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Confidence Is Always In Style

02 July 2014 Written by  By Michelle Lassle
Published in July 2014 Articles

This definition is exactly what Jasmine Senkiw and Kaelyn Pagenkopp had in mind when they first brought together their creative talents to build their clothing line.

With their brand values being listed as “Trust your own identity, maintain high self-worth, and be positively influential,” the two young ladies aim to bring out the confidence in each of their customers. “We want to be a positive influence for other people in this community who are wondering how they’re going to make it,” Kaelyn said. “You don’t have to be in New York or L.A. Follow your dreams; you can accomplish them. You just have to take one step at a time.”

Kaelyn and Jasmine both grew up knowing from a young age that fashion design was their destiny. In 2007 after attending the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising in San Francisco, the two girls began working at the same Betsey Johnson boutique in downtown Walnut Creek. “Neither one of us wanted to intern for bigger design houses,” Kaelyn said. They were satisfied with making money and paying their rents, so there was no rush to move toward their own business venture until one day the company announced it was going out of business. “I had written a business plan to do the clothing line with my best friend, but we just never really connected,” Kaelyn said. “So I approached Jasmine.” “We were going to be unemployed, so I said yes,” Jasmine said. So in September of 2012, Delusions of Grandeur was born.

Anyone who knows or has interacted with the two women knows that they are complete opposites. “We’re really very different,” Kaelyn said. “Jasmine is all about yoga, exercise, and clean eating, and I’m riding on a Harley with my dad and working at a bar.” Because they are contradictory in style, people were somewhat skeptical of Jasmine and Kaelyn going into business together. “People were surprised when we told them that we were going to start our own clothing brand,” Jasmine said. However, it is their different influences that work together to form their unique items, providing clients with a 1970s vibe on classic Hollywood silhouettes. Jasmine’s influences are seen in the bright hues and floral patterns, and Kaelyn’s need for ease and versatility is found in the stretchy jersey fabrics. “We don’t like zippers or anything too restricting,” Kaelyn said. “We want to be comfortable; we’re very easy to wear. These are things I can throw on and probably live in for three days without it becoming wrinkled or messed up, and then I can throw them in the washing machine.”

Delusions of Grandeur offers a selection of clothing items that clients are able to personalize to their taste within certain parameters. Each season the girls design certain silhouettes that they love. Currently available are bell bottoms, peplum tops, high-low skirts, and oversized tanks. “From those items you can choose the fabric, which we source ourselves from various places,” Kaelyn said. “We pick three different jerseys, two of them could be printed and one solid. So those are the options clients can choose from.” The duo keeps designs simple so that customers have more selections. For example, if someone wanted to purchase a tank top, they could have it made as a crop top, an oversized tank, or a maxi dress. One client in particular loved the Delusions of Grandeur peplum top so much that she ordered customized versions for specific occasions. “Her daughter’s birthday was on the Fourth of July, so she had us make a top that was red, white, and blue,” Jasmine said. “Then she was going to Disneyland and wanted a themed top, so we found red fabric with white polka dots to look like Minnie Mouse. She paid a little bit extra, but she loved it.”

Another reason for the simplicity of the clothing designs is because Jasmine and Kaelyn do all production by hand. “We do all production ourselves,” Kaelyn said. “It takes us, on average, a day or two for turn around. We try and keep our silhouettes as simple as possible so we can fulfill orders as quickly as possible.” Jasmine and Kaelyn must be doing something right because the online-only store is reaching customers as far as Hawaii and Australia. With the building popularity the girls are hoping to find a manufacturer and eventually be carried in a larger store like Urban Outfitters, which is similar to their $50-$250 price range. “We want to reach the point where we have so many orders we can’t keep up. We would love to be carried by a larger distributer, but we don’t want to sell out,” Kaelyn said. “The fashion world is changing. Instead of five big brands, there are a bunch of little brands, and that’s what people like, the originality. They can have something that other people probably aren’t going to have.”

Today Delusions of Grandeur has 20 pieces that are being produced on a consistent basis, and the company continues to evolve with time. While it may still seem like a small endeavor to some, Jasmine and Kaelyn have made astounding progress in just two years. “We know our clientele is out there,” Kaelyn said. “Our motto is you just have to keep going. Nobody is going to make it happen for you.” Even though the girls claim to have made mistakes along the way and are in the process of rebranding, they choose to look at the positive. “You can’t learn until you do the wrong things,” Kaelyn said. “There’s no special formula to say, ‘Do these three steps and you will have a successful business.’ It’s just trial and error.” Regardless of any mishaps, Delusions of Grandeur is on the right track, exuding the idea of encouraging and embracing individuality. “You’re going to get criticism, but sometimes you just have to give yourself a pat on the back and realize how far you’ve come. You have to know that this is what you’re meant to do.

Read 3470 times Last modified on Wednesday, 02 July 2014 03:20
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