Sara Turke

Sara follows her passion at Iowa State

Sara Turke dreamt about the fashion industry at the age of five. She used to draw clothes and come up with new designs, but she didn’t know how to turn her hobby into a career. When it came time for college Sara knew she would major in fashion design, but wanted a local college instead of heading for New York or Los Angeles.

She took a trip to the University of Missouri, where they told her most of their apparel students go to Iowa State for graduate school due to the excellent program. Sara decided to skip the middle step and came straight to Iowa State.

“When I found out about Iowa State I knew exactly where my career path would start,” she said. “And I haven’t looked back ever since.”

While at Iowa State, Sara got involved in a variety of activities. She is second-time director for alumni and community relations for the Fashion Show, studied abroad in Florence, Italy, and works as an assistant for the costume shop at Fisher Theater.

All of these experiences have given her valuable knowledge and insight into the industry. Sara said most of them happened due to the support she received from the faculty and staff in the department.

“Whenever I have had an idea, my advisers and faculty members have all encouraged me to reach for the stars,” she said. “When I said I wanted to study abroad, my adviser helped me pick Accademia Italiana. And when I wanted work experience, I found Fisher Theater.”

Sara’s experiences have also helped her narrow down which markets she wants to work in. Although she doesn’t have her niche market picked quite yet, she plans to continue trying different things and recommends other designers do the same.

“I like that I’ve done different things,” she said. “If you never experiment and try new things you can’t find the market you love.”