MICHELLE LOPEZ & ANDREA DOTZAUER
Attending Mount Mary University was a no brainer for Michelle Lopez and Andrea Dotzauer once they found out about the school’s fashion design program. Upon graduating, they considered working within the corporate world for a brief while before ultimately making the bold decision to chase a dream and follow their hearts toward something more entrepreneurial. In 2013, they launched their own high-end children’s clothing line called theMINIclassy.
“Just knowing we could do it is what I think pushed us in that direction,” says Andrea, who suggests the confidence she gained at Mount Mary played a big role in helping her make the decision to open her own business.
Michelle agrees, “Mount Mary gave me the confidence to be a strong woman, and that helped me a lot.”
Inspired by kids in general—and specifically by their own children, who make daily appearances at their shop—Andrea and Michelle take a no-holds-barred approach to designing children’s apparel, because they believe clothing plays an important role in self-expression.
“The idea behind our designs is to let children show their creative side with what they’re wearing,” says Michelle.
Whether it’s incorporating streetwear trends into their concepts or playful dinosaur spikes, theMINIclassy is as much an outlet for their creativity as it is a business venture for the two CEOs/lead designers. And they’ve found great success both locally and online, offering fun and stylish designs for kiddos.
By forging their own path and launching their own children’s clothing line, Andrea and Michelle are living out the lessons they learned at Mount Mary—all while helping kids express themselves with a bold individuality of their own. We’re hoping at least some of those kids sporting theMINIclassy might be Mount Mary students when they grow up. Just like Andrea and Michelle.
Here’s to the bold.