Daphne Benzaquen is the creative designer, CEO and founder of daph., a St. Louis-based fashion and lifestyle brand inspired by her Peruvian heritage.
She was inspired to start daph. while pursuing her M.B.A. at Washington University’s Olin School of Business. After having trouble finding a backpack that was functional, high quality, and fashionable, she decided to design her own bag, incorporating the unique materials and craftsmanship of Peru, and daph. was born.
Founded in 2016, daph. is one of the only U.S. fashion and lifestyle brands that solely combines modern, timeless designs with Peruvian resources and handcraftsmanship.
Daphne is passionate and committed to giving back, donating a portion of all daph. sales to support children with special needs in Peru. She also supports local charities in daph.’s headquarters, and is actively involved in the St. Louis fashion community, helping to mentor and support other designers and entrepreneurs, as well as serving as the marketing committee co-chair for Fashion Group International, Inc. Additionally, she serves on the Young Professionals Board for Annie’s Hope.
In 2019, Daphne was named one of St. Louis Business Journal’s ’30 under 30’, and has been featured in many local media publications and news outlets, including St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Riverfront Times, Ladue News, Town & Style, Fox 2 News, ‘Show Me St. Louis’, STL TV, and more.
In this episode, you’ll learn:
- How a degree in Pre-Med, a Masters in Business Administration, and her Peruvian heritage lead Daphne to start her fashion lifestyle brand daph.
- Why she made giving back such a big part of her brand and business — even when she was a brand-new start-up — and the impact it’s had.
- How she found the factory that produced her first collection (who she still works with to this day).
- How she balances designing products that she personally likes with products that her customers love to buy.
- What she’s learned adding an apparel product line to daph.
- How Daphne sees her customers and manufacturing partners like a community and how that has helped her during low points in her entrepreneurial journey.
- When she has learned to trust her gut.
- Why Daphne thinks it is so important for designers to visit the factories that make their products.
- What’s next for daph. – Daphne gives us a sneak peak of what’s coming for Fall 2020 and Spring 2021!
People and resources mentioned in this episode:
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