At a very young age, Donna Morris had the desire to become a great fashion designer. Donna started sewing as a little girl after her mother taught her and her sisters how to sew by hand. Donna immediately began making fashionable clothes for her dolls. The 8th grade part of Donna’s school curriculum included sewing. Well, Donna really took a liking to sewing in school. Each of the designer projects Donna’s teacher gave her to sew; an apron, a skirt or even a jump suit, Donna continued to receive high marks for her designs. In Donna’s 10th grade year, her parents bought Donna her very first sewing machine. It was a Singer® sewing machine in a desk cabinet. She was so excited and it instantly became the most important thing to her.
Donna kept the machine for six years, designing all types of innovative fashions. In 1973 she traded it in for a newer model, the “Touch and Sew” Singer® sewing machine, and to her delight, it did button holes. This aided Donna in expanding her fashionable designs. Donna put in a bid for a sewing contract in 1989 for a church choir competition. Donna was well organized and prepared for the task ahead, anticipating the order. She won the bid to sew 27 dresses, 11 cumber buns, and 11 bow ties. Donna began her project with ease, inspiration and creativity. Donna continued to design fashionable garments well into her adulthood. Knowing that her attire was her business card, Donna made certain that the suites, dresses and formal wear she wore were flawless. Donna experienced the joy of designing fashionable doll like garments for her young daughters and continued designing as they grew into beautiful young women. People would ask where she found such fashionable outfits. Upon letting them know she had sewn the outfits, they would ask Donna to design an suit or evening gown for them and she accepted. Each garment Donna made was tailored to not only compliment her clients figure, they were creatively made with fine details to reflect each person’s style, making each garment as unique as her clients were. Her client base grew through word of mouth and Donna found herself very busy.
To expand her business ventures, Donna pulled from her prior experience in fashion and modeling Donna worked closely with many local designers displaying her expertise and creating a strong name for herself in the fashion world. Donna has worked closely with Max Factor, Posner and Lancôme’ Paris. She studied at John Robert Powers and went on to teach at Barbizon Modeling and Acting Center. Donna groomed her students on etiquette, she gave them the keys on how to successfully market themselves and helped them realize their potential. Donna not only taught modeling, she provided her students a pathway towards becoming successful in life
Donna expanded her fashion designs and began creating beautiful wedding gowns. They were graceful works of art with fine details, elegant lace, intricate beading and luxuries fabrics. Brides from across California quickly took notice and booked appointments with Donna, eager for her to design the most important dress they would ever wear. Donna’s success continued. She opened her own business and two weeks later Donna accepted a contract from Nordstrom’s to have her product in 85 of their stores, spanning from California to Arizona. Donna not only succeeded in the retail world, she also succeeded in achieving the dream she had as a little girl. Sewing and creating new fashion designs has been such an intricate part of who Donna is and now she has cultivated her passion into Elise Couture. If you asked Donna what she loves about fashion, she will joyfully tell you, “I love elegant, feminine fashion apparel. I love seeing women dressed elegantly from head to toe and carrying themselves with an air of confidence. Beauty
starts on the inside. One facet of expression is fashion. This is the driving force behind my company.
This is who I am, Elise Couture.”