Each edition of our I RUN THIS Series features women entrepreneurs and small business owners doing what they love, and excelling at it. We hope to not only spread the word about what these amazing women do, but to inspire you to take the leap and follow your own bliss!
This month's feature is on Mariela Torres, owner and designer of Killem With Chic, a clothing line based in San Diego, CA!
I instantly fell in love with Mariela's rad line of tees and sweatshirts, and was so excited to get the opportunity to meet and collaborate with her. Her passion and commitment to women empowerment is admirable and directly in line with our mission here at Salt + Sirena! I am so thrilled that her clothing line is now available in our shop (link below)! I've also provided a link to her social media pages, as well as a fun interview with Mariela about her business!
1. Tell us a little bit about yourself and how Killem With Chic got its start.
My name is Mariela Torres, and I was born and raised in San Diego, CA. I have always had a love for fashion and styling. I got into the fashion industry about 10 years ago, and I’ve done everything from buying, to running a lease shop inside Bloomingdales. 2015 presented many challenges in my life, which ultimately inspired me to follow my dream. Inspired by this quote: “You have two lives, the second one begins when you realize you only have one,” I quit my job and created Killem With Chic. I hope to inspire other women to live their lives bravely, and to pursue their passion with a sense of confidence and purpose. I feel that style and originality are what define me from head to toe, and this drives me to produce a uniquely witty twist on an old classic. All of my products are made in my home town of San Diego.
2. Who is your style icon?
My style icon is Audrey Hepburn. In my opinion, she is the epitome of elegance. She just oozed class and style. She was classic, yet innovative in the way that she styled her staple pieces. And besides her being a total fashionista, she was one of the kindest people this earth has ever had, and I love her for that.
3. What inspires your designs? Do you have a favorite one?
I can honestly say that everything inspires me. I get inspired by hiking in nature, by the streets and the architecture of downtown, by hip hop music. Nature revives me and makes me feel alive, and this inspires me to want to create. The hustle of the city gives me the feeling that anything and everything is possible, and hip hop music makes me feel like a total badass, which helps with the “just do it” aspect of being a business owner.
I love all of my designs, but my favorite one would probably be the Trés Rad tee because it was inspired by someone really special to me.
4. What do you think is the most challenging thing about being a small business owner?
The most challenging part would probably be the fact that nothing is really stable starting off. It can be scary when you're not producing a set income, BUT know that it always works out... there is always a way. Have faith, believe in yourself and in your product with passion, and the universe will have your back.
5. What do you like to do for fun?
I love to hike, travel, see new things, be surrounded by creative people and spaces. Anything relating to fashion, art, music, photography gets me fired up, gets my soul moving!
Thank you so much, Mariela! You are so lovely and talented, and I had so much fun chatting with you about our businesses, women empowerment, and life!
Make sure you check out her clothing line, now available in our shop: Killem With Chic!
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