Nice to meet you
My name is Nisha Btesh
Now allow me to set the scene and explain how I became the Designer & Founder at Hola Gwapa.
The year is 2014 & I’m backstage at New York Fashion Week watching my senior textile collection hit the runway; an honor most designers only ever dream of & I had somehow managed to accomplish before ever even graduating from art school. The future of my creative career felt limitless so immediately following graduation, I confidently set out to pursue my passions as a textile designer & begin building my brand.
But I quickly realized being on my own out in the real world away from the safety net of teachers & peers was scary & lonely! I felt like I had no idea what I was doing & I certainly had no idea how to start a business. Imposter syndrome set in fast & it set in hard but I didn’t let my own self-doubt, lack of income/resources/time/contacts, or even a million failed attempts stop me.
Whatever I didn’t understand I googled & researched until it made sense. If didn’t know how to do something I watched hours of youtube videos on the subject until I felt confident to take on the task or skill. I taught myself how to create a website & put together a line sheet & develop a solid marketing strategy. I researched how to apply for an LLC, & file business taxes. Whether I was designing pillows, purses, accessories, or apparel - I’ve made the trip back & forth from San Diego to LA at least 100 times (while also working my M-F 9-5 career) to establish & build relationships with pattern makers, deadstock fabric warehouses, & ethical production factories. Slowly but surely I cultivated my own experiences in the fashion industry & regained the confidence to launch my very own small batch, slow fashion line - Gwapa.
Now a brand, online shop, podcast, blog and a growing community of 10K+ creatives from all over the world - I share my story for those who are putting in the time and the work it takes to accomplish great things and for those who still don’t believe they have what it takes. Commit to your vision, move at your own pace, stay focused & let this be your reminder that it may take time & grit & sacrifice but you are capable & it is possible.