Designing a Successful Career

Tulsa Tech’s Interior Design program teaches students how to use design and drafting skills to create unique residential and commercial spaces. Students integrate various design elements, furnishings, and building materials to complete custom projects, as they build their individual portfolios and prepare to continue their education.

Vanessa Mattingly, a former Tulsa Tech Apparel Design student, has spent this year studying Interior Design, and working toward her goal of eventually owning her own clothing design business.


“I studied Apparel Design last year and I wanted to get more of the designing aspects,” Mattingly said. “I felt this would allow me to improve my design process, work with additional fabric swatches, and broaden my overall portfolio.”

Mattingly has already assembled an impressive portfolio, which includes everything from everyday wear to wedding dresses.

“Last summer I even made two different quilts,” Mattingly said. “This summer I have a project that involves making new clothes from older clothing, which people have kindly donated to me.”

The 2016 graduate of Owasso High School is talented and passionate, but equally important, she has plan for her path to success. Mattingly has already been accepted to attend a summer program at the prestigious Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising (FIDM) in Los Angeles, California, where she will have the opportunity to meet and work with some of the Institute’s top designers.

“I plan to attend Tulsa Community College and study business for the next couple of years, then I will apply to FIDM,” Mattingly said. “It’s very competitive, and requires a detailed application, a review of my portfolio, and the completion of a summer project assigned by the Institute.”

The busy seamstress does not spend all of her time designing and sewing; as an active member of Girl Scouts of America, Mattingly enjoys serving as a mentor to younger girls, encouraging them to follow their dreams and work toward their individual goals. Earlier this spring, she was recognized by the organization and chosen as one of the 2016 Juliette Low Scholarship recipients. Each year the Juliette Low Leadership Society, named after the founder of Girl Scouts, funds a variety of leadership programs and awards higher education scholarships for girls across eastern Oklahoma.

“I’ve been in Girl Scouts for 12 years,” Mattingly said. “Earlier this year I applied for the scholarship, which included writing two essays, along with an interview, and in April I was chosen as one of the 12 scholarship recipients.”

The young fashion designer is quick to answer when asked about the most influential people, and the most important mentors in her life.

“The most influential person in my life has been my dad,” Mattingly said. “He’s always there with me, helping me with my designs, he even taught me how to sew.”

As for her mentor, the individual responsible for her love of sewing, and the person who encouraged her to develop her talent?

“My biggest influence for sewing has been my great-grandmother,” Mattingly said. “When I was little, she had a business in her large attic, where she worked as a seamstress. Her attic had a large fabric room, with several sewing machines, and I enjoyed spending every day there.”

Vanessa Mattingly is another great example of the thousands of high school and adult students who are making their own path each day at Tulsa Tech.

“Every day I look forward to coming to class at Tulsa Tech,” Mattingly said. “It’s like a college-level class that allows students to explore different careers, and find out what they enjoy. It definitely helped me decide to continue my education, and pursue my career as a designer.”

If you’re currently looking for exciting classes for high school and adult students, quality customized corporate training, or wish to design a new career, Tulsa Tech invites you to visit today. For more information, please call 918-828-5000 or visit us online at

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