We had the good fortune of connecting with LaRae Wilson and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi LaRae, putting aside the decision to work for yourself, what other decisions were critical to your success?
The single most important decision I made was to never give up on my dreams and to never let ANYONE stand in my way even if that person is ME.

Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
My brand is now a business and it’s ever evolving with me. The final destination is still unknown, but the journey is where the beauty and artistry is. My first career was in the education industry. I did everything from teaching students, training principals to building schools and supporting over 100 schools as an education specialist to a FASHION DESIGNER over 15 years ago.I found myself very successful but super sad everyday going to work. I knew there was more to my life, so I prayed to God, I mean I had a really sit down conversation with God. I asked, “where my life was going and why I was dreading my daily grind”. I listened for a response and immediately I had visions of a clothing line. I didn’t sew or have a sewing machine at the time, so that was just a little unsettling. Many nights on YOUTUBE learning to sew. I produced a ready to wear line that got noticed during LA Fashion Week. I won a reality competition fashion show, (sadly it never aired) and was featured designer on runways across the US. It wasn’t that simple, but it kinda was that simple. I had success with fashion, but later made the leap into Costume Design. I had made another scary life changing fork in the road. I had several people telling me to stay in fashion and just keep building, what I had started. But, I was feeling led to move another direction. So I costumed a small short, “Awful Pretty” for $250. It was a WILD experience, I designed a couple custom gowns, we had bloody scenes and a child actress actually vomited on me. I WAS IN MY HEAVEN!!! The pace is insane on a movie set, but my problem solving, sewing and creativity skills are right at home on set. I have been the Costume Designer on over 50 projects, including international projects in Lima, Peru. I fell in love with the movie industry so much that during the Covid-19 Pandemic I wrote and produced a feature film, “Social Disturbance” a psychological thriller. It was a labor of love from me and the entire team. We are looking to release “Social Disturbance”, Summer 2021. The art and business are ever changing and growing, and I thank God for that!!

Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
My favorite places to go in Southern California is the beach! I would go on a beach tour, we would start at Bolsa Chica with the fire pits, go to my favorite private beach, Sunset Beach. Venice Beach would be on the tour with some fun shopping for some local artisan creations. The beach in Long Beach is the only 24 hour beach that I am aware of, so to end with that beach with a nice drink and view of the “oil rigs’ (LOL) would be amazing. Beside California beaches I like thrift shopping!!! There are limitless places and cities you can go to find gently used treasure.

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
My entire family have let me use our house as a sewing factory, and a movie studio; they have all been roped into the business in one way or another. But, my husband Earl is my rock and I couldn’t live this “dream life” without him.

Website: www.mainstagecostumes.com

Instagram: laraemycheldesigns

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutLA is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.