INTERVIEW WITH CATALINA GONZALEZ JORBA, FOUNDER OF DONDOLO
We couldn't think of a more perfect feature for The Basket Weave, Mother's Day Edition, and are delighted to introduce you to the founder of luxury children’s clothier Dondolo and mother of four, Catalina Gonzalez Jorba. Pam met Cata in 2019 at Pencil and Paper Co's Creative Conference and was impressed by her story. Cata grew up in Columbia with fond memories of the beach and experiences rich in culture –- all of which led her to starting Dondolo as a young mom eight years ago. Not only are Dondolo collections beautiful, timeless and heirloom-quality but each purchase gives back to a fund that fuels new employment for mothers in Colombia.
As Cata says “Dondolo is love" and we hope you enjoy reading about her inspired journey and, of course, her treasured Pamela Munson handbag.
Tell us about your brand and career trajectory.
Dondolo is a luxury children’s clothing company that produces beautiful, heirloom-quality childrens and womens clothing made in my native country of Colombia. I founded Dondolo eight years ago when I was a young mom and was looking for an outlet to express myself and fulfill my career aspirations. I’ve always had a passion for making a difference in the community and world and Dondolo was born from a desire to give back.
Dondolo means “to swing” and I truly believe that the love that you give is returned to you. When a Dondolo purchase is made, funds from that purchase fuel new employment for mothers in Colombia. These jobs create a safe place for mothers to thrive and allow them the crucial funds needed to better care for their children. I love knowing that when our customers buy from us, they are not only buying a beautiful piece of clothing to incorporate into their most precious family memories, they are truly helping to make a difference in these women’s lives.
My career trajectory has been very much influenced by stages of my family life. When I started my company, I was a new mom of one child and over the years, as my business has grown, so has my family. I am now the proud (and busy!) mom of four boys. My business started with a focus on wholesale but the traveling was very tough on me and my family, so I made the decision to shift to a direct retail model and produce unique collections with limited quantities.
I truly love what I do. My passion and my heart is in giving back. Behind everything that I do, there is a bigger purpose- the women in Colombia that hand-smock our pieces, the women that work on my team, making a difference in the community and the world. I love my job. Dondolo is love.
What inspires you? Many of Pam’s designs are inspired by childhood travel memories and time with her family, do you have a go-to source of inspiration?
My designs for Dondolo are inspired by my love for vintage items, as well as high-end fashion, combining traditional elements with the modern details that I love. I find that our Dondolo designs tend to appeal to both types of moms- those that love classic and traditional but also moms that love modern and new trends.
One of my favorite ways to express my creativity is through entertaining and setting a beautiful table. I love pulling together different new and vintage pieces. Layers of colors and patterns. Beautiful things that come together to make the best memories with your family around your table.
One of my passions is creating special memories with my loved ones and I am always so honored to know that Dondolo pieces are part of our community’s most cherished family moments.
Do you have any treasured travel destinations from your childhood? Where did you go and what was your favorite memory?
Growing up in Colombia, one of my favorite memories were our family trips to the beach. The simple things such as spending quality time with my family, days spent exploring the outdoors and playing with the local children. I can close my eyes and remember the feeling of the sand, the salt in the air, the soundsof the birds flying above. Birds have always had a special meaning for me and are very important to the Dondolo brand. Birds symbolize peace, hope, and love- something we hope to bring with everything we do at Dondolo.
Can you share with us one of your family travel traditions? What puts you at ease and ready to relax?
My husband grew up vacationing in Jackson Hole with his family and that has become one of our favorite family travel traditions. I learned to ski with my husband when I was seventeen years old and it has been so amazing to teach our four children to ski from a young age.
We also love our beach vacations, that’s my happy place! I love going to Seaside, Florida and staying in a beachfront house, it reminds me of my childhood beach trips in Colombia. On our family beach vacations we wear our swimsuits all day, spend time together on the beach, cook together and make memories as a family. As a mom, it is important to me to make special memories with my family and our family trips are a wonderful opportunity to make memories together.
We have to ask: what’s in your bag? Tell us about your essentials in your Pamela Munson bag.
My cell phone, credit cards, AirPods, lip balm, sunglasses, my Dondolo mask, and mom essentials like baby wipes and diapers!
You have such beautiful, feminine style. What’s your favorite handbag from our Spring Collection?
I love the La Fleur bag! Daisies are very meaningful to Dondolo. Daisies symbolize motherhood and the loving and sweet unconditional love a mother holds for her children, no matter the circumstances. Stay tuned for something very special coming soon from Dondolo!
Straw isn’t solely reserved for summer or beach getaways – how do you style your Pamela Munson handbag for every day?
For me, a straw bag is a staple. I love mixing modern and vintage so a straw bag always fits in with my everyday look. I love how Pamela Munson’s bags mix vintage charm with beautiful, elegant details, something I do with my own personal style.