Glamour Girl, Nature Girl
Laura Schara went from a fashionista to a TV outdoorswoman.
Laura Schara ’98 grew up in two worlds. Her father was an outdoorsman and her mother a fashionista. Schara knows how to hunt for game and pose for a photo shoot — and blend both worlds in her career.
Schara earned a degree in fashion design from the UW’s School of Human Ecology and then became a trend expert at Macy’s, producing its runway shows across the country. One of her favorites was Glamorama, a charity event that toured cities such as Minneapolis, Chicago, Los Angeles, and San Francisco. Schara worked with couture designers, New York models, and A-list stars such as Bruno Mars, Beyoncé, and Jennifer Lopez to create shows that were part fashion, part rock concert.
At the height of her fashion career, Schara felt an urge to reconnect to her love of the wilderness, so she started her own company and began working as a TV host on various outdoor television shows.
“A lot of people told me I couldn’t do it. They couldn’t understand how I could go from a runway show at New York Fashion Week to a pheasant field within 24 hours,” Schara says. “I’m comfortable in the fashion world, but I also love getting my hands dirty out in the field. I knew there were more women out there like me.”
Schara has cohosted the series Survival Science on the Outdoor Channel as well as Fox Sports Network’s Due North Outdoors, and she’s appeared on Life Time Fitness TV, the Style Network, and national talk shows. She introduces women to outdoorswoman arts such as fishing and cooking wild game through her lifestyle blog, Wildly Living (wildlyliving.com), and she’s a regular contributor to Artful Living magazine. “A lot of women who get dressed up and enjoy fashion and being a girly girl can also get out into nature and experience that grounding connection with the earth,” she says.
Schara also hosts the NBC series Minnesota Bound, which her father created in 1995. She tells the stories of Minnesota’s people and places and encourages everyone to get outside and enjoy nature.
“The outdoors can really teach you a lot about how to be successful,” she says, adding that it can instill the value of heeding your intuition, as well as developing patience, humility, and perseverance. “[Sometimes] you’ll miss a fish on the end of your line … but you just can’t quit. Eventually all of the hard work, time, and effort pay off.”
Published in the Summer 2020 issue