We had the good fortune of connecting with Monica Zaidman and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Monica, every day, we about how much execution matters, but we think ideas matter as well. How did you come up with the idea for your business?
I am fortunate in that I have dreamt of having my own clothing line and store since I was a young girl when I would cut up my own clothes to make Barbie clothes, and I would draw up sketches of Uneek Moneek’s Fashion Boutique. From before I can remember, I would journal about and draw up my vision over and over again, always evolving and growing as I grew. After years of working in the corporate fashion industry, I became disheartened by all the waste and exploitation inherent in fast fashion. I knew I wanted to create a conscious business that was full of heart for people and the planet we all share. When our dream location became available in Topanga Canyon, I just knew it would be the perfect place to make this dream come true. However, I also knew I didn’t want to do it alone, and that I wanted it to support other conscious makers and designer. This is how Moona Star Collective came to be.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
As the designer of Moona Star Clothing, I am most proud of my commitment to create clothing that is comfortable, sustainable and above all beautiful, using sustainably sourced fabrics which I often dye myself with low impact and natural dyes. As the creative director behind Moona Star Collective, I am most proud of curating and bringing together such a wonderful group of talented women designers and makers who I adore. I am grateful I get to use the merchandising skills I honed from years of working in the fashion industry, and from a lifetime of loving and studying all things beautiful. Merchandising is my meditation, I love creating different layers to the each visual story. It has definitely not always been easy. It still isn’t easy. It is easy to think that being a designer is all about designing, but in reality ther are so very many moving pieces to this business. But I still so much love having a creative goal, and working to bring it to life, that it is all worth it to me. Some of the main challenges I face include multitasking and miscommunication. I wear a lot of hats and managing all the small details is challenging. What I have learned, and what I am still learning, is to be direct and as much as possible speak from my heart. As well as to ask for help. I also feel as a designer and curator it is important to follow and stay true to my own vision. I purposley dont follow other designers or stores, so I am not influenced by their vision. My two mantras are “focus and follow through” as well as “faith not fear.“ I reapeat these to myself and to my daughter every day.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
We would start the day with a beautiful hike here in Topanga, I would take her Butchers Daughter in Venice or Topanga Living Cafe for lunch. Endless Color for Dinner Idealy we would make it to a flea market or vintage shopping. As well as get a walk or bike on the beach. Last taking her to Moona Star and hanging out on the patio. It’s my happy place.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
Today I want to recognize my family. My husband Zak Zaidman who supports and encourages me daily with all his love and hard work. Always making sure I eat and take care of myself when I forget. My daughter Soluna who gives me her honest opinion on everything and fills my heart with love each day. My Mom who has been endlessly supporting my dream since she bought me my first sewing machine and taught me how to go thrifting for treasures.. My Mother in Love who inspires me daily with her enthusiasm for life, and creates beautiful ceramics for the Star. My Dad, Randy, Elias and Raquel for always supporting my dream and being there as cheer leaders in all the ways you are. And of course all my other family, friends, customers who I adore and appreciate.
Facebook: Moona Star Collective