Danielle Barcenas

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La Mona

Tell me a bit about yourself

I’m Spanish, I’m from Nicaragua. I’m 23. I entered Centennial College for architecture. I did that then dropped out in the first semester.  In January I re-entered and dropped out again.  I soon realized architecture was not for me.  For 2 years I was working part-time at Metro and then 

left to get a job at New Balance.  There my manager Caitlin helped me. He was an artist and he pushed me to realize my potential. I had a strong interest in fashion.  So I started blogging on Tumblr, just pictures, I coordinated them colour-wise, making different attractive combinations.

My Business:  La Mona

It’s a clothing line. Chila Mona is my mom’s nickname when she was a kid. Mona means monkey in Spanish. I’m dedicating my brand to her.

La Mona is a clothing line that is vegan, no animal based products, and cruelty free. Our products will start out using strictly cotton fabric.  In the future we’ll use synthetic silks and Pleather which is a synthetic leather.  Pleather looks the same but not as strong as leather because it doesn’t come from animals.

I’m going to buy and make the clothes. First and foremost I’m online, I won’t have a retail store.  I won’t have the typical spring/summer and fall/winter fashions. I will make collections, based on themes instead.

What keeps you up at night?

Problems dealing with finances and health. Plus thoughts about my business, what I want to do. I want to move it forward, but I’m stuck. Which is why I think it’s so great P2P is helping me move forward.

What was the best piece of advice you ever received?

I was stuck, and then … everyone that I talked to said “Do what you love most.”

I’m not the person that sits in an office. I’ve always been creative, and athletic I love sports.

Do what you love and get off your ass and just do it.

What was the worst piece of advice you ever received?

After you graduate from high school go to College right away and then get a job.

That was the worst advice I ever got and I was so young, I was 18, I’m still young 23, but instead of wasting all that money on college, I could have been experimenting with my ideas, trying to find out what I wanted to do. I went to school for 2 years in and out, when I could have been doing something else, my art, my designing.