Gonzalez and her son. Dondolo

Style

How Dondolo, a Dallas-Based Children’s Brand, Empowers Women with Sustainable Employment

Catalina Gonzalez explains the origins of her sweet children's clothing line and gives us a look at her collaboration with LoveShackFancy.

After having her first son, Catalina Gonzalez struggled to find high-quality baby clothing that could be passed down through generations. At the same time, she felt a calling to help mothers in her native Colombia, where challenges like poverty and food insecurity compound the challenges of parenting. Gonzalez decided to merge her passion for beautiful and durable children’s clothing with her passion for social change. The result: her luxury children’s clothing brand, Dondolo.

With Dondolo, Gonzalez aims to inspire, shape, and support the journey of motherhood by employing women in Colombia through an ethical manufacturing chain. The women take great pride in handcrafting their products, Gonzalez says.

“I have a deep appreciation of treasured family heirloom pieces,” she explains. “Growing up, my mom would make clothing for me and my sisters. These pieces were always made with so much love. I wanted to bring the same love and detail into my designs at Dondolo. It’s the reason we say, ‘love is in the details.’”

The women in the communities Dondolo touches are typically facing extreme poverty. Gonzalez and her team have made several trips to Colombia. She recalls that many of the homes had dirt floors and lacked water and electricity. During a recent pre-pandemic trip, her team donated playgrounds and delivered more than 5,000 items of clothing and food to three communities in Colombia.

Each day, I remind my team why the work we do is so special,” Gonzalez continues. “We have the incredible opportunity and privilege of creating change and improving the quality of life for so many women and children.”

Dondolo’s most recent charitable endeavor is the Mom Empowering Program, where Gonzalez hires women to assemble her new Dondolo dolls. While working for a living wage, the women also receive training on how to start and run their own business.

“It’s important for my sons to witness their mom work hard, pursue her dreams and help others,” she says. “Through my work, I love that I’m able to empower other moms to set a positive example and create the same opportunities for their children.”

With each collection launch, Gonzalez can empower and employ even more women. Her most recent collection is a collaboration with another woman-owned brand, LoveShackFancy, which recently opened in Highland Park Village.

“I was honored to work with Rebecca Cohen, the founder of LoveShackFancy,” Gonzalez says. “Our brands share a love for beautiful clothing, as well as a continued investment in social impact initiatives that support women and children.”

The partnered collection is exclusive to the Dallas LoveShackFancy store and was Dondolo’s way of welcoming the brand to the city. Dondolo + LoveShackFancy is a Mommy & Me collection that includes styles for women and matching pieces for children. Carrying boys’ clothing was a first for LoveShackFancy.

The LoveShackFancy collaboration was timed perfectly for Mother’s Day. After the holiday passes, we wondered, what’s next for Gonzalez and Dondolo? The founder offered us a hint: tabletop décor and home goods are on the horizon.

For more information on Dondolo’s giveback efforts and to shop the latest collections, visit dondolo.com.

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