At just 18 years old, Valentina is a Miami girl with a very cute and clever clothing line. With styles that are casual and comfortable and yet chic, Val Designs is taking over closets everywhere.
I was fortunate enough to work with Valentina a few months ago.
Having been hooked, I've been following her success ever since and you guys will love this new designer and her line.
Scroll down to get to know Valentina, how Val Designs came to be and what inspires this talented, young designer.
VQ: My name is Valentina Quiroga, I am an 18 year old clothing brand owner. I was born in Medellin, Colombia, but moved to Miami when I was 5 years old where my parents opened up the American leg of our embroidery company. I am currently a full time student double majoring in Business Management and Marketing at FIU.
SIS: Val Designs is your clothing brand that is so much fun and stylish! What inspired you to start designing?
VQ: To be completely honest my Dad motivated me to start designing. He always pushed me to do something meaningful with the resources I had available and I would never really listen. One day it finally sunk in how massive the opportunity I had really was and designed my first canvas bag with the saying “My Other Bag is Prada” and posted it on my etsy store. That’s where ValDesigns all began. It was so much fun, I started spending more and more of my time on development.
SIS: You’re young, right out of high school. It’s always interesting to meet young entrepreneurs and dreamers. What has been the most exciting thing to happen to you and Val Designs so far?
VQ: The whole ride has been extremely exciting- it’s been a year full of growth and learning. The most exciting thing to happen to me with ValDesigns had to be right when I began selling- I went to London last August to present the bag I just mentioned. I had sold some to clients in London and Paris. In the first 12 hours in London, I started to realize the potential of the Etsy store I opened. The great reception easy and the bad received gave me the courage to keep going and not give up.
SIS: You live in Miami – what’s it like being a creative person in such a fun city? Where do you go to find inspiration?
VQ: Living in Miami is great because it is super easy to go to the different areas of town to take pictures, have dinner, go shopping- there is always someone different within ear range that can say something that will trigger a phrase or an idea. I find inspiration from the people around me and the things I see. I'm always taking pictures of things I bump into that I think could look cool on a shirt, or writing down a word that later becomes a phrase.
SIS: Who are your three favorite designers and three favorite stores at which to shop at?
Designers: 1. Karl Lagerfeld 2. Celine 3. Ralph Lauren
Shops: Zara (most amazing store and inexpensive), Lululemon (I go to the gym at least once a day), Bloomingdales
SIS: What has been the most challenging part of having a brand?
VQ: The most challenging part of having a brand has to be the marketing and getting people to know your name, while keeping it fresh. It might seem easy due to the social media age but it is a lot of posting and marketing and pictures and keeping all the pages updated etc. Balancing my commitment to school while developing the brand is daunting.
SIS: If you weren’t doing Val Designs, what do you think you’d be doing?
VQ: If I wasn’t doing ValDesigns I think I might be working an office job at my parents' company, gaining experience from that. I think I might have also joined a sorority since I would’ve had so much free time.
VQ: In the next five years I hope to still be living in Miami but being able to go back and forth between Colombia and London since I won’t have school tying me down. I hope to be selling ValDesigns in boutiques nationwide (even worldwide)- my aspiration is to be something like Wildfox.
SIS: What is your go-to/must-have shoe?
VQ: Definitely an espadrille. They are extremely comfortable and can finish off a casual- everyday look in a ValDesigns tee and a pair of jeans.