Bachelor of Fine Arts in Fashion Design from the Illinois Institute of Art at Chicago, graduation with honors
Continuing education through and Pluralsight

Technical Computer Skills
High Proficiency in Adobe Illustrator CC
Above Average Proficiency in Adobe Photoshop CC, InDesign CC, Acrobat CC, & Lightroom CC.
Knowledge and basic ability in other Adobe Creative Cloud Applications.
Experience in several CAD Pattern Making Software Programs including Gerber, Cameo and Tukatech.
Experience in Embird Embroidery Design Software.
Ability to work in a MAC or PC environment.  
Ability to quickly and accurately learn new software applications.

Technical Hand Skills
Sewing, bead work, embroidery, painting, jewelry, cut paper art.  I'm a ninja with an exacto knife or a pair of scissors.

Professional Experience

Freelance Designer 2011-Present
Rachel has taken on several freelance design projects, including product designs that are sold in Michael's, Target, and other major retailers.  She has a passion for helping bring other's vision to life through great design.

Embraced Apparel Inc. 2016-Present
Co-Founder, Creative Director
Co-founded with her husband Ted Alvia, a graduate of The Founder's Institute.  A new apparel brand that focuses on Embracing your unique self and beauty through customized wedding and formal apparel products.

Avail & Company, Avail Couture 2006-Present
Co-Owner, Lead Designer
Custom bridal and formal gowns designed and created one on one for each customer.  Rachel started doing this in high school for her friend's prom dresses.  So her skills in formal gown design really span back almost 20 years, however, in 2006 she turned her side projects into an official business.  It really took off when her husband stepped in as Co-Owner in 2011 to help with the business development.  Since Ted joined the team, they have shipped beautiful custom gowns to brides all over the world and Rachel has become a highly sought after custom bridal designer.  They also ran a local bridal boutique from 2012-2017 in downtown Evanston, IL.  Rachel has sewn thousands of gowns herself, and has also led local and over seas teams to produce thousands more of her designs.

Eevah, Bizpins Inc. 2006-2011
Senior Product Designer & Creative Director
A small promotional products and jewelry company, Rachel served as the senior product designer, leading junior designers and interns.  She was also responsible for all creative direction in the business including product, catalog, trade show booth, advertising and photography.

Fibre-Craft Materials Inc. 2003-2006
Product Designer
Rachel's first full-time job out of college, she started in the dolls department designing dolls and doll clothing.  Her team was later promoted to work on other craft kits and foam products.  She also worked with the other designers on the team on style guides and trend research.

New Creative Enterprises & The Square Nest 2001-2003
Showroom Manager
While in college, Rachel managed two gift and home product showrooms in the Merchandise Mart in Chicago.  This is where she initially fell in love with the idea of designing products other than apparel, and started to explore new avenues of design.

Other Interesting Facts About Rachel's Career
Her first job was at the local Jo-Ann Fabrics in her home town.  Her least favorite jobs were as a laborer on her father's construction crew, and also as an RA in college.  She was once a telemarketer for 15 minutes before quitting due to feeling morally wrong.  She had a brief stent in reality TV that lasted about 3 minutes on one episode of one major network show.  Rachel's true dream job is to be a stand-up comedian, however, she would also settle for a fortune cookie writer.

Volunteer Positions
When volunteering, Rachel enjoys working with youth programs.  She has been a weekly group leader, as well as a youth trip leader and summer camp counselor for several organizations.  She has worked with youth that are elementary through high school aged.  Rachel enjoys working with youth because they are uninhibited in their creativity and imagination, which offers a fresh perspective on life.  She also enjoys the journey of watching young people learn and grow into the unique people they are.

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