WBM/AUTR – Fashion – Volume 1 – February 2013 

Somewhere between effort and work, there’s a description missing from the dictionary that accurately defines the meaning of success. Most think of it as a favorable outcome or an attainment of goals, but in order to even reach that point one must endure. It’s the state of being that coerces individuals forward and provides many with the necessary experience to achieve anything the heart believes. Mandi Gallegos is the personification of her passion and her entry into the fashion world with Mikailee Alton is one definition for the books.

Behind the design, Mandi Gallegos is?

I’m a 36 year old single mother from San Antonio, Texas with a wild dream to be a fashion designer. I feel like I have told this story numerous times, but telling this story has gotten easier to tell. It’s been hard, because it’s what has pushed me this far and it’s a part of who I am as a person. In 2007, I got ill and went through chemotherapy for a very uncommon disease called Central Nervous System Vasculitis. It was a tough hand I was dealt, but I prevailed. I promised my family that if I made it through this ordeal, I would make them proud. So for the past five years, I have pushed myself harder than I ever have to keep up with that promise.

I did not know at the time what it was I was going to do with my life, I was 31 years old, a single mother and recovering. One day, I was walking out of a doctors office when I came across a mannequin displayed in a window. When I walked it, I came to find it was a design school. I took it as a sign and went back to school, I have never looked back nor regretted going back. It was hard, because I worked full time from 8-5pm and then attended school from 6-11 pm, but I was a determined woman and I think it’s paying off. Hard work always does, I am trying to teach that value to my sons… I believe it’s working.

Finish this statement. When I think about fashion, I think about…?

I think about making a statement. Fashion to me is an art form, it’s a wearable art form. I love how fashion can make you feel instantaneously different. It can make you feel amazing or change your mood, good or bad. Its how we want other to perceive us as individuals. Whether its alternative, hippie, retro and or urban… it’s who we are, and fashion is all about that.

This article is part of a series of excerpts from our first edition digital magazine. Read the full interview HERE.