BASED IN: SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA
In sweet, sunny San Diego, Mariela began her journey into the world of fashion. As a buyer for a number of boutiques and corporate companies she learned the ins and outs of fashion buying, merchandising, designing and the all around business. Along this path, however, she bottled up a burning desire to create something of her own. She would often dream up designs and style mannequins in between her daily tasks.
In 2015, Mariela faced a number of life challenges. After gaining a new perspective on life, she fast-tracked her career as an entrepreneur and established her own clothing line. “I realized how short life is and I was ready to do something that put a smile on my face, something I had dreamed of doing,” explains Mariela.
It has been almost a year since the start of Mariela’s clothing line and online boutique, Killem With Chic. Inspired by her love for classic items and witty sayings, her line features original white t-shirts with playful, chic sayings in dainty fonts. It was a realization of life’s spontaneity and a willingness to take action that led this young entrepreneur to turn what was once a goal written on a notepad into reality. As a designer, she hopes to marry her passion for designing and love for inspiring others, through the creation of clothing that generates happiness and confidence for all.
Tell us what you do!
I am a clothing designer, a blogger and owner of an online boutique. Although there are thousands and thousands of t-shirt lines out there I feel what sets me apart from others is my unique witty take on the classic tee. I keep my designs simple usually only a few words in a simple font but eye catching and they'll be sure to make you laugh. My mission for my brand is to go big baby! Global is the goal. I want to see my tees on celebrities and sold at department stores, like Bloomingdales (I use to work there, that'd be a trip!). I will be showcasing my tees at this year's (2016) Fashion Week San Diego. After that awesome experience, I want to expand with men, children's line and pet tees as well. I want the whole family to be wearing Killem With Chic.
In your own words, what does it mean to be Passionista?
It’s definitely hard to put into words for me. It’s a feeling, you know when you're around a woman who is passionate about what she's doing and it oozes out of her? They are confident, humble and spread love and positivity everywhere they go. They want to help and encourage other women to do and be great. A Passionista is a women with a vision to change the world for the better and leave her mark.
What has been your key to success throughout your entrepreneurial journey?
The determination of never giving up. I think my mindset has so much to do with it. I went into this with so much faith. There is no plan B. Killem With Chic will happen and flourish no matter what. You have to believe in yourself so strongly when you are first starting off. You will struggle and you will go through an array of emotional ups and downs. However, keeping faith and believing so strongly in yourself and your passion is what is going to get you through the hard times.
What are some ways we can inspire other women and young girls to start their own businesses and build them to last?
Doing what you love inspires others to do what they love. I love seeing women kick ass. It inspires me to want to kick ass. I think that alone gives women the feeling that their dreams are possible. Staying positive through the hard times and not giving up is key.
What does success mean to you? What does it mean to “be successful”? Can it ever be fully achieved or is it something that comes and goes?
Success to me means pursuing your passion or whatever it is that makes you happy in life and thriving at it. It means to have an abundant life. It means being yourself and happy. Contributing your talent or passion with humanity before you expire.
Why do you think now is the time to be a female entrepreneur? Do you believe that times are changing for the better? Is it difficult being a female entrepreneur or do you think gender in business doesn’t really matter?
This is the best time there has ever been for a woman to be an entrepreneur. I believe time is changing for the better. The boss babe movement has never been stronger. Women are starting to encourage each other and fight for each other, instead of seeing each other as competition. I think it depends on the matter of business. I don’t think it’s difficult being a female entrepreneur at all. I think when it comes to a “creative” job men and women are able to easily collaborate and vibe off each other.
What is one (or more) piece of advice you can offer our readers and other entrepreneurs that are reading your interview? What is the most important to keep in mind?
My advice is that life is short and your one goal in life shouldn't be to make a ton of money or to get married but to determine what it is that gets your soul moving. Find what it is you are passionate about. Determine what makes you happy and do that everyday. Live in the moment and enjoy the beautiful ride of this life. Always keep in mind that you are a total badass. The universe created you so you can share your life story with others to inspire. There is only one you, so make your story great!