Doing What You Love with Designer Kari Schoeneck

Designer Kari Schoeneck went from the Midwest to New York City and lived out every aspiring designer’s dream. But her passions eventually brought her to San Diego. Risen interviewed Schoeneck in 2012 and talked with her about how she decided on design and the importance of pursuing your passions.


Schoeneck opens up about how she went from wanting to design for the masses to being more focused on individuals.


“That’s hard because initially when I was going to school I thought I was going to be so commercial and design for the masses, and that everything I made was going to be really wearable. But there is something about the corporate way when you get into that, that you don’t have much say in the final product because everyone along the way has their very specific steps that they are working on. You don’t get to always to it yourself and have your own concept to finish. I realized then that I wanted more control in the whole process and the reason why I got into design was because I loved making things – that is what really gets me excited. To take that part away from me just wasn’t going to happen. I think now I’m moving more into the artistic side of things where I have a client and meet one-on-one with them; I’m learning about their personality, learning about the whole package and then translating that to clothes.”


For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place, when I was woven together in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be. Psalm 139:13-16


Schoeneck shares her encouragement about the importance of pursuing your passions.


Well, it’s tough out there now; it’s hard. But I feel like if you have the drive to do it, you can do it. Don’t let ego get involved because you see that so much in fashion-especially people that go to school for fashion. They don’t really have desire to learn about the basics behind making clothing and learning how to sew. They just think that someday when they are a big designer they will hire someone to sew for them. But people that don’t know how to sew don’t make great designers because people actually have to get in and out of your clothes and they have to be able to wear them, not just look at them on the hanger. I think that just really being open to learn and to take from people that have experience in it and learn from their mistakes [is important] so you don’t have to make them.”


Risen Reflections

Remember the ultimate designer. It is easy to get caught up in the culture of name brands, having the right clothing and feeling like you have to look perfect. Take time this week to thank God for making you the way He created you. If you are having a hard time, ask some close friends or you can even share as a family or small group attributes that you appreciate about one another. Instead of comparing yourself to others, be grateful for how God uniquely created you. A fun thing to do is have each person write their name at the top of a paper and then pass the paper around and have others write things anonymously. Then, when you are having a discouraging day, you can take that piece of paper out and reflect on all the things others appreciate about you.


Pursue your passions. Whether you are a high school student, college graduate, or in a mid-life crisis, we often ask the question, “What is my purpose?” God has entrusted each of us with time, talent and treasure. He wants us to use those things to glorify Him. We often get side-tracked by day-to-day duties and activities. Take time this week to pray and ask God to show you your passions. Sometimes this can be a difficult thing to do as we have pushed them aside to make a paycheck, do what our parents want us to do, or what the culture around us deems acceptable. Pray for direction and guidance in living out God’s will for your life.


Weave your faith into what you do. You don’t have to be a full-time missionary to be able to share Christ with others. God wants us to tell those around us about Him and how they can have a relationship with Him. It could be your friends, family, neighbors, classmates or even a complete stranger. Pray and ask God how you can share your faith as you go about your day. It might be adjusting your attitude so that your co-workers wonder why you have so much joy or it might be operating with integrity even when others don’t.


To read our entire interview with Kari Schoeneck, click here.