Style Summit fits women's goals, fashion sense

Local fashion designer Jen Rocket from Highland Park with some of her designs at her studio on Thursday August 9, 2012.
Local fashion designer Jen Rocket from Highland Park with some of her designs at her studio on Thursday August 9, 2012.
Photo by Sidney Davis | Tribune-Review
JoAnne Klimovich Harrop
| Tuesday, Oct. 9, 2012, 9:05 p.m.

Up your glam factor by attending the Style Summit.

This promises to be a stylish Saturday as participants learn from local fashionistas, photographers and stylists who will be part of fashion presentations and offer style tips.

“I love to do events like this,” says designer Kiya Tomlin. “Sometimes fashion is considered only superficial, but there is a lot of background that goes into fashion, and I like to teach about fashion. It is wonderful.”

The event will be hosted by Propelle, an organization founded by Carrie Nardini of Brookline, Emily Levenson of Mt. Lebanon and Kate Stoltzfus of Garfield.

The name Propelle signifies taking flight. The trio considers themselves “co-pilots, in helping female entrepreneurs take flight,” Nardini says

“For someone like me, this event is perfect, because I could use these experts to help me style myself,” says Nardini, founder of I Made It! Market, a nomadic, indie-crafts marketplace.

Levenson, a blogger with a knack for social media and website design, says there has been buzz about the summit. The goal is to make it an annual event with different topics each year.

“We strive to do events that help women entrepreneurs, because we saw how the three of us have helped each other with ideas, and we want that kind of energy and support for other women,” Levenson says. “It is really cool to watch how women support each other and connect with one another, and we wanted to have an event like the Style Summit to help them do just that. That excites us.”

They hope for 60 to 75 attendees, says Stoltzfus, a massage therapist and digital strategist whose blog is This event is open to anyone, she says. There will be formal classes and mini-style-tip presentations.

“There will be interactive styling throughout the room, and you can get a professional (photo) done, as well as massages and makeup,” says Stoltzfus, who is working on a project to interview 100 Pittsburghers in their 20s and 30s who are doing interesting things. “It's a fun and accessible way to get to know so many women from so many different businesses. We can all learn from each other.”

Designer Jen Rocket from Highland Park will give a presentation on the importance of proper garment fitting. The woman who creates everything from bear costumes to bridal gowns says she was drawn to Propelle because it helped her meet others similar to herself. She is the type of artist who is most at home working in her studio. The organization has helped her grow her business.

“I want to help women, and this event will be a good way to do that,” Rocket says. “And with Pittsburgh just having finished hosting Fashion Week, I think the style summit is a good followup to that. I like to help a woman with a garment that accentuates her curves. You can have the most beautiful garment, but if it doesn't fit properly, it won't look right. So I am here to help. And there will be many other women at this event willing to help, too.”

JoAnne Klimovich Harrop is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at or 412-320-7889.

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