mila amor | q + a with camila amourtegui-brown


"there's a special place in hell for women 
who don't help other women." 
-madeleine albright

with that in mind, q + a is a series that i've been anxious and excited to reignite and feature more frequently. i want to introduce women who read this blog to other amazing women who are doing incredibly valuable and rewarding things out in their respective corners of the world. what better way to re-introduce q+a than to feature someone from my hometown? no better way, i say!
i'd like to introduce you to this badass babe: camila amortegui-brown, 30, founder of MILA, a beautifully and consciously curated online destination for multi-cultural home goods and fashions. originally born in bogotá, colombia, camila came to the states when she was ten, and currently resides in the plaza-midwood area of charlotte.
only a few of my favorites

when was mila-amor founded? MILA was founded in 2012 with a small line of tassel earrings. in twenty-thirteen i teamed up with my mom, claudia zapata, and we decided to evolve the business into what it is today. 

what's your education/career background? how did it evolve into having an online curated boutique? my career/background has always been in graphic design. currently, i work full-time for a sports magazine as the senior designer here in charlotte. i have always had the entrepreneurial bug. it's rooted within my family; we are all artists and possess creative minds, so, working for ourselves has always been a priority. before MILA, I used to have a fashion and art magazine called Blü. it had even become national and we covered artists and musicians from all over the world. however, financially, magazines are not lucrative so i had to shut it down after five years. i knew i wanted/needed to do something else so that's when i launched MILA

MILA became what it is today with the help and guidance of my mom. we both have a passion for textiles and south american art and jewelry, so, we just felt that there would be an interest in the states for pieces that we happened to love. it really just took off from there...

how do you choose the women you work with? do you travel to meet them? not all of our pieces are made by women, but the majority of them are. however, i do really try to focus and put an emphasis on helping small co-ops and organizations run by women. i have traveled to meet some, but most of the women i work with i have found through lots and lots of researching. it also helps that i speak spanish because a lot of these women live in small rural towns with limited internet connection and speak limited english. one day i hope i get to the point where i can travel and meet each one of these organizations and each of the women but, for now, the internet and skype will have to do. 

how would you describe your style at home and sartorially? would describe my style at home and in fashion to be a mix of modern-boho. i love clean and minimal spaces but i like to add pops of color, textures, and different textiles. as far as clothing, i really love to just be comfortable and chic. a great over-sized tee, sneakers and jeans or leggings are my everyday outfits. i stay pretty consistent with my style- i don't really follow trends too much. 

what's next for MILA-Amor? we are hoping to be able to place bigger orders with artisans and work along the artisans in the design process so they become more exclusive to MILA. hopefully we can wholesale pieces to bigger stores and boutiques and develop MILA into a brand. we also plan on going to colombia and guatemala this year. 

some of camila's favorite things:
colombian wayuu mochila bag | monkey biz hand-beaded african doll | moroccan wedding blanket | cartagena, colombia | new balance 574's | Bumble & bumble surf spray | masaii jewelry (ps. this particular website is amazing for supporting female artisans across the globe. please, please check it out!) sheila hicks, fiber artist |



Heidi said...

This is an awesome series! So many beautiful items in her shop!


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