a senior in high school. They met a lady in a fabric shop and bought the fabric I used for my prom dress. She was so ecstatic to hear of someone so young at a level people don’t get to until they’re in their 30s. 

“She was so impressed by someone so young that she offered me an internship at her fabric store. She has high-end fabrics like Dolce & Gabbana.”

Davis, who wasn’t on the trip, calls the gift of fabric “the most incredible present” from her parents. 

“They are so supportive,” she says. “I would have not been able to do anything without their support. They bought my first sewing machine, recognized my talent and encouraged me to go for it.”

She started her label, Abigail Elizabeth Design, at age 16, and ordered business cards and tags, while her parents handled the legalities. Recently, she launched her website, abigailelizabethdesign.com.

To hone her business skills, Davis is interning this summer at the Anthem Area Chamber of Commerce. She loves the atmosphere and is impressed with the staff’s willingness to answer her questions. 

“I absolutely love it,” she says. “I wanted to expand my experience in the fashion industry. Granted, the chamber has nothing to do with fashion, but it helps with business sense. It’s local. It was super convenient and a great opportunity.”

Davis has lived in Arizona since the eighth grade, when she moved here from Utah with her family. At Boulder Creek, she continued her softball career and used weight training as a strengthening exercise. As  an ASU freshman, she joined the powerlifting team. In January, she participated in her first meet and took second. At the end of August, she’ll stay in the Valley for the USA Powerlifting Southwest Regional Championships. 

“I’m going in expecting to break records,” she says. “Powerlifting is so much fun. It’s something to do to keep me fit and busy. It’s a good stress reliever, too.”

ASU was a logical decision after it began offering a fashion degree a few years ago. She also chose to stay in-state because of tuition and to avoid “financial ruin before I’m making any real money.” 

“It’s perfect timing, with the fashion degree program starting a couple years ago,” she says. “The professors are making my dreams come true.” 

© 2018 85085 Magazine. A Division of Strickbine Publishing Inc.

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