Daissy Ornelas is a limited-edition collection of women’s shoes. We take ‘limited-edition’ seriously. No reorders, ever. It started with my love of Art Deco. Growing up in Los Angeles, I got to see buildings with unique details and luxurious materials. The more I started traveling, the more I fell in love with architecture and it’s evolutionary traits. All of the designs are inspired by architecture and interior design. Every pair is hand made in Italy by artisans that have been in the industry for generations.
Who is the founder and what is their background?
I am the founder of Daissy Ornelas. I studied Business Administration and most of my background is in Managment and Administration. I worked in industries such as Consulting, Architecture and Fashion. I believe if you have a passion for something, you will learn as you go. Getting hands-on with whatever you are doing is a great way to absorb information and to obtain the skills you are seeking.
What are its USPs?
Each pair of shoes sold has a unique serial number engraved on the bottom sole. It’s a way of tracking where each pair goes and also giving the customer assurance that they own a pair of something that no one else has. No two pairs are the same.
Can you share the story of the brand’s journey – from concept to where it is now?
I started with the idea of combining my love for architecture and passion for footwear many years ago. It had always just been a concept. But once I started solo traveling to Europe, seeing so much amazing architecture, I knew that I had to make that concept tangible. It was four years of traveling to Italy, attending trade shows and making as many connections as possible. I also had to find a manufacturer that would be willing to make small quantities of hand-made shoes. Then last year samples were made and I finally went into production.
Who are the key personnel and can you tell us a little about their contribution to the brand?
Currently there is only myself and Federica Elletra De Pasquale, who is based in Italy, that have been running the business. Because I am not based in Italy, having someone there who I can trust to help with production issues, and logistics has been a tremendous help, for which I am extremely grateful. She also knows the industry every well and has really supported the brand from the very beginning.
What are the biggest challenges and how have they been overcome?
There are so many challenges you face when starting a brand. Marketing is one of them. I tend to focus on so many other aspects of the business that I lost focus of a component that is just as crucial as having a product that you believe in. Marketing hasn’t been my biggest strength and that’s perfectly OK. Hiring people to help you with areas where your skills and talents don’t shine is important. You also want to have ideas that are not yours to help see things in a fresh, clear way. Your strengths and weaknesses become more apparent when launching your own brand and you adjust accordingly. Another challenge is accepting that you cannot satisfy everyone. Not everyone is going to like your designs or ideas. Putting something that means something important to you is what matters. I didn’t start this brand to fill a void, I started this brand to put my zeal for architecture and footwear out there for people to see.
What are the founders most proud of about the brand?
There are a few things I am most proud of when it comes to this brand. Seeing it come to life is definitely one of them, if not the most important proud moment. I think many ideas tend to get lost along the way for various big reasons like; fear of failure, lack of financial resources, and not knowing where to start. I am very resourceful and love researching. The reasons above were things I overcame by putting time and extreme effort into not giving up regardless of whatever obstacles I may have faced.
Can you tell us about any eco/sustainability initiatives the brand has?
Every collection I produce are very low quantity. I believe slow fashion is a concept that fits for this brand. Keeping track of how many pairs areproduced and only doing B2C is my way of contributing to sustainability initiatives. From the moment I had the concept of this footwear brand, I never envisioned that I would walk out the door and see every other woman or man wearing my shoes. Of course you want your product to be well received, but I don’t want to go down the path of mass- production. That idea just doesn’t sit well with me.
Can you tell us about any key charity/philanthropic initiatives/ efforts the brand has?
There are some charities with which Daissy Ornelas would like to get involved. We are currently looking to partner up with organizations that help with minority women who want to launch their own business. Having had my own struggles with launching this business, I think it’s not only beneficial but important to have the resources and support for women entrepreneurs.
Does the brand use and brand ambassadors/ celebrity partners/ influencers?
There are some partnerships that are in the works. Seeing a favorite celebrity or a favorite interior designer wear my shoes would be a dream come true. I soft launched late last year during a pandemic. So people weren’t really out and about showing off their outfits in a natural way. I think now things are starting to pick up and people are going out more, so I am excited to see if my designs do make it on to a pair of feet of someone whom I admire.
What’s next for the brand?
Continuing its model of slow fashion. The second collection will be launching this year. You will see more of the architectural influence with the second line. It’s my ‘sophomore album’ so to speak. The first collection leans towards everyday wear, while the second collection is more statement centric. It’s the collection that I am most proud of and is more risk-taking than the first.
What are the brand’s website and social handles?
Instagram: @daissyornelas Facebook: Daissy Ornelas
Founder’s Instagram: @Longlegsdays