The Full Story
My name is Angel Cotilus. I am the owner and designer of Dolce Mia Couture clothing. To say that fashion is my true passion would be an understatement. I was a girl who grew up in South Philly of very modest means. I very rarely had the latest and greatest of anything, but I had what I needed. I became quite prolific in taking what I owned, be it a hand-me-down or something drab, and I managed to create something unique and fashionable. As they say, "Necessity is the mother of invention". I would take a pair of jeans, learn how to shred them myself in just the right spots and made them my own. I would know just how to cut and crop a top to "not" make it look homemade. I even once took a permanent marker to pair of "bo - bo" sneakers and precisely logo'd "Reebok" on them, because at that time, they were all the rage. Don't even get me started on my bras! I hated my uneven shape when I was first maturing, and I fashioned my bra to even out my "issue". Fortunately, we've come along way from those days of limited options. Anyway, I digress.
I remember finishing my first year of college. I was already engaged to my husband. The very last day of school, I literally trekked all the way from my school on Springarden St. to Chestnut St. to land a job at "Express". My dream job!!! I was literally in the center of fashion every day. I had such a strong passion for their clothing line, that I shortly rose in the ranks and made it to manager in less than a year of working there. I was obsessed with dressing people and making them feel good about themselves. I went on to win numerous sales and management awards and was offered a regional visual merchandising position. I declined, because I needed to go back to finish college. Once, I was married, my husband was able to send me back to finish my pursuit of a Law/Justice degree.
Shortly after college, I was blessed with our daughter Julia. I was so overjoyed that she was a girl! Yes, I would have loved a boy just the same, but I always wished for a girl. I relished in dressing her perfectly. She looked amazing in everything. She reignited my need to pursue the world of fashion. I would go on site's like Ebay and Etsy and would buy Julia all of these beautiful custom made outfits. I loved that she wore one of a kind fashions. Let's just say, my obsession was getting relatively expensive. So, it drove me to learn how to sew and to design things myself. That said, My Little Jewel Boutique was born. It was just an online Etsy store and I occasionally did home shows. It was incredibly fun, and yes, some of the moms were insane! But, it was amazing seeing all those adorable little girls in my clothing and accessories. What a wonderful feeling!
Well, let's just say, by the time my daughter turned 10, there was only one store for she and her friends to shop. You guessed it," Justice". I no longer had my muse to inspire me. She wanted nothing to do with my custom sets, until now. Yes!!!
From the day Julia was born, I picked out most of her clothing. She always trusted me to shop for her and to make her look her best. I came to the conclusion that this is pretty much what I was made to do. I started making some custom skirts and tops for her and she absolutely flipped over them. This is why I decided to pursue my passion. I was working as a seamstress for a specialty dress shop and something was just missing. I was so completely bored with altering clothing. I was tired of working for people who didn't value my true worth. It was wearing me down. I found myself dropping everything to make other people's businesses survive and thrive, and my family was starting to suffer by my absence. I was completely drained.
Fortunately, this was the catalyst that made me finally commit to my designing and building my own clothing line and online shop. I genuinely want to make you look your best. I want you to love what you're wearing! I also don't want you to break the bank for it. I have been told to raise my prices because things are mostly custom. The truth is, I need to be fair and to charge a fair price. I refuse to over inflate a product to be pretentious. That's not who I am and I certainly don't forget where I came from. I want that young girl from Philly to be able to buy an affordable shirt and to feel special because she is special. This is why I do what I do.