From the dreams of a nine-year-old girl sewing clothes for her Barbie dolls and lingering around her grandmother’s upholstery business to a bona fide fashion designer competing with the best in the region to have her clothes in a major department store, Kelsy Dominick is a true success ~ even before college graduation.
Dominick took several art classes growing up and thought she would pursue art as a sole endeavor. When she realized that her passion for art and love for sewing could be combined, she set her mind to dreams of fashion design. She started making that dream a reality by participating in fashion shows while still in high school and started planning her own business with help from her parents.
“I talked to my parents when I first got into Virginia Tech about starting my own Limited Liability Corporation or LLC. We purchased one named Dodomenic that I still use today,” says Dominick.
Through her LLC, she has designed clothes and entered competitions at Virginia Tech to win the chance to sell her designs in local stores. As a junior, she won the opportunity to place her clothing merchandise in Mad Dog, a cute clothing shop in downtown Blacksburg. That relationship continues today. Branching off from small boutiques, she is focusing on taking part in wholesales to mass produce designs and spread out her influence to even more boutiques in downtown areas.
After conquering the world of boutique chic, she hopes to use her hands-on experience, education and creativity to extend a presence around the world. “I am an apparel housing and resource management major, as well as international studies with a business option major. This gives me the chance to expand my fashion to a broad spectrum of international business, while understanding the business politics to successfully do international trade,” Dominick explains.
Currently she is in the middle of a competition through Belk where its executives look at the best of southern designers. From among the participants, the big retail giant will select some from whom to buy designs and produce the garments for sale in Belk stores. Contestants have submitted professional photos of their clothing pieces for review.
With no apparent shortage of energy or vision, Dominick is completing her senior year and prepping for a fashion show at Virginia Tech where she is optimistic of maintaining her title of “overall best designer” for the third year in a row. She has been hard at work on her line since November and hopes her designs will wow the crowd.
“My clothes lean more toward formal dresses and cocktail dresses,” she points out. “I am hoping my business will be able to cater to every person’s individual bodies with the prices for each product including the cost of tailoring so that they can fit all body shapes in a changing America. My designs are usually very vibrant and colorful. and I just try to stick with anything that is appropriate for the moment.”
With her current line featuring a plethora of prints and embellishments that flair on the side of a tribal theme, these unique designs will likely be in a store near you in the future. Look for the Dodomenic label, and remember that she’s a Hokie!
Happy graduation and good luck, Kelsy Dominick!
By Sophie Karatsikis
Sophie Karatsikis is a Virginia Tech graduate ~ May 2013 ~ who interned at NRV Magazine fall and spring semesters. Happy graduation and good luck to you, too, Sophie!♦ End