Alyssa Wasko is a student at the University of Arizona. However she is doing a lot more then going through the average college routine of classes and parties. She is already running her own fashion company, Donni Charm.
Donni Charm scarves have been seen on celebrities and can be found in some of the top fashion boutiques around the country. Alyssa has an undeniable passion and drive for the business because of a personal loss and the support of her family. Continue reading to find out more about Alyssa and how she describes this entrepreneurial journey…
What inspired you to start a business of your own?
The loss of my father. I put my energy into starting a business as a coping mechanism after losing him. I like to think of our continued success as a “happy accident.”
What has given you the most support in your entrepreneurial journey?
Family and Friends. This wouldn’t be possible without the help of people that love and care and believe in donni charm. People have gone out of their way to help with no benefit to themselves just because they believe in the product and what we are doing.
You mentioned your scarves being in boutiques and worn by celebrities. What do you think played the major role in getting them there? Any secret strategies to getting your stuff in the hands of important people?
No secret strategies. I am just appreciative that our community has been willing to help promote our scarves and has assisted us in getting them in the hands of the right people. I’m flattered not only that the celebrities have been receptive to the line, but they have also worn them multiple times. Seeing the scarves on their necks in photographs is truly rewarding, it is the highest compliment.
What is the biggest thing you have learned while running Donni Charm?
If your business has an inspiration, it has the power to drive you as far as you wish to go. I have also learned that age is not a factor in running a business. I have had the opportunity to run a business and gain a college education, and doing that simultaneously has taught me the sky is the limit.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
In 5 years, I see myself still designing for donni charm. It is my hope that we will have expanded throughout the country — in terms of team members, retail sites, publicity and philanthropic partnerships.
What do you see as Donni Charm’s biggest challenge in the coming years? Why?
Our biggest challenge in the coming years is continuing to provide products that combine unsurpassed innovation and quality.
It seems like you are passionate about fashion, scarves in particular. How important do you think that passion is when running a business? What would you say to someone who doesn’t know what their passion is?
Passion is the force that drives the donni charm team to work hard every single day. We have reached a level of success we never could have anticipated in this short amount of time. Not only do people like our product from a fashion standpoint, but people everywhere are touched by our inspirational story. I can’t tell you how many customers have told me what a positive impact the donni charm story has made on their lives, in their own healing processes that parallel mine It’s not just a scarf, it’s my heart and soul, and the people that buy and wear donni charm know that.
Describe what its like being young and running your own company in ONE word.