Taylor Fleming was one of four aspiring designers who won the My Social Canvas #Design4HerEducation scholarship contest. Sales of the designs will change in the lives of women and girls globally through access to quality education. Taylor’s design was selected by our incredible panel of judges: supermodel Christy Turlington, Women One Founder Dayle Haddon, Project Runway producer Desiree Gruber, Marie Claire Magazine's Editor in Chief Anne Fulenwider, actress Kelly Rutherford, Marie Claire Magazine's Erin Flaherty and designer Catherine Malandrino. Taylor is a driven and talented student at the University of Cincinnati’s School of Design.
What inspired you to participate in MSC’s #Design4HerEducation contest?
It was during my most recent internship where I met Lisa Mayer at Hillsong Church in NYC – she mentioned the design contest with My Social Canvas and WomenOne. I especially appreciated the cause behind the design challenge – we were not just prompted to create something beautiful, but to really think about the fact that these designs were to raise awareness and give others the opportunity to invest in the education of women around the world. It’s such a unique time culturally, where design and social media have become such incredible tools for shedding light on issues around us. Design contests like those that My Social Canvas sponsors can truly become a catalyst for change – I’m honored that I was chosen to play a small role in that.
What goals do you hope to achieve in designing a life and career you love?
I feel like my goals change so frequently – I am always discovering new things I want to pursue. I do know that wherever I end up establishing my career, it will have to be a large city – I love the density of cultures and the historical significance that are inherent within cities. I will be interning in Berlin, Germany this fall – I want to see if that may develop into a potentially more permanent position or perhaps lead to other opportunities abroad. My dream has always been to live somewhere in Europe, so I want to be sure to pursue that possibility as much as I can.
The most important thing to me is to always remain curious – I never want to settle for anything that doesn’t continually spark curiosity, whether that is the city I’m in, the people around me, or the career I’m pursuing. I’m excited to see what that will look like in the coming years!
What achievements are you most proud of?
I think that so far, my achievements are more like foundational stepping-stones. I look at different things I’ve been lucky enough to become a part of so far, and I’m excited about the opportunities that are ahead because of them. I’m most proud of the fact that recently I’ve been learning that it never hurts to ask. A lot of my favorite experiences have happened because I didn’t allow myself to get in my own way – I decided that the worst that could happen would be to either not get a response, or to receive an answer saying “no.” I think it’s such a valuable thing to remember when it comes to pursuing different opportunities ahead.
Rapid Fire Round:
Hobby: Hot Yoga. I love that the practice goes beyond just the workout aspect. It has really become an amazing reminder for me to live everyday focused and present.
Summer Anthem: So far, I’ve been almost exclusively listening to Empires by Hillsong United. The whole album is so incredibly good.
Favorite Book: Scary Close by Donald Miller – I’m a little more than half way through and I already know it’s a definite favorite.
Summer Beauty Tip: Embrace the natural. One of my favorite things about summer is that having a little sun on my face gives me an excuse to wear less makeup.
Ideal Afternoon: Every great afternoon for me begins at a cozy coffee shop. After sipping on a coffee, chatting with a friend, my ideal afternoon would be exploring a new part of whatever city I’m in. Observing people, walking around little neighborhoods and discovering new spots – I love it.
Summer Fashion Tip: I think more than any other season, people are really experimental with fashion in the summer. My tip would be to observe & look at others for inspiration – the more of a database you have to pull from, the more unique your style becomes.
Favorite Vacation Spot: San Juan, Puerto Rico – perfect beaches, great city.