"If you truly believe with all your heart that you are meant to achieve something, then you will. You won’t mind the long hours spent striving. You will ignore the naysayers and listen only to the voice in your heart that says, “You can”. You will use whatever means is necessary to achieve the impossible. You will use every failure as a lesson, even the brick wall as a chance to jump higher."
Doug Wright

From the age of 9, I started designing clothing and drawing almost anything I could set my eyes on. I was introduced to my first sewing machine that summer and the thought of taking an idea and creating something out of nothing fascinated me.

In my elementary school years, I would go on to create Barbie Doll clothes from my old clothes, old sheets or any kind of fabric I could get my hands on. I would hand sew them and then trade them with my neighbor for her new store-bought, Barbie clothes. I had no idea I was building up to what would become a lifetime career for me.

In high school, my mom would put clothing on layaway at the beginning of the year that had to last the entire school year. Since the latest styles would come out throughout the year, I was pretty much out of luck keeping up with the trends. I started changing up my old clothes by adding trim, making major alterations and sometimes combing garments together.

By my senior year, I had no clue where I wanted to go to college until the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising came to my school. I had received most of the art scholarships that year including one to the Art Institute of Pasadena. After I saw that I could combine my two loves of fashion and art together at FIDM there was no doubt that this was the school I wanted to go to.

I graduated with a Fashion Design degree from FIDM and my next stop would have been my dream school, the “ Fashion Institute of Technology “ In New York. I had my mind set on graduating from there and traveling to Italy to work for top designers and eventually create my own clothing line. Little did I know I would end up getting married right after graduating design school, becoming a mom and having to put my dream career on hold.

I opted for a career as a pattern maker instead of a designer because at that time fashion designer jobs didn’t last as long as pattern maker jobs. They also required a lot of traveling and time away from home.

Long story short, we ended up moving to Texas where fashion design jobs and pattern making jobs were few to none. For over 20 years, I have always been blessed to find work or create my own but I have always wanted to finish what I started. To go back to the original dream and design my own line, see my designs in boutiques, on celebrities and on people around the world.

Just recently I decided to take a leap of faith. I was working as a designer at a manufacturer and got laid off. When my unemployment ended, instead of taking another job the Holy Spirit Spoke to me and said it’s your time. I basically dropped everything and decided to go all or nothing. I prayed to the Lord and asked him to take over and I would follow. I had to have faith in what God could do and not the situation that was in front of me. My situation was no job, with no income. I had no clue how I was going to do it but I didn’t worry about it. In turn, I became bold standing on my beliefs and trusted that God would lead the way. Lead the way he truly did. Doors started opening and an opportunity came up for me to submit my patent pending Illusion Boot designs (Leggings that look like you are wearing boots) to an agency to be considered as one of the featured designers during New York Fashion Week. I couldn’t believe my eyes when I received the news that my designs were selected! Within three months I was in New York for the first time in my life fulfilling my dream after 30 years. A faithful tither, I haven’t had to worry about money. The Lord has provided every step of the way. With help from my family financially and sales from my products I have been able to stay afloat financially. Recently another door opened, and I was asked to appear on Great Day Houston to show my patent pending Illusion Boot designs.

God is opening doors for me and my prayer is to get into boutiques across the county, get exposure and find investors to help take the ILLusion Boot Leggings worldwide.

Some would say I am crazy to start a company at my age (52) when others are retiring. Crazy to give up a job, steady income, but I would tell them they obviously don’t know my God. Never too old to go for your dreams. You can never fail if you never give up.


A Dream Deferred but not defeated –


Markina Smith, Changing fashion trends with her ILLusion Boot Leggings

Posted March 29, 2019
By Asha Smith