Brenda Matthews

I was born in Hampton and lived with my grandmother, mom and brother until I was 4 years old. My grandmother started teaching me how to sew then and continued throughout my life. She noticed that I had a love for sewing new creative fashions for my dolls and encouraged me to pursue a career in fashion design. I never thought I was good enough and was discouraged for many years until recently I decided to follow my dreams instead of my "sensibilities." I started looking online for information on fashion design and music and started going to J. Sargent Reynolds CC for music which was my first love. I had to quit because I had a heart attack and it was difficult going to school at that time. In the meantime, I started a business when I was last in Hampton, my hometown in Secretarial Services and Desktop Publishing. Neither businesses did very well because I was not educated in Business Development or Administration. A couple of years ago I realized my love for fashion. In the last 3 years of my grandmother's life, she put that love for fashion design back into my heart by constantly asking me when I was going to pursue the dream of my life. That was when I realized that maybe I could do it now. After all, I was in my late 40's and what did I have to loose by this time. I had already had a very nice career in the Business World working for other companies, when I was downsized. I started working on my own in alterations and I tell you, I learned so much about sewing at that time. My problem was, I did not know how to market myself, so I decided to go back to school for Network Security. I must have changed my mind a billion times, until I saw the Business Administration with an IT concentration in the ECPI lobby. That was when I had a mini vision about how all my life events could culminate into my final dream of being a fashion designer working with my own business.