Can you take us through your journey after your graduation?
After graduation, I felt lost but liberated. I had no job opportunity offers, no special partnerships from retailers, little coverage of my work, and had not received any awards. However, I felt so liberated after graduating – it was all up to me to make things happen. It’s amazing how opportunities present themselves when you just do your thing. It’s been very valuable to get the right opportunities at an appropriate time.
How many people are on your team?
For now, it’s me and my assistant Emily working at the studio – she mostly helps me with production. I also work with my friend Emma who contributes with imagery and editing. Overall, my family and friend group have been very supportive in the development of the brand – they have all contributed to the brand in one way or another.
“After graduation, I had no job opportunity offers, no special partnerships from retailers, little coverage of my work, and had not received any awards. However, I felt so liberated after graduating – it was all up to me to make things happen.” – Krystal Paniagua
You have just launched an e-shop for your designs. How did it come to life?
The idea stemmed during the first lockdown in March. At the beginning of 2020, I had made the decision to launch my brand but unfortunately, the Covid-19 pandemic happened at the same time. Being forced to stay in my room, I was left on my own with no outside distractions and started developing ideas for a new collection. Seeing the shift to e-commerce as the main selling source for retailers helped me grasp the reality of the future of retail.
“I decided to invest in developing my own e-commerce platform where I could have total control and connect with my customers.” – Krystal Paniagua
I decided to invest in developing my own e-commerce platform where I could have total control and connect with my customers. I wanted to have control over what I sold. We make everything in house, and we are a very small team with our budget counted. In the summer, I commenced a trial run of my website where I sold my one of a kind knitted pieces. This helped me understand who was engaging with my work and who my customers were. It was truly insightful but short-lived. I wasn’t truly prepared to offer the service I was striving for.
Not so long after the launch of my brand, I was approached by Lindsay Peoples Wagner from Teen Vogue asking me to be part of their mentorship program. I developed a new collection while keeping in mind the elements I wanted to communicate for my brand and its future. This time, I prepared more for sales, making a limited stock of each look, but enough to test the ground.