This week’s Life in the Spotlight is a man making a difference not only through his practice of law but also in the fashion industry. While the two professions might seem a bit of an odd combination, Mark Roscoe manages to perform both in a way which allows him to give back to the community and to others, while allowing him to pursue his passions every single day.
A graduate of Valparaiso University School of Law, Mark has worked as an attorney at law in the Valparaiso community for thirty-three years. He focuses on family law mediation and finds inspiration in his job in helping people to get through difficult times.
“Seeing them resolved, at a place where they can begin healing, that’s my inspiration,” Mark says.
On the other hand, about fifteen years ago Mark began his journey that led to the creation of Mark Roscoe Design. Mark’s mother was a plus sized woman, and finding clothes that fit her well was a difficult task. Feeling bad for his mother and wanting to help her, Mark purchased a sewing machine and began to create clothing that not only fit her but flattered her as well.
“Every woman should have access to garments that fit well. Every woman should be able to feel beautiful. That’s our mission,” Mark says.
Soon his mother’s friends began to notice Mark’s talent for design and they began to come to him with requests for their own garments. Mark Roscoe Design grew organically from there, and today it is very much alive and thriving in the industry.
Everything Mark creates for Mark Roscoe Design is custom made with no repeats ever occurring in fabric or design, in order to provide women with truly unique clothing that speaks to them individually and allows them to stand out. That attention to the individual and the sincere emotion behind each garment Mark creates allowed for a very natural yet significant expansion starting five years ago. Mark Roscoe Design has been in seven different fashion shows within Chicago and has been a participant in New York Fashion Week. Mark has designed for William Shatner, Michael Keaton, and Keegan-Michael Key in his menswear line and has been recognized on a local and national level, attending red carpet events and even winning three Emmy awards for the brand commercial.
Additionally, and perhaps most importantly, Mark has teamed up with A Silver Lining Foundation to participate with a handful of other designers at an event in Chicago, Glitz of Glamour. One hundred percent of the proceeds earned from the auction of the donated garments from each designer will be used to aid cancer patients.
Mark has also had the opportunity to make positive impacts on countless lives individually. For example, when he received a phone call from a high school art teacher asking him to design a prom gown for a student with leukemia, Mark agreed without hesitation. That same young woman will be walking in the Glitz of Glamour fashion event in Chicago this March, as a model in the show.
“Meeting people like that, becoming part of their personal journeys, that goes beyond words. It’s such an incredible opportunity,” Mark says.
So much success and a drive to give back to his community have come from Mark’s wonderful outlook on life.
“Our thoughts have a wavelength. Focusing on the good, on the positivity, yields positive experiences. When things don’t work out you learn to pick up quickly and take what you can from the experience.”
Mark says his parents are responsible for his outlook on life.
“They live on through you. What a gift life is. How fortunate we are to experience life.”
In regard to inspiration, Mark believes in loving what you do.
“If you’re not inspired every day you get out of bed you need to reevaluate,” he explains.
As an artist, being able to share his vision is priceless. The fact that he is able to share his vision and practice his passions in a way that aids people of his community is very rewarding for Mark.
“The goal is to live in the moment,” Mark says, “People, experiences, lessons…the question is: What do I want to feel? Whose lives do I want to touch? The goal isn’t about money or possessions. It’s about living from your heart. It’s about giving back to those less fortunate.”
Without question, Mark is a man of incredible talent and a selfless way of being that truly stands out through his sincerity and numerous gestures of charity and good will. He is a man making positive waves in not only this community but on a national scale. By way of advice, Mark encourages others to, “Follow your own dreams and passions. This isn’t your dress rehearsal. This is your life.”