This creative group of artists and educators has a rich background of skills and experiences. They are linked by a love of fashion!
Their resumes are rich in international experiences, love of children, education, their communities and life.
We love fostering creativity and the Maker Mindset!
The proprietary methodologies, used in all our programs, helps budding fashionistas or tinkerers as young as 5y to explore and build on their creative confidence, empowering them to make their ideas a reality.
The team connection that began in Y2K has certainly stood the test of time! Joni and Priscila, also known as the Rocket Sisters, started off with unforgettable events like "FAM-OH-RAMA" in 2009 and the Highball Kids Runway Show in 2010. When Nancy met them at the luxboheme showroom in downtown, she joined right away and helped them host private fashion parties promoting local artists such as TJ. Horst and Paul Richmond.
Fast forward to 2017, when Priscila was invited to participate in ASD at Wickliffe Progressive School. She wanted to use fashion classes as a way to help kids combat bullies and build confidence, thus forming the seed of what would become Columbus Fashion Academy.
Two brave students signed up for our very first class - it was a blast and we've been running ever since! With some extra Barbie props added to real-life students, our first young fashion designers were born!
In 2022, we were proud to produce 11 amazing runway fashion shows with over 200 creative and inspiring students who had joined our educational programs. Our programs offered afterschool classes taught in multiple schools and various organizations including the Youth Programs at UA Rec & Parks and the Columbus Museum of Art. Hundreds of people attended our uplifting events.
Our Youth Program is both fun and empowering. An astounding 70% of our participants return for multiple seasons and it's so rewarding to watch them develop their skills and find their superpower!
Priscila Teixeira is the founder and force behind the Columbus Fashion Academy. She is a passionate educator and lifelong learner with a deep commitment to creating, empowering, and transforming lives through fashion and art.
Priscila is an experienced leader in fashion, culture, and community.
She strongly believes inpeople's potential for success and well-being when given respect, knowledge, chances and access to freedom, creative expression and critical thinking.
As a visionary, compassionate leader, positive energizer and connector, Priscila Teixeira is always ready to help students and her community develop and grow their knowledge and experiences.
She is also the founder and CEO of TalkingFashion Inc, the foundation behind CFA and the Head Coach behind the movement
"Wear What You Love Everyday".
Born in Sao Paulo, Brazil, Priscila is a multi-degreed fashion business and communications specialist. She has taken courses at many renowned fashion and art schools such as the Columbus College of Arts & Design (CCAD), the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT), the Parsons School of Design, and the Sotheby's Institute of Art, all in New York City.
Joni Mobley has been an educator and event producer for nearly 30 years, Joni's love of breaking down big concepts for young minds is one of her signature talents. In addition to STEM, her creative teaching approach focuses heavily on language, art and music immersion.
From 'Interpreting the Masters' art classes, Kid Zen mindfulness and self-care workshops, to songwriter mentoring at Oneness.org youth seminars, Joni embraces and validates each child's unique experience, skill set and interests.
Encouraging self-expression, communication and confidence while nourishing well-being in mind, body and spirit, are just a few of the ways she supports every child. Working with Priscila on fashion shows and events like FAM-oh-RAMA (a kids' Fashion.Art.Music immersion) are her all-time favorite collaborations.
Joni's finds her bliss in a room full of young people. When she can't have that, she seeks it in foreign lands, in the company of horses, kayaking, gardening, cooking with friends or curling up with a great book.
Nancy Smeltzer is a former journalist with international experience. Her passion is life stories of the people and events that shape communities.
To complement her storytelling, she began painting the pictures of these stories. Art became the perfect partner for the words she loved.
Today her work is a blend of the two.
She always had a love of fashion and found her perfect muse when she met Priscila Teixeira. They have shared many projects always with a fashion focus.
Today, Nancy has found an innovative warehouse full of exciting people to share her talents and continue to experiment and learn.
Milena Mitsuishi has worked for top global brands as a C-Level assistant for the last 25 years. She is used to working with different people profiles at the same time and loves a hectic environment.
She is very accurate, great attention to details without losing sight of the big picture. She is able to read the environment quickly helping on decision making. She handles all matters in a very professional way, proactively, anticipating issues and adjusting whenever necessary.
Milena is the one who keeps our students families files safe secured and organized. On top of supporting leadership on strategic projects; she keeps our creative team running straight.
Tate Havlovitz is an experienced portrait photographer and an aspiring filmmaker who has an interest in design, fashion, and cinematography.
He has held many diverse roles in film, including set designer, propmaster, cinematographer, and colorist. His directional debut won Best Young Screenwriter from the Chicago Script Festival.
As everyone else in the team, Tate contributes on many activities from documenting classes on camera to sewing or creating makeup art.