Killem With Chic, stomping out the haters, female empowerment, all while being classy AF..

I really love supporting local brands more than anything.. it’s not always easy, but I make a point to seek out companies/brands that are locally made.  If we don’t all start somewhere and support each other, how do we ever live that good ‘ol American dream??  No matter where I travel, I look for the smaller coffee shops, curated boutiques, and restaurants that have recipes created in small batches.  Those are the best places in my opinion and people tend to be personable…  Because they care about the brand and usually have a fun back story to how their idea came to fruition.

{buying local}

Killem With Chic was initially based in San Diego, California.  Even though I moved from San Diego to Seoul, I put the effort to still shop local when I’m back in town..  I first took notice of the t-shirt line when I saw the phase “Classy AF” emblazed on the front of a simple white tee across my Instagram account of “photos I may like”.. if you don’t know what the “AF” stands for, I suggest urban dictionary.. you might get a laugh.  Then I saw the brand at a local boutique (which I also have an obsession with) in Little Italy called Stroll.  I needed more information about this company.  Turns out the woman behind the messages is a entrepreneur with a serious heart from San Diego and currently based in Los Angeles, California.  You can feel her messages reaching at you with a side of sassy.. I’m way into that.  Killem With Chic is mainly targeted towards women but she also has tee’s available for men and kids.

{Classy AF}



I was able to reach out to Mariela, the owner, and pick at her creative brain and what she had to say was so inspiring and a good read for anyone trying to make it in the fashion, blogging, entrepreneurial world.  So continue reading if you are in this industry or trying to make it.  Nothing like hearing the trials and tribulations of people who have come before us..  She said that Killem With Chic came to life 2 years ago after a 10 year relationship ended and the passing of her Momma (sad! and no joke, made me tear up).  She had gone through difficult situations and it put everything into perspective.  Having a tee shirt line was something she always wanted to do, of which she realized as a buyer for several other lines, running a store in the Gaslamp Quarter (downtown San Diego), and include a stint as a shop Lease Manager at Bloomingdale’s, tee shirts never go out of style.. girl knows what’s up with that background.  She quit her corporate job and started Killem With Chic.



She came up with the name after seeing the quote “CHIC – Creating Happiness, Inspiring Confidence” and thought that’s the sort of movement she’d like to create.  The ‘Killem’ part added the badass vibe to the brand.  Her brand is focused on female empowerment.  I want to add here that I couldn’t agree more.. we as females should empower each other.  If we aren’t helping one another to rise up in our world, who else will?  I know some (female) bloggers like to keep what they do under wraps and maybe once they reach a certain point have a certain threshold of who they will and won’t interact with and honestly, it’s kind of like that feeling you get walking into the school cafeteria of established friendships and no new friends are allowed in.  I’ve been there a thousand times and you know what, it’s dumb.  Nothing wrong with being nice and helping one another out, especially us females..


Mariela is easily inspired.  Anything from a wall with vines crawling up it, to decor inside a coffee shop, to graffiti/wall art, to meditating on the beach, all of which move her.  Music, art, culture and the whole LA fashion scene play a major role.  I mean, with a message like “kind of hood, kind of classy”, can you not help but relate?  I love her for this sweatshirt alone.



Her best advice is DO NOT GIVE UP; and I quote “it is fucking hard being an entrepreneur, you will go through a lot of self doubt especially when you’re first starting off.  You have to believe in yourself and your brand so much that no matter what happens, you will persist.  Do not give up on your dream.”  Dang girl.. hell yeah.  The world can be so harsh and social media can be inspiring yet discouraging at the same time.  If you love something, freaking go for it right?  Take this blog for instance, I didn’t know what this blog for sure was going to be and I’m still not 100% sure.  I just know I love fashion, connecting with people, traveling and getting inspired from anything from a glass of wine to staring out into the blue sky (which in Korea we don’t get a ton of so I don’t take those days for granted).



{down with the haters}

Speaking of social media, I asked Mariela if she had ever had a random situation dealing with her brand or odd request.  She said nothing random or strange but a situation came to mind and she went back and fourth whether or not to write because she didn’t want to bring energy to it (I feel ya babe).  She got her first “hate” message.  Paraphrasing, but it went something like “most of your tee shirts are cool but your ‘pussy power’ tee is a waste of money and a waste of time because the font is so small.”  She simply deleted the message and went about her day.  He then sends another longer message calling her pathetic and other names, also calling her brand a piece of shit because she deleted his comment.  It bothered her and she realized things like that will happen, it’s just a part of putting yourself out there.  Haters are going to hate, it’s all good.  Just means they are paying attention.. and you’re making people turn heads!  I mean, you just have to not give a chic..  See what I did there?



Her definition of an ultimate boss babe “means a woman that is unapologetically herself.  She wants to empower and inspire other women.  She lives with a purpose and she wants to make other people’s lives better.  She kicks ass at life but remains humble.”  I couldn’t have said it better myself..  I feel that we should all kinda live this way.  Be you.. you can’t fail at being yourself because there isn’t anyone else like you out there.  Unless you are a twin or a triplet or something, but you still have your own brain and ambitions.  Nobody is holding you back from greatness, get out there girls and do you!



Oh.. because Mariela is so dope, you can also find her PUBLISHED in a book available on Amazon called “Passionistas: Tips, Tales and Tweetables from Women Pursuing Their Dream ”…

Outfit Details:

Sweatshirt and Tees: Killem With Chic

White Backpack: Mossimo by Target

Jean Jacket: Express (similar)