Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Nursing Student To Fashion Designer: Monika Quintero Talks About How She Started Her Million Dollar Alternative Fashion Empire


Being a student while managing your own business is hard, but doing so while raising two young boys can drive you half crazy. In this case, that turned out to be a good thing. I chatted with Monika Quintero (Pictured below) owner and CEO of Demi Loon and Rodeofox, Demi Loon is more on the alternative Gothic/Pinup side while Rodeofox is more on the Country Boho side. I wanted to find out more about her brand and how she started her Million Dollar Alternative fashion empire.



Mickia Quintero, pinup life, Demi Loon, pinup fashion designer, Where to buy pinup style clothing, where to buy rockabilly clothing online, where to find rockabilly clothing, How did you become interested in pin-up fashion? "I always had an appreciation for unique styles that stood out from the rest. I loved the textures and prints found in vintage fashion, that modern styles didn’t have. I first became interested in pinup & vintage fashion during high school. I would walk to the local thrift stores and buy vintage dresses & tops and have them tailored to fit me. One of my favorites go-to’s at the time were button up tops that I would tie at the bottom for a crop top feel. Finding these tops in gingham or plaid prints made my day, it was like a treasure hunt every time I shopped. Another casual favorite of mine were old band tees I’d slash up and tie back together turning them into cute fitted tops which I’d style with high-waisted pants or denim bell bottoms. I really gained a sense of fashion, styling, and vintage during this time."

Mickia Quintero, pinup life, Demi Loon, pinup fashion designer, Where to buy pinup style clothing, where to buy rockabilly clothing online, where to find rockabilly clothing, What made you want to start designing? "I first got into design as a way to help get me through my nursing degree. I had quit my 9-5 because I needed flexible hours for school. I started by selling slashed vintage tees and vintage clothing on eBay. I’d gather my merchandise, get dressed, put my camera on auto-timer and take pictures in my garden, then quickly list those items for the week. After a while, I wanted to start tailoring some pieces. For instance turn long vintage dresses into a mini’s and men’s vintage tees into halter tops. But I am terrible at sewing so I began to pay my mom to alter pieces for me. I was more than thrilled when everything would sell through and many of my auctions would go insanely high. I literally became addicted to selling online. Find cute stuff - alter - sell repeat. (Keep in mind this was around ten years ago when eBay and Etsy were not oversaturated)."

Why and how did you start Demi Loon? "After almost two years of altering and selling vintage, I had learned a lot about design and what a customer wanted. I had so many ideas and I wanted to create my own line. It was also getting really tiring taking photographs for just ONE unique item. I was spending so much time taking pictures and that would never allow me to grow. I wanted the ability to create new pieces with that same vintage tailored look and have several sizes and quantities available. At about the same time I came to a fork in the road, the classes I needed that semester were impacted and I could not get in. I took it as a sign and instead enrolled in a computer graphics class. On the very first day of class, I doodled out the Demi Loon Bat Heart Logo we still use today! The name Demi Loon came during a run on the beach where I looked up and there was a perfect half moon in the sky…a Demi Lune. I changed Lune to Loon because I thought it was half crazy that I was going for this venture.


Mickia Quintero, pinup life, Demi Loon, pinup fashion designer, Where to buy pinup style clothing, where to buy rockabilly clothing online, where to find rockabilly clothing, Demi Loon (translation half crazy). And it was…I had no idea how to the legal business set up and I had postponed it for so long. I literally google searched and went to the library to research everything from how to trademark, to getting my business licenses. I wanted it to be more than an “eBay” business so I began to treat it like one. After a few years of 50 hour work weeks, 3am nights, and a lot of faith I dropped out of school and decided to go full force with Demi Loon. I launched DemiLoon.com, learned how to make graphics for tees and fabric, market my business, and I designed my first collection all while raising two boys.

At this point, I asked my mom to become my official pattern maker and pretty soon the visions I had drawn on paper were a reality. The collection was a huge hit and we could barely keep up. I had to employ several seamstresses to keep up with our orders and help to keep up with the website. Pretty soon pinup boutiques, tattoo shops, biker vendors for Sturgis as well as some of our amazing online resellers began to reach out because they wanted to carry our brand. It was such an exciting time because I began to see the results of all the hard work and sacrifice. We now outsource our cutting & sewing to local companies in Los Angeles.  We also manufacture some of our own textiles such as our cherry logo fabric and Skull Baby fabric. I have aimed to keep our manufacturing local so we can keep a tight watch on our production process and quality."


Mickia Quintero, pinup life, Demi Loon, pinup fashion designer, Where to buy pinup style clothing, where to buy rockabilly clothing online, where to find rockabilly clothing, What eras of pinup fashion inspire you the most?"I wouldn’t say I have a favorite era for inspiration, it's more so details that I love from different era’s which I like to incorporate into my designs with a fresh take. For instance, the 50s has the best inspiration for tops, fabrics and makeup styling, 60s has great mod dresses and caftans, and 70s is great inspiration for graphic tees. I am also really into Victorian goth details “a la Marie Antoinette” which I think are so regal and feminine. Our designs have little tastes of these era’s which makes for a dark pinup edgy look."


Mickia Quintero, pinup life, Demi Loon, pinup fashion designer, Where to buy pinup style clothing, where to buy rockabilly clothing online, where to find rockabilly clothing, What design do you recommend buying the most? "That’s tough for me to answer! I love them all but I suppose it depends on the occasion. But for the sake of answering, I would say I am really into our long sleeve corset tees at the moment. Specifically, our Vampira Corset Tee because it's super comfy and easy to wear. The lacing adjusts in the front and its casual enough to wear with jeans for a day look and also transition into a sexy night look. I also must say our Deadly Plunge Dress is a perfect statement dress for an occasion/ cocktail party look. The fabric holds you in for great body contouring and combined with built-in bra and lace up back is just perfection."

Don't forget to follow her  @DemiLoon and Click here to Start Shopping at Demi loon! Use my code "THATPINUP" for 15% off!

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