Julia Rutland, executive director of The Gifted Gown, a non-profit organization dedicated to providing formal wear to her community, was born in Mansfield, Ohio. After her mother received a job offer, Rutland moved to Indianapolis, and has since called the Hoosier state her home, although she couldn’t resist expressing how she is still undoubtedly a “Cleveland Browns fan for life!”
Rutland spent her formative teen years attending and graduating from North Central High School, before briefly studying Anthropology at Ball State University. Although she never formally studied fashion, she stated how she “studied, read, watched, and immersed” herself in fashion her entire life, and credits her hands-on experience to teaching her the most about the industry.
When it comes to her proudest accomplishments as a business owner, Rutland described how creating something from nothing is what makes her the proudest. After realizing sitting behind the sewing machine wasn’t meant for her, she decided to combine her retail, customer service, marketing, public relations, and creative skills to develop Aesthetic Design Style House, which was her way of helping fashion designers and professionals develop and implement their ideas all the way through the sales process. Rutland is also a Co-Founder of PATTERN and has worn many hats throughout her time with the publication, with her most recent role being the Production Coordinator for StitchWorks. Although she has done much, her “labor of love” is the above mentioned non-profit, The Gifted Gown. Much like her venture with Aesthetic Design Style House, The Gifted Gown is dedicated to providing a helping hand, and being able to serve her clients is the reason she gets up in the morning.
As for Rutland’s inspirations in life, it is not surprising it is her family. Whether it be her daughters, her grandson, or anyone else, she expressed, “I want to make this world better for them in every way I know how.” They are what keeps her wanting to do more and create.
Luckily for Indiana, Rutland doesn’t plan on relocating her business. She loves being based here in Indiana, and loves the connections she has been able to build within the fashion community. Rutland stated how she is surrounded by the most “intelligent, creative, giving, talented, and resourceful people” she knows. Rutland does see her non-profit growing though, not only in Indiana, but beyond its borders to people who didn’t have access to its resources before. She stated how continues to see herself “deeply entrenched” in the fashion scene here in Indy, and will hopefully be able to hire more employees at The Gifted Gown, and grow it into something even greater.
To stay up to date with The Gifted Gown or learn a little bit more about them, follow their Instagram @thegiftedgown, and head to their website with this link https://www.thegiftedgown.org/