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Meet Carly Wasti of Disco Lemonade in Ocean Beach

Today we’d like to introduce you to Carly Wasti.

Carly, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
I was 4 years old when I drew my first fashion figure and knew that I would do something in the fashion world from that point on. Growing up, one of my favorite things to do was cut up old clothes and make something new out of them. I loved expressing myself through what I wore, and never cared if it was on trend. I was exposed to vintage and thrift shopping at a very young age and started collecting anything I thought was unique from home goods to fashion and accessories. Upon graduating high school, I got accepted into FIDM, and I would go on to get my degree in Fashion Design. The first job I landed out of college, was consulting and designing at a couture bridal gown shop in Beverly Hills, where I would learn so many valuable skills and gain my first taste of the industry and how fast-paced it is.

After a couple of years, I met my now husband who lived in San Diego. Burned out on the fast-paced LA fashion scene, San Diego seemed like a breath of fresh air, and I finally made the transition out of LA and became a full-time San Diego resident. The next couple of years would be a whirlwind, one I didn’t see coming. I got married and became a mother of 3 kids. Although being a mother is a full-time job, I still needed to find a creative outlet, so I started making jewelry and selling it on Etsy and at a local salon. The idea for embellished sunglasses organically came about after browsing through countless fashion books from the 70’s and seeing some insane sunglasses shapes that I have never seen before, I thought to myself, how cool it would be to recreate something more wearable for every day. My love of recycled fashion was then translated to the embellishment of sunnies, and instead of tearing clothing apart and making something new, I started doing that with vintage earrings and findings and upcycled them on to sunglasses. And so, it began.

I started selling them on Etsy and later went on to sell them at local farmers markets. Markets and pop-ups were intimidating at first. You are literally putting yourself out there in the rawest form; sharing your passion with the world. But it has really paid off and I have met some amazingly talented people and through networking have had some amazing opportunities to continue to do what I love and be a mom and a wife. It is a process to find that balance, but every day I am managing more and more and becoming the person I was meant to be. It has been a journey to get to this point, yet I feel like my journey has just begun. Find Disco Lemonade products at Uncommon Goods Encinitas and Sea Hive Marketplace.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
I have had a crazy road, A lot of ups and downs and lessons were learned. I had some great jobs and some tough jobs. But all of it has made me the person I am today. I am getting stronger every day and in this industry, you have to have tough skin. The main struggle for me, was just not knowing where I fit in this world. I know I have this crazy fire that is burning within to create and sometimes I feel like I expect too much from myself. I held myself back all through my 20’s because I wasn’t ready to let the world in. It’s scary, but nothing ventured, nothing gained! I still have a constant voice in my head telling me that I should be doing more, that I am not reaching my full potential. But, I am realizing that as long as I am content with what I am doing currently, pouring my heart and soul into everything that I do, and creating with intention, then everything else will fall in to place.

Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about Disco Lemonade – what should we know?
I specialize in one-of-a-kind embellished sunglasses and jewelry. I also make handcrafted disco ball planters, unique wall hangings and love collecting interesting vintage home goods. I think people appreciate that my designs aren’t something you see every day, everywhere. I am proud of the uniqueness that shines through my work. I don’t think I could make something basic if I tried!

Is there a characteristic or quality that you feel is essential to success?
In the past, I was reprimanded for being too nice, too relatable, too empathetic. It felt strange to me that being too nice was a thing. Now, working for myself, I can be all of those things and my customers appreciate it and keep coming back.

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Image Credit:

Emily Powell

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