Dinuba Girl Makes a Colorful Splash in the World of Fashion

Jul 2, 2011 | 2011 Articles, Books & Tales, Teens

by Aimee Lewis

Ever wanted to start your own business? Ever wonder if you could? Well, six years ago young entrepreneur Sandy Gonzalez from Dinuba, California, made her dream come true when she started her own clothing line, Abuel in the Golden Age. Sandy is 20 years old, and now attends FIDM (The Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising) in Los Angeles, California.

Sandra Gonzalez & her designs

I had the pleasure of interviewing Sandy for the article.

Aimee:Can you tell me about yourself?

Sandy: Well, my name is Sandy Gonzalez, I’m 20 years old and I attend FIDM in Downtown Los Angeles. I’ve been sewing since I was six and am self-taught. I learned by just watching my Grandma Maggie and Aunt Lee make quilts. Around the age of 14 is when I started selling my handmade clothes and purses to the girls at school. When I was 16 I left school and in that time, taught myself html and css coding to build my own websites and also started doing graphic design for other people. And now, my line, Abuel in the Golden Age, has been going six years strong and is sold worldwide.

Sandra's designs

Aimee: Why did you want to start getting into sewing and making your own clothes?

Sandy: Well, sewing my own clothes or having my grandma or aunt sew them for me is all I’ve ever known, so it wasn’t that far out of an idea that I would do it too. I wasn’t like most kids though, who whined about having their clothes sewn for them or threw tantrums over not being able to shop at JC Penny’s. I LOVED watching my clothes come together from scratch, from asking my aunt to use pink thread on the blue fabric, to having a huge bow sewn right on the front of my new outfit, so naturally I would only want to try myself. But when I realized not all kids had their clothes sewn for them or even knew how to sew, I saw it was something special and in elementary school kids started bringing me their jeans that needed hemming or their favorite shirt with holes in them and I was charging them $2 to fix it.

Sandra's Designs

Aimee: How would you describe your style and how it came about?

Sandy: I would describe my style as fun, colorful, and quirky. I love vintage silhouettes with modern prints. I’m inspired a lot by greasers, Johnny Cash, and Mexican culture. Growing up my mom let me wear whatever I wanted so naturally, being a shy kid, I wanted the loudest clothing. And along the way [I] was exposed to music my parents grew up with, which opened me up to the 1950s and 60s eras and also, being a Mexican, pale skinned freckled redheaded kid in the Central Valley surrounded by Mexican traditions and festivals like Cinco De Mayo, the brightness and free spirited look of all the decorations got me really into exploring the look and style of the Mexican culture.

Sandra's Designs

Aimee: How do you feel about your progress as a designer?

Sandy: I feel since 14 years old I’ve progressed more than I could ever imagine. The people I’ve met these past six years, the opportunities I’ve been given, and the things I’ve learned, have all helped in my progression as a designer and made me humble and thankful for being able to carry out this dream. Stylistically, I’ve changed for the better, whether it’s with silhouettes, color, patterns or print. I’ve learned not to wait around for inspiration, because with all types of art, it’s always a process when creating. I can only hope I go up from here without any slowing down and am so thankful for everyone’s support and acknowledgement.

Sandra in her designs

So there you have it, the success story of a young girl making her life goals. Be sure to check out her online clothing store, and keep looking for things to come from Sandy Gonzalez and Abuel in the Golden Age.

Aimee Lewis is 18 years old and an ongoing contributor to our Teen Talk section; her interests are acting and reading. She will be attending Reedley College in the fall.


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