Shakira Marie Soto designs dresses for baby’s first discharge from hospital

Shakira Marie Soto designs dresses for baby’s first discharge from hospital

An unforgettable outfit for an unforgettable moment.

Fashion designer Shakira Marie Soto Rosado enjoys being part of a unique experience in her newborn creations as each baby arrives. His designs focus on the tradition of adorning the creature for the moment of its first discharge from the hospital.

What started as a gift for a friend and her little girl in 2017 gave way to an audience interested in acquiring similar pieces after Shakira Marie shared the images on her social networks. By then, she had spent several years designing adult dresses for special occasions like proms or parties while working full-time as a merchandising coordinator at a mall in Ponce, her hometown.

“I had never created a play for a baby as such. It’s not so easy to get the samples,” said the businesswoman, who currently runs her online sales site, shakiramarie.com. “I managed to make the pattern by getting carried away with very simple measurements and the standards as such, and then the first pattern came out for the first dress,” she recalls, nostalgically, of the cream suit made with lace , with its matching ribbon.

“I uploaded it to all my social networks, but I didn’t give it the attention it deserved because it was a market I didn’t know.” To his surprise, requests started to come in. “For a moment I doubted if it could be a market until I started studying it and the reality is that children are born every day”, he analyzed, clarifying that thanks to his virtual store his designs are changing have crossed the Boricua border.

“I love the fact that I can be a part of such an important moment as the birth of a baby. Pleasing moms who want to find the perfect dress to take their baby out with,” he pointed out. “I’m not a mother and I don’t understand these emotions that they can feel, but the reality is that they completely infect you.”

As an entrepreneur, Ponceña, 26, shared that she’s faced the challenges of starting a business. The first started when she decided to study fashion design. Although her passion for sewing was discovered in her youth in home economics class, she actually had no idea that she could earn money with the emerging career interest.

“I wanted to choose a different career because I had the stereotype that it looked more like a hobby,” he confessed. “My grandmother always sewed. She was the one who made us school uniforms and stuff like that and I’ve always liked fashion. But I didn’t think I would really be able to perform a piece.”

As a teenager, he asked for a sewing machine as a gift. “They bought it at home so we could make jewelry for ourselves,” she said, delighted with the memory.

After graduating from high school, he was about to study in a different professional career. “I signed up to start social work, but I couldn’t even get started.” The thought of trying out her calling in fashion overwhelmed her.

“It was the fact of being able to demonstrate that it’s achievable, and while that idea that I would devote myself to it didn’t come up at first, it was the fact of demonstrating that while you can meet people who make it Take it as a hobby, it doesn’t matter what you study, if you really like it and want to make it your life project, you can achieve it”.

He really enjoyed the learning process. “When I started, the reality was I didn’t know anything. He knew the basics of running fabric through the machine. But still, I never saw myself drawing, making elaborate designs, because I didn’t have this drawing technique. But it was something I developed in the same way during my studies.”

The customer base has increased. “My husband has a café where I work with him all day. I always sew at night,” she clarified, acknowledging that this dynamic gives her more flexibility to devote herself to design.

Although it has designs for men, it shows that its main audience is aimed at dresses for girls. “I always think about the comfort of the baby,” she said. “The reality is that all mothers want something different for their baby, so I’m trying not to repeat myself. Each dress is unique,” she said of the girls’ pieces, clarifying that “it might be the same fabric, but it will be different.” Also, she no longer works to commission to create designs, only bids those made by her for sale.

As for the men’s pieces, “you can do up to three of the same piece because fabric variety can be a little more limited.” Each set includes a handmade sweater with matching hat, romper and tights.”

When it comes to materials, cheesecloth is usually her favorite. “For the baby’s safety, I never use rhinestones. Yes, he used to use fabrics that have sequins because they’re already sewn,” he described. “For boys I have used gauze but as it is very sheer I sometimes use 100% cotton which I think is quite comfortable for the baby.” Although light tones are usually preferred there is flexibility in varying the colors. “I’ve made dresses in black and mom loves that type of dress because it’s not traditional.”

Currently, in addition to its virtual shop, it has a space at the Pre-Vue Sonography Center in San Juan, where its designs are currently for sale.

Owning your own business comes with challenges. But Shakira Marie never doubts that she made the best choice. “Working for yourself is extremely self-sacrificing. I always try not to romanticize entrepreneurship,” he said. “But I never thought that I could give up my job and devote myself fully to a cause that is so close to my heart,” he looks back enthusiastically. “I’ve learned never to doubt myself, to try, not to ask myself what would have happened if I had studied fashion design.”