Lora Lopas | Elsie’s Studio

Artist Bio

Lora learned to sew at a young age from her Nana and Mom.  She did a few projects here and there for friends and by 9th grade was out-sewing her home ec teacher, while students were making pillows, she made a blazer.  Her dream was to be a fashion designer, but she didn’t want to go into massive debt to attend a specialty college so Lora did not follow that dream.  After graduating from Prescott High School Lora didn’t sew much until moving to Memphis, TN, and working with Andre at the Theatre of Memphis doing costuming until she had her first daughter, Audrey.  She did some sewing at home for friends and family during this time of raising a family and after her 2nd daughter, Mallory was born, moved back to Prescott, Arizona. 

In Arizona did real estate sales and very little sewing until her daughters left the nest and now Lora is like a Phoenix rising from the ashes starting her sewing and designing career once again.  Her passion has developed into upcycling wearables and her most recent project was a dress from men’s ties worn at the Miss Yavapai Pageant in the Fall of 2021.  As Lora transitions out of real estate into full-time sewing and designing, she is looking forward to meeting new customers and exploring where her talents and creativity take her.   She calls sewing her “therapy” and it is how she destresses after a busy day selling homes and drafting contracts.  

In 2022 she plans on devoting over half her time to sewing and designing and moving out of her dining room and into a full sewing studio.  Lora and her new husband, Greg Porterfield, moved to Paulden, AZ last year and own 8 acres where they plan on raising Kinder Goats and other animals and gardens to be as self-staining as possible in their new life together.  Her dream is to design, sew and live quietly on their farm.  Lora takes design direction from the thrift store finds she collects and organizes according to colors, and lets the fabric nudge her into an artistic direction based on what it is now and what it wants to become. 

She hopes to have her one-of-a-kind upcycled clothing and accessories in one of the boutiques in Downtown Prescott by May of 2022.  

Artist Statement

My art comes from my moods and what textiles I am working on.  I have always been known to dress in a different style from western to hippie to a suit and heels.  Growing up we did not have much money (a family with 6 kids is always kinda broke!) and I have always loved going to thrift stores and bringing a new life to an old piece.  

I like to go with the flow, and that is how my art is created also.  I may not touch a piece for months, waiting for the right last bits to show up or get discovered, sometimes in my own stash of materials, sometimes in walking around a thrift store or rummaging through my own closet.  I never know when inspiration is going to strike!  Sometimes a piece of fabric or an old coat just feels like it is screaming out to me “I want to be a hat!”  or “I want to be a dress” and I feel like I need to make that happen.  Sometimes it is just the way something is draped on a hangar that inspires me.  

Having the freedom to follow my moods and creativity brings me peace and joy and I hope that those who buy and wear my creations feel that same peace and joy.