“Owning your story is the bravest thing you’ll ever do.”
– Brene Brown
If I told you I started this brand with no knowledge of fashion, business, designing, or sewing, would you believe me?
You should, because it’s true.
About four years ago, I struggled to make ends meet for my two children. Life seemed bleak, and I had absolutely no idea when this dark period would end.
One day, I was gazing at a photograph of my parents and older siblings in a refugee camp, a camp they had escaped from the Cambodian Genocide, and what I saw inspired me to sew – all of their outfits were hand-sewn by my mother.
Growing up, we didn’t have everything in the world, but my parents made sure we had what we needed. During my elementary years, my parents would take us to the flea market to pick out fabrics for our clothes. Admittedly, I didn’t like fabric shopping. Instead, I was jealous of the kids who wore store-bought clothes. In retrospect, we were blessed by my mom’s heart and selflessness – empowering us, despite our time of need, to choose patterns and colors we loved. Little did I know, that experience planted a seed that birthed this very venture.
“If my mom taught herself how to make clothes for us, I can totally do the same for my children,” I thought.
So, I purchased an inexpensive sewing machine with the money I had saved, a machine I use to this day, and I taught myself how to sew.
After working an eight-hour day at my full-time job, I would come home and practice sewing straight lines. I drafted patterns, and I sewed the night away, not knowing if what I was doing was the “right” way, yet I’ve learned there is no right or wrong when it comes to creativity.
Soon thereafter, I began noticing the phenomenon of handmade clothing shops on Instagram.
“I can do this,” I thought, “but I’m going to do it differently. I will start a brand of my own and see where it goes,” I decided.
When I would arrive home from work, I worked on my brand, formerly known as Wild Trio, continuing this grueling scheduling for several months, running on two hours of sleep each night, but those factors hardly mattered because this brand was the one thing that had set my soul on fire, and I felt this passion deep in my spirit.
As life continued to fly by, my father’s health was on the decline. My dad developed
Alzheimer's, and we were adamant about keeping him out of a nursing home. My mom needed help caring for my dad, and that’s when I decided to quit my job. This decision was frightening because I now needed to support my kids with no income.
“How will I find a job again?”
“What’s going to happen to my life? My future? My kids?”
“How will I support them?”
In that moment of fearful questioning, I decided to take my brand more seriously than ever.
“I have to succeed. I cannot fail,” I vowed.
I wanted to show my children that if you work hard and believe in yourself, amazing things can happen. I also wanted to make my parents proud and show them the world while I had them in my company.
I never dreamed big until I created this brand, and that’s when I started speaking goals into existence.
I vowed to have celebrity children wearing my brand.
I vowed to become the next big children’s clothing brand.
I vowed to be self-sufficient and give this brand everything I have, plus more.
I affirmed myself while doubted by others, yet the naysayers never stopped me. Through self-love, focus, and a relentless will to succeed, my affirmations came to fruition, and my brand has since been worn by people near and far, including celebrity children, all of whom I’m eternally grateful for.
Every time I wanted to quit, there were signs for me to continue, as if the universe urged me to stay in the fight, dream bigger, work harder, stay humble, trust, and believe. Wild Trio has since become Damalli, which means “beautiful vision,” a vision I hold for my children’s future, a future that will most certainly be beautiful.
I will make sure of it.