I couldn't be more thrilled about today's guest Inside the Design Studio! Andrea Bonner is one of those people I feel like I met as soon as I came to Houston. She was the Regional Director of Fashion Group International and helped to connect me to the burgeoning fashion scene here in Houston.
10 years ago...
Through the years, Andrea has been a client, colleague, and most importantly a friend. We've had many shared experiences from our work on various task forces and educational committees to teaching at Interlochen in Michigan in the summers. Andrea is one of the most stylish and fashionable people I know. She has an innate ability to spot a gem and make it shine.
Hopefully, you'll love getting to know her as much as I have in the 10 years that we've know each other. I'm grateful to have her in my life and can wait to see where she takes the future of Fashion in Houston with her role at Houston Community College!
Tell us about yourself!
I am the Chair of Consumer Arts and Sciences at Houston Community College. Our division consists of Fashion Design, Fashion Merchandising, Culinary and Pastry Arts, and Hospitality Administration. I began working at HCC as an Adjunct Professor in Fashion Merchandising in 2013 and became full-time in 2016.
I worked in healthcare marketing and sales for most of my career before following my true passion and starting my own Styling and Image Consulting Business. I gained retail experience working part-time for companies like Pottery Barn, Foley’s, and Victoria’s Secret and retail management experience working for upscale jewelry boutique, J. Landa. I also have experience as a fashion writer, haven written most notably for Tyra Banks’ now debunk, fashion website, Type F.
Growing up, I loved fashion but never considered doing anything with it as a profession. I studied Business Administration Management and Marketing in undergrad, and after working in the fashion industry and fashion education, I got my Masters Degree in Fashion Business Administration.
I love being an educator and watching our students go on to do great things in their respective industries. My colleagues at HCC and the students that we educate have given me more joy than any job I’ve ever had. I love to travel and look forward to doing more it when things get back to somewhat normal.
How has COVID-19 affected you?
Houston Community College converted the remainder of their semester to an online learning environment after Spring Break so although challenging, students and instructors have been resilient and finished out the semester strong. It has also given me the time to reflect now more so than ever on the truly important people and things in my life.
What have you enjoyed about this time home with family?
The workday is busier than ever, but without an event to zip off to every day, I have really enjoyed just slowing down my pace. I’ve also really enjoyed cooking and baking a lot (which I’ve probably done more of than I’ve ever done in my life, J ).
What is your most-used emoji?
The laughing emoji - I use it a million times a day.
What was the worst haircut you ever had?
I tried to give myself a relaxer (hair straightener) a few years ago and I left the chemicals on my hair too long. Let’s just say that I went from an ear-length bob to a pixie cut when my hair fell out.
Who was your childhood actor/actress crush?
Phillip Michael Thomas from Miami Vice. He was my husband (in my mind).
What’s the most embarrassing fashion trend you used to rock?
Acid washed overalls in the late ’80s.
You have your own late-night talk show; who do you invite as your first guest?
President Barack Obama.
If a movie was made of your life what genre would it be, who would play you?
Comedy & Issa Rae
You have to sing karaoke, what song do you pick?
Rapper’s Delight by The Sugar Hill Gang (I said a hip-hop…)
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?
“Kill Them with Kindness”
When you die, what do you want to be remembered for?
That I was a good teacher, a great friend, that I was able to make people laugh, and that I was thoughtful.
What would the title of your autobiography be?
"Whew…. What a Ride!"
What was the worst job you ever had?
Telemarketer selling The Disney Channel Subscriptions.
Which band/artist-dead or alive would play at your funeral?
What’s your favorite place of all the places you’ve traveled that feels like home and is not where you currently live?
New York City. I love the energy of the city and have had some pretty memorable moments there.
What’s one thing we don’t know about you?
I used to sing in my cousin’s girl group - Trezur.
If you could choose any person from history to be your imaginary friend, who would it be and why?
Nina Simone – because I admired her artistry and activism equally.
What is your favorite curse word?
The F*#! Bomb.
What profession other than your own would you like to attempt?
Fashion Magazine Editor or a Bakery owner
What is your idea of perfect happiness?
Spending time with friends and family over good food, a great cocktail, and lots of laughs. OH – and a shopping spree at 31 Rue Cambon in Paris ; )
What is your greatest fear?
My greatest fear is to look back in regret, not having done something in my life because I was too afraid to take the risk.