Valerie Hlavaty graduated from Texas Tech with a Bachelor’s in Merchandising and Design and earned a Master’s in Clothing and Textiles and Merchandising also from Tech. She was an advertising artist and fashion coordinator for Hemphill Wells Department Store. Her job with Skibell’s Fine Clothiers in Lubbock, Texas, consisted of sales and fashion show coordination. Hlavaty was the marketing education coordinator for Lubbock-Cooper High School for 10 years and is now an instructor in retail management in the Human Sciences College at Texas Tech University. Hlavaty also assists her husband in a cotton production business.