For many up-and-coming fashion designers, fame is the name of the game—but 26-year-old Natalie Thomas has designs on helping others, from A-Town to Africa. The New Jersey native and University of Georgia alum first flirted with the limelight when she played personal assistant to Julianne Hough during the locally filmed 2011 reboot of Footloose, until parlaying her considerable giveback gifts into creating her own T-shirt company, Cultivation Five. While coffee runs for the rich and famous aren’t as frequent anymore, she says her job now is much more rewarding. And the goods? Way cute! Thomas’ collection of cozy cotton V-necks and crew necks boast the company’s subtle-but-chic logo with a cool catch-—$5 from each tee sold is donated to the buyer’s charity of choice.
As an ambassador for children’s nonprofit The Linus Foundation, Thomas totes her tees to every charity event she can crash, and even hosts some of her own. This winter, she partnered with other local designers like Shaye Blue, Red’s Outfitters and Tvachia to throw Fashion Rocks Atlanta! at the W Atlanta – Buckhead. And, this month, look for the petite Buckhead blonde to coordinate Cultivation Five’s launch party at Modern Restaurant + Bar in Buckhead, plus the second annual Linus Goes to Prom soiree in March. While do-gooding around town keeps Thomas plenty busy, her big-picture dreams may land her across the world one day. “It sounds crazy, but I’d love to go to Africa to help the kids,” she laughs. Crazy-cool is more like it! @cultivationfive