Who is Rebecca Stirm?
Born and raised in Belize, self taught clothing designer, Rebecca Stirm, began sewing her own clothing at the age of 11. “My parents were very supportive, they saw potential in me and managed to get me Brother sewing machine on sale at ‘Courts’. Since I had been sewing by hand for a long time, I was eager to learn to use the machine. I cut apart old clothes to see how they were made, and cut and re-shaped old patterns to make them my size. I basically learnt to make patterns and sew them together through trial and error while sewing for myself as a preteen.”
Sketching designs and sewing were merely a hobby for her until 2009, when she was encouraged by a close friend to hold her first fashion show. In early 2010, she was given the opportunity to show a few dresses in a charity fashion show (Help for Haiti). Inspired by seeing her pieces on the runway for the first time, Rebecca created her first collection of day dresses and cocktail dresses – paying for the fabric and trimmings by working Friday nights playing the acoustic guitar and singing at Perkup Coffee house. Close friends and family pulled in to help Rebecca plan, advertise, and execute her first show. The “August Fashion Show” was a success- and she received her first orders for dresses from her collection.
“After the show, I got my first orders for dresses- it was huge incentive for me- Since now it was more than a hobby, I thought ‘hey, this could be a job’.”
Building on that experience, Rebecca continued on to design a second collection, showing it at her second show (The Sunny Season Fashion Show, May 2011), before re-locating to Vancouver in June for a semester in fashion design and marketing at the Art Institute of Vancouver. Shortly after returning home to Belize, she was accepted to compete in Mission Catwalk (Caribbean designer reality TV show) – against 19 other Caribbean designers – for a chance to “Rule the Catwalk.” The show is currently airing on TVJ and Televisionjamaica.com.