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Inspirational Interview: Darylynn Ayala

by Ashley on July 15, 2013 · 4 comments

This is one of our Inspirational Interviews in which we talk to people who have imagined big dreams, made them a reality, and are living a life they love. Today we are talking to Darylynn Ayala who created her own line of luxury eyewear, Darylynn Eyewear.

darylynn

1. Tell us a little about yourself!

As a kid I started watching black & white films and became fascinated with Old Hollywood. The films of that era introduced me to jazz, fashion and glamour.

I started sketching art deco inspired dresses and doing research on Old Hollywood by reading Biography’s on all the starlets like Greta Garbo and Jean Harlow. It was exciting seeing the beautiful stars on the silver screen. I would read about their lives, their struggles and how they made their dreams come true. It left a big impression on me, discovered you could make things happen, if only you tried.

Not knowing yet what my dreams were, I started to wait tables to make money and took free art classes. I would give all my Art creations to my boyfriend at the time’s parents as they collected Art . They thought I was talented and encouraged me to go to school.

At the time I was not in a financial position to afford school so they very generously put me through design school. I attended the Fashion Institute of Technology in Manhattan. The gift that Mr. & Mrs. Putney gave me changed my life and I am forever grateful. It was a chance for the true artist in me to grow, to explore. It was a magnificent experience and I blossomed!

After that I took my first shoe design job with Nine West and a few other companies to follow. I enjoyed designing shoes and my dreams started to take shape. My work required me to travel the world exposing me to different cultures and new influences.

My first dream was to write a children’s book. I’m an animal lover and wanted to bring awareness to dog adoption and rescue, which inspired me to write a book called “ Pele’s Forever Home”. Proceeds of the book go to charity to help greyhound rescue. It took two years from start to finish. After the book was finally published and available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble I felt very proud.

That was the last push I needed to decide to exit the footwear industry and enter into eyewear design. Eyewear design was my true passion and my next dream.

At first I tried getting a job designing eyewear. No luck, no one wanted to hire someone with no eyewear design experience even though I had an extensive back round in design. That is what gave me the idea to start my own line. If no one would hire me then I would just create my own brand to design and so I did.

A year and a half later I was in Paris France at the Silmo Optical trade show launching my eyewear collection to the eyewear industry. Darylynn Eyewear is now being sold in Paris, Denmark, Ibiza and New York as well as e-commerce. It is a luxury eyewear brand all hand crafted in Italy.

That moment I sold my first pair was a dream come true. Like the starlets that I read about as a kid, who I admired so much, I too over came my struggles and my dreams came true.

 2. What does living a “super awesome life” look like for you?

Living a life where I can do what I love and love what I do is a super awesome life !

 3. What inspired you to create Darylynn Eyewear?

I began to  collect vintage eyewear from around the world. I’ve always loved eyewear and feel it is an important accessory in one’s fashion expression. I worked as a shoe designer prior to starting my company. Making shoes was a great creative outlet and it introduced me to the business side of fashion.

It was an important preparation for what was to come.

Footwear design offered me an opportunity to travel around the world which was a huge gift, one I never would have guessed would happen to me back when I was waiting tables. All the experiences lead me to be ready for this venture.

While I was a waitress I took free wood carving classes at the local community center. My teacher was Mr. Turner. He was 80 years old. He was very talented and taught me how to carve wood. That prepared me for having a technical sharp eye, which is important in design. Up till this day I still sculpt wood and clay.

4. What has been your biggest challenge since deciding to launch your own line of sunglasses?

The biggest challenge is spreading the word and selling them. It takes a lot of patience as these things take time.

It took me one year from the moment I decided to start my own company to find a factory that was a good partner for me. When you start your own venture you must push constantly to net work and bring brand awareness.

5. What advice would you give to other women who dream of creating their own product line?

Any dream is worth putting in the effort to make that dream come true. If it’s something you want in your life, visualize what that looks like to you. Ask yourself how much do you want this? How important is it to you? Charlie Chaplin is one of my favorite filmmakers and comedic actors, he once said, “ Failure is unimportant, it takes courage to make a fool of your self”.

I posted that quote on my fridge for months as a reminder to stay brave and believe in myself. Take care of your self, find a healthy outlet as it gets stressful especially when you are investing all your own savings. I practice Bikram yoga to keep me balanced. It brings discipline and patience into my life.

6. What little things in life right now make you you do a happy dance? Big things?

Little things like seeing someone win an awesome gift on a game show to big things like seeing a big push for Made in the USA products. I’m not a competitive person. I like to see people around me win in life. It inspires me to keep winning. Made in the USA products will bring jobs back to America. There are no eyewear factories in the USA anymore, which is a shame.

That is a dream brewing in my head. To be continued…

7. In the movie of your life, who would you want to play you?

Eva Mendes

8. What is one thing you’d like to change about the world?

Homelessness and hunger, nothing makes me sadder than seeing someone just passed out on the street in a winter coat in the middle of summer. I live in Manhattan and there are way too many homeless people, wish I could save them all. Everyone deserves a cozy bed and a healthy meal. I volunteer at Food Bank of NYC, they help provide 400,000 free meals a day in New York.

9. What quote best represents you or motivates you in your current place in life?

It’s a quote from Audrey Hepburn. “Nothing is impossible, the word it’s self says I’m Possible”.

10. What inspires you to continue living a life you love each day?

The wonderful people around me, they inspire me when I see them do great things. It is paramount to live life with integrity and an open heart. Do things that are good for you, surround yourself with people who love you. Weeding out all the negative outlooks and dramatic individuals created space for me to focus on my goals and dreams.

It’s a powerful place to be in and I find that I’m constantly inspired.

Thanks so much for sharing, Darylynn!

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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Lauren July 15, 2013 at 6:53 am

Great article! I would love to check out Darylynn’s eyewear but the links to her site are broken, can you fix that?

Thanks!
– Lauren

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Ashley July 15, 2013 at 11:48 am

The links are fixed! So sorry about that, Lauren!

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Elf Moving Boxes Boca Raton July 16, 2013 at 3:44 pm

Really great story, and I’m really impressed that she volunteers with the homeless! We started a trial program where we ask people who are moving and throwing out a lot of their stuff to put aside their non-perishable food items and we gather them up and take them to a food pantry once a month. It’s a shame to let that go to waste when there are so many people that it could help.

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francesco focardi November 14, 2013 at 1:39 pm

ciao Darylynn,sono Francesco,come stai?stavo guardando le tue foto su Google.baci

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