02/22/2011 "GSU alum takes on the fashion world" - an article from the GSU newspaper the "George-Ann"
Emily Bargeron, Georgia Southern University alumna and the creator behind Mamie Ruth Designs, has been promoting good style since a very early age.
“I found my first fashion icon at the age of eight. The colorful Punky Brewster inspired my wardrobe through my elementary school years,” she said, referencing the 1980s sitcom of the same name. “I was always making outfits for my Barbies and adding new things to my own outfits.”
Long before her arrival at GSU, the 2006 graduate had already left a fashionable mark on her tiny hometown of Louisville, Ga. Then known as “Bubbetty,” her company specialized in handmade pocketbooks and jewelry.
“I have been making jewelry since I was 14 years old,” said Bargeron.
12 years later, the fledgling Bubbetty has evolved into Mamie Ruth, and Bargeron’s collection not only includes jewelry, but clothing as well.
“I majored in fashion design at Georgia Southern. I knew that it was the field that I belonged in. I did my internship for a designer in Savannah and learned a lot about design from that experience.”
In 2008, Bargeron was asked to create jewelry for a fellow designer’s clothing line, which was being featured in Charleston Fashion Week. The next year, she decided to submit her clothing line for consideration in the event. It wasn’t long before Bargeron’s own creations were seen on South Carolina’s runways.
“When I got the opportunity to showcase my designs at Charleston Fashion Week, I gained exposure that would help me launch my career to the next level,” she said.
Eco-friendliness and awareness are also important to Bargeron. She includes the use of recycled vintage fabrics and jewelry obtained from thrift shops and flea markets in her works, along with environmentally-savvy fabric from beechwood trees. A portion of Mamie Ruth’s profits are given to children’s homes and orphanages throughout Africa.
Mamie Ruth’s designs for spring and summer 2011 feature authentic African prints and tribal fabric. Bargeron says that she enjoys variety.
“You have to constantly keep up with fashion trends while trying to manage the business side of things-marketing, sales, public relations, et cetera. Every day is different. There is no set schedule. One day, I may be traveling and then the next coming up with a new design. It never gets boring and keeps things exciting.”
For GSU students interested in pursuing a career in fashion, Bargeron offers a piece of advice.
“Don’t give up. It is a tough industry, but if it’s what you want, you will succeed. It takes a lot of work, a lot of time, and a lot of dedication. You must have the drive to get you through each day. Things aren’t always flowing at the speed of light, but there is always a new idea or design out there to be discovered.”
02/14/2011 Mamie Ruth graces the runway at the 'Sale Soiree' in Charleston, SC