Field hockey and fashion, the classic combo you know! It is just like peanut butter and jelly.
Sophomore Kelly Westervelt does not just play field hockey here at Montclair State University. Although starting midfielder is something she can add to her resume, this sophomore has talents that go far beyond Sprague field.
Westervelt is a fashion design and merchandising major.
Why you might ask?
“When you create clothes, it’s something you have that no one else does,” Westervelt said. “Sewing is my way of relaxing, it’s my way of doing something fun.”
Her field hockey career started in third grade and just a year later, she found her passion for hand sewing. Who knew that an innocent love for crafts could take you so far?
This newfound passion of hers led Westervelt to take classes at BOCES, a trade school in New York, along with the normal, everyday, high school workload.
“It was there I learned how to pattern make,” Westervelt said. “And that made me want to do it in the future.”
Balancing schoolwork, field hockey and the mere fact of being a teenager can be hard, but time management was and still is, the key to her success.
You might be wondering what her favorite item to make is. Sweatshirts are the easy answer since she can make them as big and comfy as she would like to. Looking ahead, her main focus in the future will be clothes and accessories. Accessories make everything better if you did not already know.
“I love purses,” Westervelt said. “Purses and shoes.”
After graduation, Westervelt has many ideas of what she would like to do with her degree. The hopes to become a tech designer who creates patterns and blueprints, a model fitter for runway shows or even start a brand of her own are at the top of her mind.
Westervelt is not someone who waits around for opportunities to find her. Westervelt made 1,000 masks during the COVID-19 pandemic to donate. Along with that, she sold Mickey Ears and other items on Etsy.
Westervelt creates and wears most of her own clothes including this one-of-a-kind Cruella Deville jacket.
On the field, this girl’s weapon of choice is a field hockey stick but when she is at home, a simple pencil will do the trick.
“Sketching is more of a do it when I’m bored,” Westervelt said. “I either draw it when I see it or I make something random when I get the urge to sew.”
Some projects are simple and can be done within hours. Others take careful planning like the Cruella Deville jacket.
It took Westervelt about two weeks to create the jacket, and she worked on it for an hour or two each day.
A t-shirt memory quilt was Westervelt’s longest project, despite what you may think. It took her three weeks of class time to finish during high school. Not only that but it was also her most difficult project to date. Each shirt had a different size design which made it difficult to arrange on the quilt.
Westervelt will soon be a name known to all. Keep your eyes peeled, because this 19-year-old is just getting started.