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Leticia Guerra Cantu
Born in San Fernando Valley, A suburb of Los Angeles Calif., as a little girl Leticia Guerra sat and watched her Mother and Aunt sew night after night clothes for her cousins, sister and herself. Literally, even her bathing suits were homemade. From there, Leticia began sewing her own clothes when she was 10-years-old and has been fashion forward ever since. After graduating from McAllen High School in 1977, she attended Bauder Fashion College, a trade school dedicated to marketing and merchandising, interior design, fashion design, and modeling in Arlington, TX. Her two years of intense training as a fashion designer included drawing, draping, painting, tailoring, and designing her own patterns for her creations as well as her first taste of the fashion world with a costume designer internship at the Theater Three Company in Dallas, TX.
Immediately after her graduation from Bauder in 1979 with an Associate of Arts Degree in Design, she furthered her skills and career at Theater Three as a Costumer Designer and Stage Production & Set Designer for two years before returning to her hometown of McAllen, TX. In October 1981, she began a career as a Buyer and Merchandising Manager for Jones & Jones Specialty Store. It was to be a 15-year career that would teach Leticia the business side of fashion while taking her around the world selecting the finest high-end fashion to introduce to Valley clients. She managed every aspect of her trade by hiring, training, and supervising her staff while managing the daily activities of the sales floor. Leticia also promoted long-term planning with sales strategies, advancements, and inventory control. She also overlooked the advertising for her departments at Jones & Jones by producing editorials, print-work, commercials, telemarketing, and coordinating and modeling elaborate fashion shows throughout South Texas and Mexico.
In July 1996, Leticia retired from Jones & Jones after they closed there large store and there she realized her long time dream and opened her own Custom Couture Studio in McAllen, “Poise N’ Ivy”, officially establishing herself as a fashion designer while raising three children as a single mother. While armed with a pair of scissors as her weapon of choice and a staff of six seamstresses, Leticia custom-designed and sewed clothing for a never ending clientele of individuals who wanted wedding dresses, Quinceanera gowns, special event attire or just a finely tailored one-of-a-kind outfit. She would also be commissioned to provide all costuming for local theatrical productions and dance companies. She also used her skills gained from her experiences with Theater Three and Jones & Jones to add the title of Event Coordinator to her boutique allowing her to consult her clients regarding every detail of the special event as well as providing them with their specially made attire. During this period, Leticia created her own line of couture flower girls dresses. She produced and wholesaled her flower girl couture collection to unique bridal specialty shops and would attend bridal trade shows throughout the nation to market and sell her product to prospective clients.
In 2001, Leticia used her event coordinating skills to briefly enter the hotel industry at the historic Renaissance Casa de Palmas Hotel and Holiday Inn Express-McAllen Airport hotel as Director of Sales and Catering and on to General Manager. Her love for design drew her back to her field and in August 2003, she left to focus on her couture studio and on her new position as owner and publisher to The Valley Wedding Pages where she has remained ever since.
Since 2003, Leticia has expanded Poise N’ Ivy and The Valley Wedding Pages to include a website of the same name and a quarterly magazine publication, The Valley Wedding & Social Event Magazine, providing a service to brides, debutantes, Quinceanera girls, and hostesses across the Valley to find everything they need for their special event.
In 2005, she partnered with Tejano music star Bobby Pulido to create a line of Western wear designs for men and women’s shirts, pants, belts, hats, and boots etc. Leticia oversees every aspect of the business and travels extensively throughout Mexico to market their product. They currently have an office in Mexico City fully staffed to produce and distribute their product to over 150 stores in Mexico and their business website.
UTPA McAllen Teaching Site. Map!
September 13, 27th;
October 4th & 18th;
November 1st & 15th (alternate Saturdays)
$ 1300 per person.
Tuition includes course, online curriculum, online student center, wedding and event planning software, textbook, and certificate exam fee.
Participants will plan real events under the instructor’s direction during the course.
No Prerequisites required.