Today we’d like to introduce you to Clarissa Gastelum.
Thanks for sharing your story with us Clarissa. So, let’s start at the beginning, and we can move on from there.
My story starts in 1990 in my mother’s closet amongst her polka dot dresses, pearl necklaces, and wide belts. This is where my love for fashion began. For years I struggled with finding my purpose, after High School, I went directly to University and obtained a degree in Psychology, which landed me a job in social services.
Although I loved working with foster youth my love for fashion remained, so, I began styling a few clients for events and doing closet takeovers (where I repurpose looks with already existing clothing). As I would style clients, I began to think of all the ways I would’ve designed the garments if given the opportunity.
At the end of 2016, I experienced a loss in my life that forced me to look at the trajectory of my life. I had lost everything at that point and had to ask myself the hard question, “who are you and what do you want”? I realized that I had been putting myself and my dreams on the back burner, and had allowed fear and complacency to overtake me. I had lost myself.
I decided to pray a big prayer and asked God to “use me up, take my gifting, my talents, my life and to make it count.” I heard it said that “Your purpose is your gifting and life’s work.” My gifting is fashion, and my life’s work is foster care- through this New Palm Collection was birthed.
Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
There will always be some challenge in life, but that is an opportunity to learn something new. The artist in me tends to overthink things and at times be hard on myself, one of the biggest struggles for me has been getting out of my head and becoming action oriented.
There are always some struggles when you go to production such as a shortage of fabric, deadlines not being met and pushing back launches. I’ve learned that the “roadblocks and bumps in the road” become opportunities to find “new avenues.” The beauty of seeing your creation out in the world is worth every struggle.
New Palm Collection – what should we know? What do you guys do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
New Palm Collection is a women’s clothing line. I believe in providing classic minimal designs and truly believe that in fashion less is more. I wanted to incorporate my experience as a stylist on my site when you go onto my website under each product you’ll see ‘CEO Tip’ where I provide my customers with tips on how to style that specific look.
It’s my way of saying thank you and providing a great experience for my customer. What I love most about my company is that with every New Palm Collection purchase you are helping a foster youth who is currently in the foster care system or has recently emancipated and in need of assistance.
My mission is to bring awareness to the needs of foster youth and to help make a positive impact in their lives. It is my belief that I am here to be of service to others and if I can do that by helping foster youth and making women look and feel beautiful than I am being true to my mission.
What moment in your career do you look back most fondly on?
I remember the feeling the day I received the text that production was finalized. I was overwhelmed with gratitude and satisfaction; grateful that I have the opportunity to create and live out my dream and proud for completing a goal I would’ve thought impossible just a mere two years ago.
Confidence is gained in the completion of your goals. To have seen something in my mind’s eye and then watch it come to life has been one of my proudest moments.
- Website: newpalmco.com
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: @newpalmcollection
- Facebook: New Palm Collection
Clarissa Gastelum, Paola Duarte, Julian Arellano, Kennedy Shawnse, Lesly Zuniga, Eva Warner & Evette Franco