Designer starts own clothing line, strives to make Green Country a destination for fashion

TULSA -- The fashion capitals of the world are found in some of the biggest cities, but Kenya Carter is creating her own apparel empire far from the hustle and bustle of big city life.

"When you love something like fashion in a city or a state that's not maybe known so much for that," she said, "then my mindset is to create it."

She's done exactly that by opening her own store called the K.Nicole Boutique, located near 41st and Peoria in midtown. She makes and sells her own line of clothing there that includes everything from scarves to sequined dresses.

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"Sometimes I'll veer away and make other things that I like," Carter said, "but, my first love, it's always been dresses."

Carter remembers her love of fashion coming at an early age when she used to play dress up in "pretty things." The childhood love of glitz and glamour, however, never seemed like it could lead to a job for a grown-up.

"I didn't know a fashion designer as a child," Carter said, "and so it was hard for me to envision myself as one."

She said she always struggled to find a career that seemed to fit all of her creativity, but something clicked when she worked as a hairstylist during Fashion Week in Miami and New York.

"I fell in love with the runway," Carter said. "I came back (to Tulsa) and said I have to try it."

During the last five years, she's sent several collections of her own down the catwalk, and now she dreams of seeing her dresses walk even more runways and red carpets.

"I'm patient. I'm eager. I'm creative and so I think it will (happen)," Carter said. "It will take a lot of hard work, but I'm up for it."

With that mission in mind, she keeps on designing, always striving to make her name, and possibly even Green Country's, a much bigger one in the world of fashion.

"I want to help people feel beautiful," she said. "I believe that already and so, when I can help, that's what it's all about."
 

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