The daughter of a master tailor, Elizabeth St. John apprenticed in her mother’s workshop since the age of 5 and began designing as a child. Her mother would allow her to fashion the remnants and cuttings into her own creations- for her dolls- and unknowingly set the foundation for her recycled and eco-focused approach to designing from a very young age. She graduated from the University of Maryland with a degree in Environmental Studies, and worked on tropical rainforest conservation projects for over a decade before pursuing a fulltime career in fashion. In her spare time she launched her first collection of special occasion children’s dresses from her home studio, and over time she expanded her collection to include destination bridal and maids. “I felt there was a void in the bridal industry, Eco-Friendly and Glamour needed to come together” Says Liz, who officially launched the Elizabeth St. John Collections in the Spring of 2010. “It is a more refined bridal and eveningwear collection. It combines her flirty and feminine sense of style with classic elegance and contemporary glamour.” Rounding out her vision, the “Amore” collection of eco-friendly party dresses launched in the Fall of 2011…. It continues the philosophy of her couture bridal collection bringing together eco-friendly production with glamour and refined, modern looks at and price conscious pricing. Although she uses the most luxurious of fabrics, all aspects of her company are geared towards environmental sustainability: using natural, sustainable or 100% recycled materials; vegetable dyes; hand cutting & small batch production techniques; fair trade labor; and even producing zero waste concept gowns. Her office and production studio are committed to remaining in the USA, recycling and carbon offset and hope to be completely wind powered by early 2012. Although her natural talents are focused on fashion, her passion lies with poverty alleviation issues and the environment. In the past, she has worked on innovative projects for organizations such as the US Department of State, Conservation International, the American Petroleum Institute and the National University of Chile. She has volunteered her time and expertise for humanitarian, environmental, and relief efforts for several charities including: Project Esperanza, the US Parks Department, and the American Red Cross (New York, NY Chapter, for which she received a special service recognition award for her work at Ground Zero.) Further, ten percent (10%) of all profits from her Couture collections are donated to charities that do hands on work throughout the world including the American Women Veterans Association, The Capitol Breast Care Center, Orangutan Rescue, Wild Cat Conservation Alliance, WWF, The Nature Conservancy, Conservation International and Greenpeace. More recently, in 2010, Liz co-founded the Universal Strategic Services Foundation. The Foundation works at the crossroads of human needs and the environment. Her first two initiatives include the creation of Vocational Schools in Kabul Afghanistan & Port-Au-Prince Haiti where women will be taught life sustaining work skills and the launch of the Inclusive Solar Power project, which is aimed at providing long-term, clean energy to Sub Saharan Africa in order to foster economic growth and improve overall living conditions through micro-finance lending and job skills training. “Fashion not only makes us beautiful, but allows each of us to express our confidence and uniqueness.” says Liz, who strives to beautify women on their wedding day through her collections, and empower them every day– through her charity work. Currently, in addition to her Silver Spring Studio, her collections are available for purchase through authorized boutiques throughout the United States, Canada, Denmark & Sweden. Liz is a first generation American immigrant, and grew up in a multi-cultural home [Latin American-Albanian] outside Washington, DC. She speaks both English & Spanish to the native level, speaks limited Italian, French & Portuguese, and has traveled to over 360 cities in 25 countries.