We all need some time to ourselves to unwind and relax, especially with everything going on in our lives these days. Sure, there are a lot of ways we like to chill at home, from watching a movie to vibing to our go-to playlist. But many of us are feeling so stressed and off our game because of how much our daily lives have changed that we’re finding it hard to relax, let alone do anything productive.
That’s one of the many reasons why we were super excited to talk with fashion brand owner Dominique Calvillo, who went from crocheting to help her unwind to crocheting to-die-for clothing pieces for her own brand, Namaste & Crochet! Dominique tells us how she turned her chill-time activity into a thriving business, and we’re totally inspired.
Before Namaste & Crochet was born, Dominique was already ahead of the game working against human trafficking in Southeast Asia. She helped survivors and taught them new skills such as hair styling and hair cutting. From the get-go, Dominique has been the empowering woman we all aspire to be.
But, as Dominique worked with survivors, she began to develop anxiety. She was exposed to multiple traumatic sights that took their toll on her. Her passion was to help women in need, but she needed to take some time for herself and find something to add positivity and relaxation to her life. Something that gave her peace? You guessed it: crocheting!
“It was like a meditation for me,” Dominique tells us. At first, she had no intentions of starting a clothing line. In the beginning of her journey, crocheting was just something Dominique did to relax, but soon she unexpectedly started gaining a large following on her Instagram from fellow crocheters. As she posted more content and gained more followers, she decided to start reaching out to potential clients. But the creation and eventual popularity of her brand didn’t happen overnight.
There were times when Dominique had to juggle 2-3 full-time jobs to make everything run smoothly for her brand. Her progress was gradual. She had a regular job before she went freelance. Despite the hardships, she stuck with what she loved and it clearly paid off—a lesson for all of us women wanting to make a name for ourselves in the business world!
Now, Dominique’s made her way to working for red carpet events and multiple celebrities. She tells us one of her favorite clients so far has been Verdine White, bass player for the band Earth, Wind, & Fire. Seriously though—can we get an autograph, Dominique?!
After witnessing human trafficking in Southeast Asia firsthand, sustainable and ethical manufacturing was at top of Dominique’s list when starting her brand. She, of course, also had to have an inclusive clothing line. So Dominique hired diverse models of all colors, shapes, sizes, and gender identities. Representation was a must.
Of course, with all these amazing accomplishments under her belt, we had to ask Dominique for her advice for women that are just beginning in the fashion industry or are still searching for a place to start their professional journey. “Accept the fact that if you really believe in something, it might mean that you work the amount of having two full time jobs for a while,” Dominique tells us. In other words, if you want it, be prepared to work for it.
Fashion designer, stylist, and brand owner who’s working to empower women—Dominique is the definition of the business woman we all aspire to be! Not only that, but her brand is everything we want and need: ethical, sustainable, inclusive, and fashionable. Dominique’s story shows us that we can take our passions and what we enjoy doing at home in our free time and turning it into a full fledged business! Check out the Namaste & Crochet website and follow the brand on Instagram @namaste_and_crochet. We know you’ll be just as inspired as we are!