BY HANNAH GROGAN
Students here at the Bay have different goals for their futures, and for senior Alejandra Yarleque, it has always been to start up her own business. Yarleque created her self-owned clothing company, TWO SIDED Apparel, over quarantine, where she designs and sells many versatile tops.
Yarleque said TWO SIDED apparel sells self-designed tops that are comfortable and come in various colors including purple, blue, neutrals, and black. She said a lot of thought went into each and every design to ensure that she was satisfying all of her customers and giving them what they want.
“All of my tops are adjustable and can be designed in all different sizes, so they can be accommodated to fit really anyone,” Yarleque said. “I didn’t want to design for just one specific range and I wanted to make sure that I was creating products that a variety of people can use and feel confident in.”
Senior Sofia Angel, who purchased a top from TWO SIDED Apparel, said she found out about the company via Instagram. She said the customer service was perfect and it is a well managed business.
“I was able to pick up my product and it was completely contact free and safe which was great and much appreciated,” Angel said. “She had everything ready and it was a very well organized process.”
Yarleque said displaying her work to the public was exciting because she had been planning and designing for so long, she couldn’t wait to share it. She said it has been nothing but a smooth run so far, and is able to create her own schedule.
“I have always wanted to start my very own business, and it has been a dream of mine ever since I was a little girl and I finally made it happen,” Yarleque said. “My company runs 24/7, but when needed I take my breaks and sometimes on the weekends I like to put a pause on it and be stress free.”
Yarleque said her Instagram account began to grow quickly after sharing her account with some followers, and started to receive a lot of recognition through it all. She said it made her feel accomplished knowing that so many people appreciated her creativity.
“I really hoped that everyone enjoyed my designs, and I needed a way to post all of my work,” Yarleque said. “I thought the best way to run it for me was through Instagram, so I made an account and posted a few of my ideas and overall got great feedback and grew way faster than I expected.”
Angel said she purchased a halter top that is black and white, which stood out to her because of how unique it was. She said she knew she had to get it because she didn’t have anything like it in her wardrobe.
“The different color contrasts and design in this specific shirt really caught my eye because the way it was designed is so cool,” Angel said. “I thought it was so different and especially at a very affordable price.”
Yarleque said she is planning on soon starting up a website of her own, but is waiting until she creates more shirts and designs to sell. She said she has a lot in the making, and is still coming up with new products and shirt designs that hopefully other people will love.
“I gathered a lot of my inspiration from different street wear companies or big designers I see on social media and really admire the different looks,” Yarleque said. “I love the unique sense of fashion that they display and it inspired me to create my own twist on that style.”
Yarleque’s mom, Katherina Cabrera, said she is extremely pleased with her daughter and all she has done through her business. Cabrera said Yarleque inspires her to keep working hard.
“She has made the whole family proud by slowly accomplishing the business she always dreamt of creating,” Cabrera said. “I am there for her 24/7, especially when it comes to finances to help teach her more about management.”
Cabrera said that it is a learning process for both of them and they are growing together. She said Yarleque teaches her about all of her new designs and styles she has in mind, and she helps with the financial side of the business.
“I will support her regardless of her choices that she may decide to do within her business,” Cabrera said. “It has truly made my family and I extremely proud of her.”
Yarleque said TWOSIDED Apparel has been nothing but a success, and she encourages any aspiring business owner to just go for it. She said that people tried bringing her down and convincing her that it is a competitive realm, but that didn’t get to her and she’s so thankful it didn’t.
“Some advice I would give to people who have hopes and dreams of starting a company would be to just go for it and don’t let others tear you down,” Yarleque said. “People will envy your successes and want to see you fail to make themselves feel higher, but use that as motivation to keep hustling and striving to get to where you want to be.”