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Article - Scholarship recipient has designs for success

Scholarship recipient has designs for success

UNL student says Roar Clothing donor is helping her create a dream career.

Posted: mar, feb 25, 2014

Remember this name:

Sophie hines.

You may see it on your underwear someday.

"People ask me what I do and I say, ‘I make underwear.'"

She laughs.

"It ‘weirds' most people out."

Pretty things are the passion of Sophie Hines, a UNL junior who designs and sews her own line of lingerie and loungewear and is growing her own online business.

You can find her designs on etsy.com or sophiehines.com. Her label says "Sophie hines" – the "h" is lower case. People love her stuff. She's earned five out of five stars on etsy.com and reviews like these:

I LOVE this girl. She's an awesome designer and makes my underwear exclusively. YES …

Hines has a creativity that is completely her own. Thanks Sophie! …

Was even prettier than expected. Thank you Sophie!

You can find her in front of her sewing machine in her pink and white studio apartment south of UNL's City Campus. The light from a big south window shines on her pretty face.

She's a workaholic. There's no place she'd rather be, unless it's Fashion Week somewhere, than sitting at her machine with pins in her mouth, silk or some other awesome fabric at her fingertips and pop music blaring on her laptop.

It's usually just her and her female mannequin, whose name is Charlie.

"I work usually through the night. It's just a lot of sewing."

She started sewing when she was 3 years old. She made clothes for her dolls. In high school at Lincoln Southwest, she'd keep her sewing machine in her locker and sew on the floor of the hallway whenever she could.

At 15, she and her best friend started a business selling their clothes to local boutiques. They also had a booth at the Farmer's Market, where they hauled their clothes each Saturday, along with Charlie the Mannequin, who blew over a lot and that's why she looks a bit abused.

Charlie stands in the shadow of Sophie's place, in her usual state, naked.

Sophie walks over and slips a dress of vintage lace onto Charlie's body. The dress has a gray velvet ribbon on the front that Sophie found in Paris. On her wall near the front door, she's hung a map of Paris.

She studies fashion and business at UNL. She studies French. She'd love to work in Paris someday. Or New York.

She spent last summer in New York as an intern for the sportswear and lingerie company VPL. She learned all about how a small company is managed, and that will help her when she starts her own line. She's busy right now working on that.

Sophie Hines is also a grateful scholarship recipient – one who's happy to take a break from her machine this afternoon to tell her donor how grateful she is for his support. And the scholarship:

The Buckle-Roar Clothing Scholarship.

A clothing maker and entrepreneur from California is the man behind the gift.

The man's company is called Roar Clothing. It does a lot of business with The Buckle, a retailer based in Kearney, Neb. Because of that bond, the man wanted to give something back to the The Buckle's home state. So he created the scholarship.

The scholarship has made it so much easier for her, she says. It's given her the time beyond classes to get her business off the ground and to sew.

It helped her get to go to college in the first place.

Three years ago, she says, there was some mix-up with her mom's bank account, right as the financial aid folks were checking it to determine eligibility. Some money had been put in there by mistake, and it disqualified Sophie. She and her mom didn't know how they'd pay for school. Then a professor told them about the Buckle-Roar Scholarship.

She applied for it. She won it.

She remembers the day.

"That was awesome. It was like – 'Now I can go to school!'"

She remembers the donor's name:

Mr. Deepak Vasandani.

Sophie Hines says she can't thank him enough for helping her.

Helping her design her dream.

"I just wanted you to know," she says, "that without you, it would not be possible."

Student Support is one of the top priorities of the Campaign for Nebraska, now in its final year. If you also would like to help promising students like Sophie reach their dreams, please consider giving online or contact the foundation at 800-432-3216.

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