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Zoë Damacela started sewing clothes for herself when she was 13. Word got out and her family and friends started buying from her. Soon after, she was hiring a team to help her keep up with demand. She founded Zoë Damacela Apparel a year later, at age 14. And her business made her famous.

 

She appeared on the Tyra Banks show, was featured in the Chicago Tribune and on the cover of the October 2011 issue of Seventeen Magazine. She was also invited to meet President Obama at the White House on two occasions, and was a speaker for the “Startup America,” a White House initiative for new, small businesses.


At 22, she graduated from Northwestern University and moved to New York to work as a designer for Macy’s and for her own brand. From her apartment in Brooklyn, where she lives with fellow designer and boyfriend, Brian Longwill. As a young businesswoman of color making her way in the fashion world, she tells us where she gets her confidence.

 

Photo by Ernesto Cuevas.