Inside the Story: Former model designs LDS temple dresses

Former model designs LDS temple dresses (Photo: Todd Dinsmore/KUTV)

(KUTV) One Utah woman is making a name for herself with an unusual product.

Thumbing through a rack of dresses, Rosemary Card points out some of her favorites. "These are a bunch of samples. This is the Marilyn dress."

She never dreamed that one day she would actually be designing, of all things, LDS temple dresses.

Her path to starting a temple dress line, called Q.Noor, involves prayer.

"I was praying and I was at the temple," Card said.

But it also involves the entertainment world. "It's kind of a funny story," she said.

It was the summer of 2005, the High School Musical movie was being filmed at East High in Salt Lake and Card decided to try out.

"They said they needed dancing extras, so we immediately signed up," she said.

After that, Card started a modeling career in New York City at just 16 years old.

"That was nothing that my parents had ever raised me to desire to do," said Card. "It was really crazy."

But after two years in New York, a job in Tokyo tested her beliefs and it had to do with shedding her clothes.

"When I was under 18 I could say 'Oh, I have to keep my clothes on, I'm 16' and you can't really push past that, but once I was a legal adult it was a different story," she explained. "It wasn't for me."

She eventually ended up inside the temple praying for inspiration about what to do next.

As she looked around at the young women in the room, the thought came to her about designing temple dresses for women her age.

"Not that they needed to be fashionable or anything like that--something that a young woman, an 18 year-old would fill comfortable in and would feel like it's a familiar designer style," said Card.

Her experience in the fashion industry did not go to waste.

"I was able to work with people that were the top of the craft in the world," she said. "I worked with the top make-up artist, the top designers, the top photographers, top stylist."

With no business experience, she went to work, sketching and designing samples, working with seamstresses and meeting with a clothing manufacturer in Los Angeles.

But the early work didn't come without a learning curve.

"I thought I bought all white, but in fact I bought like a pink- white and a cream and an off- white," Card said, spreading out some rolls of fabric she got on her first trip to L.A.

Card doesn't expect to become a household name.

"I don't see my whole life focus being making temple dresses," she said.

But she says she's in it to inspire young women.

"My hope is that women in Q Noor dresses can put on their dress, love it and then focus on what actually matters when they're in the temple," said Card. "There's much bigger things than what you are wearing."

Right now her dresses are actually in pre-production.

She's got a lot of orders but is in the process of manufacturing. The company has only been a reality for about a year.

If you're wondering about the name of the company, she says the "Q" stands for queen and "noor" is the Arabic word for light.

Card sells her designs on the Q.Noor website.