Former KSU student’s clothing business presents fashion opportunities

Photo of Kalli Sternberg by David Sternberg

Photo of Kalli Sternberg by David Sternberg

Kelsey Drumm

Former fashion design student Kalli Sternberg has had many fashion opportunities brought into her view after she officially opened her business “KalliRaes” in 2013. 

While Sternberg began sewing clothing for friends in ninth grade, she didn’t formally open her online store until two years ago, she said. KalliRaes is an online clothing store for young women and offers unique, colorful and fun tops, jackets, dresses, skirts, pants and accessories. 

“Friends, family and my passion for clothing inspired me to open KalliRaes,” Sternberg said about beginning her clothing business. “I loved making clothes, and my friends always encouraged me and asked if I could make them clothing for events.”

Sternberg’s parents helped pay for fabric and a sewing machine in the beginning. Her father, David Sternberg, manages KalliRaes.

“Kalli is working on getting her name out there, traveling the country and selling more clothes,” David Sternberg said.

In order to continue to create a successful business, Sternberg spends a lot of time in her studio.

“I do it all myself,” Sternberg said. “I make up my own patterns, and I get my fabrics from the Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft Store in Hudson. I also go to New York to get my fabric, but I do everything here at my house. I took over the basement, which is where I do all my work.”

Darcy Butts, a junior human development and family studies major and a friend of Sternberg, said she does a good job publicizing her business, and girls are starting to notice it. Butts met Sternberg through their sisterhood in the sorority Alpha Phi last year. 

“I definitely think her patterns and style are really unique,” Butts said. “It’s not something you buy in stores. When I wear clothing from KalliRaes, people say ‘Oh where’d you get that?’ because it’s not something you usually see.”

Cleveland Fashion Week contacted Sternberg last summer to participate in a fashion show, which allowed her to showcase her designs on the runway.

Sternberg also participated in an Ohio-based charitable foundation that raises money for Parkinson’s disease called Parkinson’s Pals. Parkinson’s Pals wanted Sternberg to help fundraise through an event, so she agreed to put on a fashion show with them.

Recently, Sternberg created garments for the Alpha Phi Red Dress Gala’s fashion show at Kent State. This fashion show promoted her designs in front of a large crowd and helped a great fundraiser, Sternberg said.

KalliRaes can only be accessed online for now, but Sternberg plans to physically open a shop sometime in the future.

When asked what else she wanted to accomplish over the next few years, Sternberg said, “That is a good question.”

“The future is always so hard to predict, and I want to do different things,” she said.

For now, Sternberg said she wants to be an exclusive brand for edgy, hippie-like celebrities such as designer Jeremy Scott.

Sternberg attended Kent State for two semesters but decided to leave to pursue internships in larger cities.

“I love it there, but I don’t think I’m going to come back,” Sternberg said about returning to Kent State. “I’m looking toward working in New York, California and getting out of Cleveland.”

View @kalliraes on Instagram and buy her designs at

Contact Kelsey Drumm at [email protected]