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Meet Maria Garcia of Del Carmen in East Los Angeles

Today we’d like to introduce you to Maria Garcia.

Thanks for sharing your story with us Maria. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
I feel as if my entire life, I was meant to own a business. Both my Mexican grandmother and my mom have always had entrepreneurial spirits. Even though they never got the opportunity to open up a storefront, their humble beginnings and work ethic always inspired me. Whether they sold candy or jewelry, they always did it for their family. Ultimately that’s why Del Carmen is here today. If I’m honest, my family is the reason I don’t quit. More than owning a business for me, it’s living out an American Dream. I am a DACA recipient aka a #DREAMER and I feel like I have a duty to live out not only my dreams but my parents as well. Owning Del Carmen makes me feel one step closer to that. I essentially started this business because it was something that just kept resurfacing over the years. I had a pretty decent following on YouTube and I would get requests from various subscribers to drop a clothing/merch line.

Fast forward a few years later, I decided to make my dreams into plans. I started my business five months before graduating from college because it was perfect timing to start something new. I’m very grateful I did because it’s been a great learning experience and as hard as it can be, it’s extremely gratifying. I’m so grateful and thankful to all those who have extended a helping hand like my entire family and boyfriend, Steve Salazar. To those who keep this dream alive, my customers. Last but never least, to god for allowing me to truly spread my wings and fly.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
My biggest struggle as of this past year has been balancing my business with my personal life. For many months I was the main breadwinner in a household of five members on a part-time job. It almost felt like even though I gave 100% at work and in my business. I was putting my dreams on hold to provide for my household. It was the lowest time of my life, but there is beauty in the struggle. I’ve learned how to create something out of nothing and make a dollar count. That has helped me so much in my business financially.

So, as you know, we’re impressed with Del Carmen – tell our readers more, for example what you’re most proud of as a company and what sets you apart from others.
Del Carmen is a Latina Owned clothing brand. My mission is to bring affordable and stylish clothing to fashionistas everywhere! I’m most proud of the image I’ve been able to create. Every time someone emails me and thinks there is a social media manager, customer service rep, and graphic designer involved makes me so proud. I’m used to wearing multiple hats and I’m happy people can see the professionalism I’ve tried to maintain. I think what sets Del Carmen apart is that even though there is a professional side to it, there is full transparency in who is running it. I like to use my platform to speak up about social justice issues, connect with people, and create a community of multidimensional women. For instance, I recently spoke to customers about wanting to be more inclusive of different body types and cultures. It’s important to me that Del Carmen can reflect the beauty this worth has to offer. Having that dialogue with my customers has really changed the game for me. It almost feels like I’m speaking to friends.

So, what’s next? Any big plans?
Definitely want to expand my collection to cater to different body types. Curating and building that up is something I look forward to. My big goal for Del Carmen is to grow my company enough to have employees. I dream about retiring my parents and driving up to my warehouse for work. I also really see Del Carmen become something bigger than just a clothing brand. I dream to have a Del Carmen Center where we can provide helpful resources and enhance the community around us.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Steve Salazar, Samantha Coelho, Ruben Chairez, Lorena Navar, Barry Saravia, Arleen Rivera, Dora Owusu, Reyna Leyva

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