I grew up on stage. When I was 10, I participated in my first professional production, The Sound of Music. We rehearsed for two months, and the week prior to opening night, the costumes arrived. I will never forget that moment. When I got into that white and blue uniform, I became Brigitta von Trapp, and I understood the power of clothes in a unique way.
Over the years, I continued to perform and began sketching clothes, often times having my creations sewn for me to wear on stage and for special events. I applied and was accepted to fashion school twice, but the timing was never right, and I went on to work on the business side of the music and arts world. I worked my way up to a role on the leadership team at the largest non-profit arts organization in Washington State.
In this role, I was often asked to speak on panels and attend conferences., where participants were expected to wear professional clothing. The known career clothing brands offer business attire more suited for a corporate environment, and when trying those looks on, I felt like I was wearing someone else's costume. I knew that there was no way that I could effectively speak to an audience with confidence and authenticity when I didn't feel like myself in my clothes. So every time I attended one of these events, I would go on a hunt to find the perfect items, mostly leaning on vintage pieces and rentals.
That was my a-ha moment and when the idea of Yomisma was born
The term "enclothed cognition is used to describe the effect that our clothes seem to have on various psychological processes like emotions, self-evaluations, attitudes, and interpersonal interactions. I believe that what we wear not only has an impact on our psyche but is a powerful way of communicating our identity, and there are not enough unique, artistic, and individualistic options.
Yomisma was created in homage to creatives, passion-seekers, and anyone else whose style has been left out of brand designs for women's business wear.
The butterfly in our logo represents transformation. For me, this brand is not about clothes; it is about reinvention Society loves little boxes, which we are put into starting at a very young age. It was time for me to explore my passion for the environment, women, and clothing and to take everything that I had learned up to that point and apply to something completely my own. We are not one-dimensional, and this brand represents just that. I hope that others find inspiration in my story and stop waiting to do what they've always wanted.
Entrepreneur - Victoria has shown an entrepreneurial spirit since childhood. Her first business was a neighborhood candy store that she started with her best friend, Curtis, when they saw the profit margins Costco could provide, while still saving their friends money. Since then, she has worked in various intrapreneurial roles, overseeing large teams and leaning heavily on customer feedback to create the next new service/revenue stream.
Advocate - Victoria has spent her life advocating for others. Her childhood friend and neighborhood candy store co-founder is a little person, and she spent the bulk of her childhood defending him. In college, her favorite class was Women's studies, which piqued her interest in women's rights and building a community of women who support one another. During her time at the arts organization, much of her job was focused on advocacy. She worked with the attorney general on a piece of consumer protection legislation that ultimately passed, and she spent a lot of time at the capital fighting for and against various bills that would negatively affect the arts community and non-profit sector. She was also a founding, steering member of the Seattle Cultural Accessibility Consortium-a non-profit focused on improving access to the arts for people with disabilities.
Fashion Enthusiast - Victoria has been designing and sketching clothes for as long as she can remember. Her first DECA project was, in fact, a fashion brand. Her passion for fashion stems from a belief that clothing goes beyond the superficial-it as a way for us to communicate who we are. Obsessed with vintage clothing since she was very young, Victoria has an extensive collection of vintage dresses and loves the hunt for something special and imagining where that item has been and who has worn it.
Singer and Songwriter - While fashion is Victoria's primary passion, she also has an extensive background in songwriting and performing. Her music can be found on Spotify, iTunes, and other music and streaming services. She performs under the stage name V. Contreras. As a young songwriter and vocalist in an R&B group, V. was initially discovered by Randy Jackson and went on to write songs with Steve Dorff (Celine Dion, Blake Shelton, Whitney Houston), Jon Ingoldsby (Madonna, Elton John, Ke$sha) and Andrew Joslyn (Macklemore, Ke$sha.) She has worked with producers such as Ryan Hadlock (Brandi Carlile, Lumineers, Vance Joy), and Martin Feveyear (Mark Lanegan, Duff McKagan, Kings of Leon).
Several of her songs have been recognized by the International Songwriters Association and have made the Top 40 and Hot AC Radio charts. She has performed the National Anthem at Seahawks, Mariners, Sonics and Sounders games, has been featured in McDonalds and AT&T commercials. Victoria is a classically trained vocalist who has also studied rock, pop, jazz and opera with renowned vocal coaches including Lis Lewis (Rihanna, Britney Spears and Colbie Caillat) and Maestro David Kyle (Liza Minnelli, Ann and Nancy Wilson of Heart and Lane Staley.)