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My Best Friend Started Her Own Fashion Brand During COVID

My best friend since childhood, Cara Galske, recently started her own fashion brand, called MONTI’ARA. Cara graduated from The Fashion Institute of Technology, which is located in New York City. She majored in Fashion Design, and now runs her own business, MONTI’ARA. Her own label is inspired by her grandmother. She wants to spread her grandmother’s loving and genuine personality through her brand.


“I want people to see they don’t need the brand to define them, I hope they find excitement, joy, and confidence – ultimately you define the brand.” – Cara Galske


            Cara originally started off her side hustle as @caragalskedesigns, on Instagram. She debuted a tailgate collection and designed apparel for college students. Taking this chance and believing in herself, as well as the support from those around her, gave her the confidence she needed. Cara decided to no longer continue under the name Cara Galske Designs because she felt that there was more to her brand than just her. The idea of the name MONTI’ARA for her brand came from her mother.


“MONTI originating from my grandmother’s maiden name mixed with the ARA portion of my name. Although she passed years ago, I felt as though her legacy should continue to live on.” – Cara Galske


            As Cara continues to grow and build her new brand, she hopes that she can spread her grandmother’s happiness, genuine kindness, and cheerful approach to life through her brand as well as her grandmother did in her life. Cara is one of the kindest, hardworking, and dedicated people that I know, and I know her grandmother would be so proud of MONTI’ARA and all of her accomplishments. I interviewed Cara and asked her a few questions about her brand and the process of starting her own business!


Q: What’s the story behind your brand? What inspired you to create your own brand?

A: “I love to create. I’ve always been someone who loves art, so why not make that my full-time job? As I work towards building my own brand, I am excited to create and make others excited about fashion and to help others feel pretty in their own skin.”


Q: When did you know you wanted to work in the fashion industry?

A: “I wish I could say I have some cute story like, “I used to sew clothes for my Barbies when I was younger and ever since then I knew exactly what I wanted to do.” However, that was certainly not the case. I sort of fell into this career path. Sophomore year of high school my friends convinced me to join BP Nordstrom’s Ambassador Program at our local mall that met once a month and talked about everything fashion. I ended up really enjoying the program which led me to the path of fashion. I ended up researching colleges that specialized in fashion design and decided I wanted to go to The Fashion Institute of Technology in NYC. I worked really hard towards getting in and made some sacrifices along the way, but it was totally worth it because I can’t imagine myself doing anything else.”


Q: What was the process of starting your own business like?

A: “First, with any business you create, you need to think of a business name, your target customer, and most importantly your purpose – the “why” behind your product or service. I think it’s also vital to think about what your company/brand provides that the current market is lacking and how you plan to fill that void. Once you have a clear image, you can finally start to get your “hands dirty”. After I thought of those things, I was able to get into branding – (i.e., how I wanted my labels to look, my overall styling, my packaging, etc.). This is when building a brand started to become really exciting and a reality.”


Q: What tips do you have for anyone who is also looking to start their own business?

A: “My advice to anyone starting a business is to build a business around an idea or product you truly love and believe in. This is so important because the work you do for your business won’t feel like a “job.” By doing this, you tend to look forward to your own work, and the motivation and drive behind it comes so naturally. Throughout the day, I am constantly thinking about new ideas and products for MONTI’ARA and when I finally get home I get straight into things!” 


You can check out MONTI’ARA on their socials! I ordered masks and I LOVE them!! They’re super cute and of great quality :)


MONTI’ARA Website: https://montiara.com

MONTI’ARA Instagram: @monti.ara

MONTI’ARA TikTok: @monti.ara

Hi! My name is Natalie and I am a senior at Stonehill College pursuing a Marketing and Communication double major. I also have a passion for graphic design and creative writing!
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