The fashion brand Kamila Dmowska that I created (2013-2017) and that is still part of my identity deserves a page. Looking back, this entrepreneurial endeavor has been my biggest accomplishment. It led to loyal customer engagement and word of mouth network effect.
Kamila Dmowska was one of the first Silicon Valley fashion start-ups to focus on affordable luxury. I started a direct to consumer brand out of frustration from being unable to find designer-made dresses for every day, especially for work that didn’t cost a fortune yet were not intimidating. Ordinarily, high-end fashion designers tell a story with a collection by making all designs express a cohesive style dictated by season so a customer can usually pick one dress. I wanted women to feel empowered, confident, and have more choices without making a compromise and nevertheless feel they wear designer-made dresses all year round for a fraction of the cost of one dress at Barneys. For that reason, I named my brand after my first and last name, evocative of a fashion designer brand.
The San Francisco Chronicle described Kamila Dmowska brand “Work to Tinder? Dmowska Gets it,” emphasizing the value of the brand versatility that resonated with millennials and their needs. I was on a mission to make high-end fashion accessible to young professional women by offering them elegant and simple yet sophisticated dresses that fit their complex lifestyle.
While the brand was initially sold online, it eventually turned into in-house, hosted trunk shows (on average generating $1250 per trunk show) hosted by our customers and their friends, which led to hundreds of women sign up on the waitlist for the Kamila Dmowska ambassador program.
Kamila Dmowska dresses became popular among women in start-ups, executives of Fortune 500 companies, and college students on campuses such as Princeton and Columbia University (that even hosted our mini fashion shows). Kamila Dmowska was featured in Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, In Style, Soma Magazine, San Francisco Chronicle, Gala, Wprost, and many others.
During my years as an entrepreneur, I managed brand development, creative direction, and operations. Before launching my brand, I tested demand by selling in local boutiques which all sold out within 30 days.