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EMERGING DESIGNER

Sheila Rodriguez

G
enisiFUNK is an "Urban Luxury" look with denims, furs, silks and satins. A favorite of young ladies and bootylicious celebrities. The GenesiFUNK line expands every year. What was once a small collection of fur coats, has grown to include cocktail dresses, ready to wear, and a swimwear collection and a series of clothes made for babies and small children.
Sheila, pronounced 'Shay-La' Rodriguez was born in Springfield, Massachusetts and raised in South Florida. Her parents are native Puerto Rican and moved her and her six siblings, one of which is her twin, to Florida when she was six years old. Early on, Sheila always had fashion in her life. Using paper dolls as models, she would draw her own clothing and tape the different outfits to the paper dolls. At age 7, Sheila received her first sewing machine. Unfortunately, for the budding designer, it was just a plastic toy model.

Sheila was very artistic, using drawing, painting and pottery to express her creativity. She began sewing while still in Elementary school. One of the first items she would make were simple pillows that were easy to sew by hand. By the time she reached middle school around age 12, she began asking for a real sewing machine. Having seven children, her parents could not afford to buy her the sewing machine she so desperately wanted. So one Christmas, her God-mother asked her and her siblings what they wanted. While her twin and other brothers and sisters asked for clothes, jewelry and bicycles, Sheila thought those requests were silly. She only wanted one thing, and that was the sewing machine that she still owns today.

Teaching herself to sew on her first machine at age 12, she already had dreams of attending the Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale. Sheila was so determined to attend this particular, school she did not waste time researching any other schools. She attended Deerfield Beach High School, where she began taking her first sewing classes. While in the ninth grade, she began creating unique fashions by turning boys athletic jerseys into cute sexy mini-dresses. Because of her unique fashion sense, she was often thought of as strange or wierd by her peers. Sheila just felt that she was being herself. Soon she began making most of her classmates' prom dresses. She was so talented that her instructor would allow her to make contracted pieces while in class. So she literally got paid to go to sewing class. Sheila received several awards for costume design for the clothing she made for the drama club used in school plays. She also belonged to FCCLA, a home economics club.
Life is of progress and so is fashion. Donít get caught wearing last seasonís trends.
– Sheila Rodriguez
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I really like the Italia the Beautiful article.
Hey RCH, I am so used to seeing my husband in work out gear, I wouldn't know how to act if he dressed up!
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Hey RCH, I like to see men in all black or men that know how to dress casual but still look well dressed. No sweats, throwback jerseys or sneakers. Ugh!

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