The moment I heard about Zoe Damacela, I knew I had to blog about her. In an age where most kids are happy to put the blame for bad behaviour or making a mess out of their lives on an underprivileged or troubled upbringing, this young lass has turned adversity into the bedrock of her success.
Zoe is on the cover of the October issue of Seventeen Magazine. She's the winner of Seventeen Magazine's Pretty Amazing real-girl cover contest. And amazing she certainly is. By the standards of today's youths at least!
Raised in a single parent household, Zoe's mum was constantly struggling to make ends meet. At one point she was even homeless! Suffice to say, growing up Zoe never had the kind of things most girls her age had. She was even mocked for it. Not surprising considering the culture of peer pressure we live in.
But what was amazing about Zoe is that, she never let it get to her. At age eight she wanted a scooter, but her mum could only afford half the cost. So the enterprising young girl gathered her art supplies and started making greeting cards which she sold to raise money for the scooter she so badly wanted. Pretty cool huh? I wish I had such enterprising ideas at that age!
At 14 the artistically inclined teenager was gifted with a sewing machine. She took sewing classes and started making clothes for herself and her friends. She soon started selling custom made clothes, but felt she lacked the skills to successfully manage her budding business. So at an age when most girls would be chilling out and having fun, Zoe enrolled in an entrepreneurship course so she could create her own business plan.
Her business plan for Zoe Damacela Apparel clinched the top spot at the Network For Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE) Chicago Citywide Business Plan Competition and won second place in the NFTE National Youth Entrepreneurship Challenge.
|She met President Obama with other National Challenge finalists.|
The 19 year old who is currently attending Northwestern University where she is studying history with a minor in both Italian and costume design, runs her custom made and ready to wear clothing company out of her dorm room. She also donates her clothes to charity fashion shows and homeless shelters.
Zoe plans to eventually obtain her MBA and open her own store. Her goal is to improve lives through entrepreneurship and fashion. For one so young, she's made an amazing head start. I bet we will be hearing more of Zoe in the future.
Zoe on the web
She was also interviewed on the Tyra Banks Show. And guess what? Tyra has pledged to mentor Zoe!
Check out her Facebook page to get updates on Zoe.
Zoe takes orders through her website where she showcases a selection of her designs.
She also blogs about her designs and keeps her followers updated on her activities.