Erin Healy is a Jacksonville native and self-taught fashion designer who lives and works in St. Augustine. Healy has a master’s degree in special education from Florida State University and taught for about five years before taking time off when she had her children. Then, in 2008, she launched Erin Healy Designs. Healy says she feels blessed to be doing what she loves for a living, as fashion is something that has interested her since she was young, and she loves seeing the smiles on her customers’ faces when they try on their custom-made or ready-to-wear pieces in her collection. Healy has three daughters and a cat named Coco (after Healy’s idol, Coco Chanel).
How did you get your start in fashion?
I started doing local trunk shows. It’s always been something I wanted to do. In high school, I started designing prom dresses. I met a local designer in St. Augustine and she introduced me to a pattern maker that worked for Betsey Johnson. I started working with them making one of a kind pieces and having local trunk shows. In 2011, I entered Miami International Fashion Week’s emerging designer competition and I was in the top three — so that really helped to catapult me into the next level of this very difficult business.
When did you officially launch Erin Healy Designs?
March of 2008, so it’s been seven years. I have a studio in St. Augustine and I also have a studio by appointment that I share in Jacksonville Beach.
What type of clothing does your collection include?
I do women’s apparel. I started out doing mainly dresses and then got into separates, but I still love doing dresses. I work with mostly prints that are imported from Europe — they’re all limited editions.
Where is your collection available?
I’m in A’propos Boutique in Ponte Vedra; Jaffi’s in Neptune Beach and here in St. Augustine, in Rochelle’s. I sell to high-end boutiques from Texas, over to North Carolina and down the southeast. I’m starting to sell online too.
What is it about this line of work that you find so compelling?
The creative aspect of it. I love the fabrics; I love to make women feel good. Nothing makes me happier than when they put on a dress that I designed for them custom-wise or it’s ready-to-wear, and they feel beautiful, they look beautiful and just to see them smile. I love that. It’s such a reward.
What do you do in your free time?
I’m a yogi. I enjoy running — anything outdoors. I like to swim, I like to be out in nature, and I love to travel.
When will you be unveiling your new collection?
The next event that you’ll be able to see the new collection is going to be at the BEAM charity fashion event for Sterling’s birthday party. The entrance is a toy or a book and a non-perishable food item. It’s Dec. 16 at the Casa Marina. Doors open at 6 p.m.
Is giving back to charity something you are passionate about?
Oh yes. I’ve done charities for Dreams Come True, Hubbard House, St. Jude, breast cancer, BEAM and many more. I am always wanting to do stuff for charity. I feel like I have a talent that I’ve been gifted with, and I want to be able to give back when I can.
I’m very thankful.