© 2019 by Carly Hayes Mankowski 

I have been invested in design since Day 1 having grown up in a house with creatives. It was only fitting that I too would walk down that path one day. My first real passion, and what I thought would be my end all be all, was Fashion Illustration. I quickly learned at the Fashion Institute of Technology that although my illustration game was strong, bedazzling sweatshirts and altering mens t-shirts into dresses was not going to be enough to get through 4 years as a Fashion Design major, so we broke up, and it was devastating. I went back to my roots and whipped up a design portfolio, while tying up (or sewing up, I should say) the loose ends I still had in the Fashion Design program. There I started a new journey as a Communication Design major which then led me to getting my Bachelor’s degree in Packaging Design. I discovered new interests that I probably never would've come across, like branding, graphic illustration and copy writing. Combining all of these skills, quite literally created the perfect package for me. 

 

I went on to working in design agencies focusing on branding and packaging mainly in the food and beverage categories like Stoli vodka and Oreo cookies, which was pretty reminiscent of my college years. On the side, I had been developing a portfolio and a love for nail art which lead me to my next career move at Sally Hansen. To combine my two passions was a dream come true.  I started as a freelance designer focusing on packaging and merchandising to then overseeing all assets of the brand from a global creative perspective. I then truly understood what it is I love about this industry and what I want for myself in it. Concepting, designing and art directing has officially become the passion I have been wanting to land on. There is no better happy place for me then on set at a shoot surrounded by other creatives seeing a vision come to life. That is the perfect job and yet it doesn’t feel like one (it also doesn’t hurt when you get to travel).

 

I am now also a licensed nail artist, which allows me to take a break from the computer and work with my hands, literally. My company name is NAMI, which is a nickname my parents have called me since I was little.  The best part is doing nails for New York Fashion Week because one way or another I was going to get my work down that runway!

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