We had the good fortune of connecting with Jennifer and Victoria DeLaGarza from VK Girl Creations we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Jennifer & Victoria, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
The decision to start our own small business actually started as a hobby. My daughter Victoria learned how to knit in high school by her life skills teacher. Victoria was really impressed with the skill of knitting and kept practicing at home. She would take her designs to school and her peers and teachers would ask her for a custom knitted beanie. We turned our formal dining room into a workstation for her and my mom bought her a worktable with several drawers for her knitting supplies. Victoria and myself would talk about ideas we had, what names we had in mind because we did need to identify her knitting work with a name. As a a family we decided to start her a small business and her first vendor booth was at her high school during a conference. How it started – a yellow poster board with sticker letters and foam butterflies because Victoria loves them. My mom was a huge help in helping us get supplies to decorate the booth and showcase the beanies Victoria knitted. The rest of the journey is a true adventure! Vics Knitz was our first brand it represented Victoria one hundred percent! The name was an inspiration of Victorias nickname, Vic and we thought Vics Knitz was a catchy name since she was the designer. The color of the labels on her hats was a lilac purple with a butterfly and the font on the writing was similar to Vics handwriting. The color purple is her favorite color so we incorporated that into design of her first business logo. We used notebooks to write down the hats sold and the customer names. Another cool fact about the Vics Knitz beanies was she would name her creations. Not only were the colorful creations designed they also were given more meaning by having a name by the artist, my daughter. You see this business we intended in the beginning to just be a way for Victoria to express her creativity and believe in her ability. Victoria was a student in special education and we were not sure what exactly the future would be like for her. As a family we listened to her goals we listened to her wishes and as her mother I did a lot of thinking to find a way to show my Vic how she can make her mark in this world. She has always demonstrated creativity as a young child and she would even play store and office in our living room. She even was known for her sense of fashion from her clothes to her headbands and ribbons in her pigtails. I just knew we had something special I just wasn’t sure at that time what exactly we needed to do. Knitting paved the pathway to our creative journey and we are so grateful for the opportunity. In 2020, we decided to rebrand because we wanted the ability to expand our business and offer more than just knitted beanies. VK Girl Creations was formed and along came our online store! This is the short version of our story maybe one day we can write the book for everyone to enjoy I sure hope so.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I asked Victoria this question she said she is most proud of how she is an inspiration to others. She feels that with her creations whether its a beanie hat or a bracelet she feels she can connect with each person and make them happy with her handmade art. Victoria says the following about challenges of running a business “ It has been challenging sometimes in the beginning because I would get a lot of orders and I had to knit a lot of hats. But with my mom helping me we were able to help each other and we learned how to plan. Today we have an inventory and we learned how to make it work. We tried and we were able to make it happen we never gave up!” I asked Victoria what she wants the world to know about her brand and story and she had this to say “ I love making people feel happy and I love to give back to others. I want to inspire others to never give up in life that’s what I am about believing in yourself. My brand represents filling the world with love one creation at a time. Just like a butterfly flys in the sky so do my dreams I hope people can feel this with my creations.”
Manifesting our goals and determination got us to where we are today in my opinion. There were many nights I would lay in bed and worry about the future. But then I would say you know what I have a choice, I can lay here and worry and cry OR I can do something. I can show Vic she can do anything and these dreams she talks about these goals and to do lists she has they are not just a piece a paper. They are a map and I need to be the leader and we need to explore. So we did, and just like when you are walking you come across many things or obstacles I should say. But its how we reacted and how we chose to deal with these challenges. I think what helped me as a mom/manager was always being told by other professionals, whether it was a doctor of Vics or a teacher, that she couldn’t or she wouldn’t be able to do something. The word No or Can’t I just could not accept it and I wouldn’t accept it. This motivated me as her mom to try harder to work with my Vic and never give up. I am really glad that I did this because I truly believe that it really helped us. It’s not that I don’t know boundaries I just knew my daughter was capable of much more than she was being credited for.
Our brand to me is about knowing your worth, feeling your abilities in your heart and believing in you! With each creation, time is taken to design to look at colors and feel them. To imagine what our customers would feel like when they first see a newly knitted beanie or a bracelet stack. There’s so many emotions, we get excited when we ship an order to a customer it truly is happy mail. We want our customers and those reading this to know VK Girl Creations is about Believing and Achieving!
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Victoria and I both LOVE downtown Houston we love all the Art our city has to offer. We would take our friends on an art exploration starting off at our favorite spot the Art Walls by Minute Maid Park. There are many walls of buildings transformed into works of art and murals. Whether you want to snap a photo for the gram or just give your eyes a creative show this is the place to do that. There are many murals all around the city and surrounding neighborhoods its like a art scavenger hunt. Many times we find ourselves out exploring new murals in Houston Heights, Montrose, Kemah and Galveston Strand Area.
In addition to the arts comes some delicious food! First we would grab some appetizers and drinks at Truck Yard this place is awesome I always say its like a concert and picnic put together! Best of both worlds and make sure to take a ride on the Ferris wheel – yep folks that’s right there’s an actual Ferris wheel. For lunch our favorite spot has got to be Romanos Pizza on West Gray, we love Italian food and the lasagna and salad from this spot are superb! Another favorite place for lunch that is only open during the week and has specific hours of operation is Champ Burger if you want a delicious burger with onion rings and a milkshake Champ Burger is the spot! Dinner plans we like to eat sushi and the colorful creations the chef sends over at our local spot in Pearland Texas Takumi Sushi.
Along Main Street in downtown you can see many pubs and clubs you can hear music and see many shapes and designs on business fronts its a neat place to explore. We would travel 45 south to Smither Park which is a park that has a ton of mosaic art designs and sculptures literally from the floor to coverings that arch above your head. We could even go relax one afternoon hillside at Allen parkway where you can see the Downtown skyline, have a picnic and relax or even ride your bike along the trails and view Buffalo Bayou.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
VK Girl Creations success is made possible because of many individuals who embraced our dream. My mother and Vic’s Nane , Cynthia Martinez has been an incredible support not only emotionally, financially but also creatively. She instilled the values of believing in yourself in me as a young kid and I was fortunate to be able to pass on those same values to my daughter. Mom has really been our biggest fan and sometimes even our biggest critic, but you know that’s what love is about. The honesty in an opinion is valuable when it comes to business and we are so thankful for having my mom/nane in our creative squad! Another individual to be recognized is Victoria’s Dad and my husband, Gustavo DeLaGarza he has worked hard to provide for our family and it has allowed me and Victoria to go after our dreams. From him providing manpower to load up our car with tables and our set up for pop up markets, to him listening to me sometimes when I felt I was overwhelmed with the website or just had a bad day. He provides us with encouraging words that we are a dynamic team and to keep going after what we believe in. There is so many family and friends who are there, who show up and give us encouragement. But I need to make sure to recognize the most amazing teacher and educator Megan Turner. Megan is a Life skills teacher at Dickinson High School and she was the most important mentor to my Vic during her school years at the high school. Mrs. Turner believed in Victoria she really made sure Victoria was exposed to skills and creativity that would boost her confidence and her creative skills. Mrs. Turner was the one who created this lesson for her class about using the knitting loom and without her doing so Victoria would not have received that magic. Megan goes above and beyond for each of her students she is an amazing teacher. Vic graduated from high school in 2016 and to this very day we are very great friends with Mrs. T!
Graduation Photo: Snap Sharp Photography