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Meet Nadea Guillory of Caliwa Girl

Today we’d like to introduce you to Nadea Guillory.

So, before we jump into specific questions, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
I was raised in San Diego, where you could always depend on the weather being beautiful, finding a taco shop on any street corner, or the nearest beach being just a 15-20 minute drive away. I am the oldest out of my siblings, so I learned a lot about responsibility and working hard for every penny –from my father. I also learned how to stretch that penny from my mother. I come from very humble beginnings. My father was in the military but I remember a time when we were homeless for a few weeks and lived in our van. Even though our family seemed to hit rock bottom, it never felt that way to me. We are a very close-knit family so my dad would always try and turn everything into an adventure. From the reinvented children’s stories he would tell us to always cracking jokes and making us laugh. I loved journaling and reading and would often lose myself in a good book. I had a variety of hobbies and interests.

As I got older, I would always try and earn money by doing chores or just babysitting neighborhood kids. I had my first “real” job when I was 17, just before graduating high school. School for me didn’t come easy. I didn’t realize it at the time but the reason I struggled is that I had A.D.D. I went to a pretty rough school in the 90s, where gang activity was heightened and drive-by shootings were almost a daily occurrence. Eventually, my parents decided to put me in a charter school. I started to realize that on my own and with the videos the school provided me, I was able to not only do well in my classes, I was able to pass and exceed the goals I had set for myself. I ended up graduating earlier than my class and receiving my diploma. Immediately after graduating, I started working at Sea World. I worked at a few retail stores in the park. The job was seasonal so once the summer ended, I was looking for work again. I started working at a home daycare across the street from my house. I realized that I loved working with kids, but I bounced between my love for working with kids and my love for merchandising for quite some time. In my early twenties, I started caring for my best friend who had a condition called “Huntington Chorea” it’s a condition that affects the brain and deteriorates it. My friend went from a normal functioning adult to having the capacity of a three-year-old. It was a very sad time in my life having to watch my best friend of 13 years being consumed by this disease with no cure. When she passed away, I knew I wanted to work with kids with disabilities but I needed experience and I had none.

When I was 27, I got married and my husband and I decided to move to Washington state which is my birthplace, so to move back where I was born seemed like another fun and exciting adventure for me. Once I moved to Washington, I started working at a busy daycare and my group of kids began inspiring ideas for children’s stories and I began writing. My first book, ”Gracious and piggy” was inspired while working there. I began noticing an increase of children with disabilities in my classroom. In fact, I noticed such an increase that at one time there were 3-4 kids in my classroom out of 10 children that had disabilities- specifically autism. A few years later, I was offered a job as a Behavioral Specialist for kids with disabilities. It felt like one of the missing puzzle pieces of my life’s fulfillment had been found and it fit perfectly, but there were still a few pieces missing. I still played around with the idea of owning my own business and there were many ideas I had. Through trial and error, I realized what would work and what wouldn’t. I had a soap and lotion business, a catering company business, picture frame business, you name it I tried it! About a year ago, I had a friend who told me about a company called Poshmark where she bought items from different sellers on the platform.

After some time, I decided to check it out and I loved it as a buyer so I decided to become a seller. I started off simply just selling old clothing items I had in boxes just sitting in my garage. They sold and I started to think about selling on other platforms like eBay and OfferUp. I also took advantage of free advertising like Pinterest, Instagram, YouTube, and Facebook. I did pretty well so I decided to start my own business and website by becoming a reseller of clothing and accessories. Now I have the best of both worlds. I help kids with disabilities and I also have my own online clothing store. I came from very humble beginnings and I’m definitely not where I hope to be, yet, but I know with determination, prayer and hard work, I will be in a place that I’ve always envisioned for myself. You don’t need much to start something you’ve always dreamed about, it just takes one small step at a time, perseverance, and focus. You don’t need a fancy degree or loads If I can do it, anybody can!

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?
No, it definitely hasn’t been a smooth road. First, I had to believe in myself and know that I could do anything I put my mind to. Next, knowing where to start. I watched a lot of YouTube videos and read a lot of books and information online. Two things for me that were imperative were a good camera and mannequins or models. There will always be obstacles in the way. The key is to just take that first step and write a list of things needed to start. You will always be your own worse enemy.

Caliwa Girl – what should we know? What do you do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
My company name Caliwa Girl is who I am. I am both a California and Washington girl/woman. I knew I wanted my company to reflect that in my brand. I’m a reseller of clothing and accessories. I’m still building my brand and clothing store. I try and sell quality items at low prices. I’m working on making sure all of my items are sized on my website so that it’s easier for my customers to get the right sizing of their items. I’m known for being honest and making sure that I give my customers 100% satisfaction. If they aren’t satisfied, I work with them to make sure they are. Whether that is giving them an extra item or putting a free gift in their purchase. I believe in honesty and integrity and I believe if you model that practice, you will have a customer for life. I think that’s what sets me apart from others. I care that they get that kind of experience. I’m most proud that I wrote a children’s book because it was something I wanted to do for a long time and I accomplished that goal. I’m proud that I’m building a company and brand that I am building myself. Of course, I’m not doing it 100% myself. I am a firm believer in devoting my life to God and for me, that’s what I’m most proud of.

What moment in your career do you look back most fondly on?
Writing my children’s book “Gracious and Piggy”.

Working with kids with disabilities and knowing that I’m making a difference in the life of these kids. Seeing the smile on their faces touches my heart every time.

Caliwa Girl and knowing that I’m able to help someone find something they are looking for or just knowing I’m giving them that perfect customer experience. When someone tells me “thank you, it’s perfect!” That really makes me feel good and knowing I will have a customer for life. Giving them the best experience and when they repurchase from my store or any platform, I’m selling from let me know I’m doing something right.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:

The model in the photo is Aliha Strange

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