When tragedies strike, you usually have two choices… make the most of it and move on or let it destroy you and your future. Fortunately for Linda Rowe Thomas owner of Romas By LRT she decided to move past her tragedy and pursue her first love fashion. Thomas’ journey hasn’t been easy because she has less to work with than most designers. She only has only a few fingers to work with after a house fired left her severely burned at the age of two. If no one else deserves the right to be the Best of the Best in Fashion of 2014, it’s Thomas because of her perseverance, classic design style and her ability to give back to children and adults who have experienced the same tragedy as she did.
Here’s her interview:
- How and when did you get started in your industry? – I started my business in 2001 after deciding to leave corporate America. After debuting at New York fashion week in 2010, my brand expanded greatly.
- What makes you different from others in your industry? – I am very proud of the fact that I still practice the true lost art of design. My pieces are still custom made by hand. I offer beautiful timeless pieces that I personally hand stitch and create.
- What are you most passionate about when it comes to doing what you do? – I’m definitely passionate about the artistic aspect of designing. I enjoy sketching, illustrating, and designs. I love producing quality garments that make the women feel beautiful.
- When did you have your ah ha moment and realize you were where you should be? – My ah ha moment came as I did my very first fashion show. There were no famous faces in the crowd and no reporters, but I saw my vision come down the runway and I just new it was where I belonged.
- Who are some of your role models (within your industry and outside of your industry)? – Oscar de la Renta, Valentino, and Versace
- Where do you draw your inspiration from? – I’m very inspired by the classic era of the 50’s. I love luxe and timeless classics.
- Where do you see yourself going in the next 3-5 years? – I plan to be more mainstream and available in major retail outlets.
- What has been your greatest comeback story? – My life is a comeback story! My mother was told that I probably wouldn’t have a great quality of life after I survived a house fire at the age of two and was left with missing fingers on one hand and all on the other. I can only give God credit for not only the miraculous turn about in my life but for the gift he placed in these unusual hands!
- How does what you do impact those around you? – I’m very grateful to inspire those around me by continuing to over my adversities. My non profit foundation, Designing Hope was created to aide burn survivors through mentorship, advocacy, education and scholarship programs. On my path to making history through my gift of design, it’s my goal to be an even greater gift to others.