Designer Spotlight: Nicky Bandera of Project Paulie | EP 67

Meet our new Bestie: Nicky Bandera!

In this season of giving, we have some serious SOUL FOOD for y’all this week as we welcome a LIFE-CHANGING designer who gives back to the world with her tomato-forward brand Project Paulie, and new retail store called All Together Now.

Did you know? Not only is Holly “The Best Fashion Friend You Never Knew You Needed,” but she is also on a mission to hunt down and highlight women-owned fashion brands and businesses and bring them into the spotlight because let’s face it: Who Runs The World? GIRLS!

#duh #beyonce

This week our Designer Spotlight is shining on Nicky Bandera of Boston. Nicky tells us that her passion is to make things that comfort people physically as well as emotionally. The emotional aspect is the fact that she believes in giving a huge “give back” to the world.

What does it mean to have a brand with a purpose? And, why does her brand feature a bright, red, shiny tomato?

Well, it all started during the COVID-19 crisis when restaurants and restaurant workers, especially undocumented workers, were being devastated by the severity of the national lockdowns.

Nicky, her husband, and her daughter started cooking. And they decided to make meals featuring a family tomato sauce that ultimately fed 5,000 people a day for 150 days.

And because she is a designer first, she also started putting an embroidered tomato symbol on knit hats and sold them to raise money for related charities. She changed the color of the hats so that each color would go to a different charitable organization.

Most of them were local charities in Massachusetts, and about a third of them were national charities that everyone would know, like No Kid Hungry, and No Us Without You.

See a list of some of the charities they support here.

And it just kept building from there. Now they have a variety of wearables featuring the tomato, and it has just gone crazy because people are always going to ask: “What is that tomato?” It was a great way to build buzz. BRILLIANT!

But wait, the genius didn’t stop there, because the products are also made really well. First, they use American-made hats, and all her artists are paid really well. And one of the coolest things is the hats are chain-stitched.

Chain-stitching is something that only a few people in this country do.

And the reason is that the machines are from the 1900s – and no one can fix them. So her team has to be able to fix and troubleshoot anything that happens with them on their own. The result is a beautiful, quality product – as much as it is a brand doing good. #WinWin

Nicky now collaborates with other brands, designers, and artists and sells a variety of items in a brick-and-mortar store called All Together Now in Boston, MA. Here she features really fun and unique items like beanie hats, robes, and military jackets and combines them with patches and chain-stitching so you can customize your items. SO FUN!

Listen in to learn more from Nicky about running a women-owned business, being a female artist and designer, a mother, and business partner, and just an all-around BADASS!!

And now, she is one of our #BestieBrands!!

She also has her own “Chaotic Chic” style – and let us tell you: We are here for it all! Nicky knows it’s important to be proud of what she is wearing. To feel comfortable in what she is wearing. People are going to see that confidence, and Nicky knows it. You go, Girl!

And that’s a wrap on this week’s Designer Spotlight. Coming up is the FCP Hanukkah Gift Guide and our Christmas Gift List! If you suck at shopping, you do not want to miss this.

Be sure to follow us on social see our holiday shopping guides this week.

Finally, please be sure to sign up for our INSIDERS ONLY newsletter here.  And if you find yourself in a fashion pickle – reach out, send Holly a DM today!

With love,

– The Fashion Crimes Podcast

Hosted by Holly Katz, your favorite personal stylist, and let’s be honest, the only Holly you need to know you know.


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