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Dondolo Gives Back

Catalina Gonzalez created a luxury lifestyle brand that provides children and women with beautiful, heirloom-quality clothing. 

After having her first child in 2012, Catalina Gonzalez decided to start a clothing company. She wanted to somehow fulfill her creative outlet but also create something that gave back—here in Dallas as well as in her native country of Colombia. After existing first as a website and then as a wholesaler to boutiques, her luxury brand Dondolo now sells directly to consumers and has its own storefront in the Design District. We asked Catalina, now a mom of four, about life as a business owner, parenting, and whether she believes in work-life balance.

Park Cities Lifestyle: What is it that makes Dondolo clothes so special?

Catalina Gonzalez: The hand-made details in everything we do. I purposefully add a handmade (hand-embroidered or hand-smocked) detail to every piece. Each piece is full of the craftsmanship and love of every woman that embroiders it! Our clothing is manufactured in Colombia and made by local women and mothers, helping them earn the funds they need to help raise their children. I have employed over 100 women in our factory and over 50 of them embroider every piece by hand! I love knowing that when a customer buys from us, they are truly helping to make a difference in these families’ lives.

PCL: How does being a parent influence your work at Dondolo?

CG: I love being a boy mom and I love being able to make beautiful heirloom clothing not only for girls but for boys too! Matching with my boys is my favorite, so it’s been so exciting to launch collections that have options for boy moms just like me! Being a mom of four, I understand how much our bodies as women change, so I want to create comfortable, yet elegant and flattering dresses that could be worn at any stage of womanhood.

PCL: What do you look for when it comes to your own kids’ clothes?

CG: I always make sure it has matching styles in sizes ranging from 2 to 12. I love a brother matching moment and I will try to keep doing it until my 11-year-old says no more (I am getting close). But for now, I am enjoying the sweet matching Dondolo memories! I also look for quality—I love being able to pass down all the Dondolo clothing my oldest and middle child wore when they were little. I love clothing that remains in perfect condition wash after wash!

PCL: With kids and a business, is there any truth to finding that work-life balance?

CG: I don’t believe in balance—I believe in “filling your cups” and getting rid of guilt when I fill my cups of being a mom, a wife, and a business owner. I want to be present at after-school pick-up, at soccer games, and putting my children to bed every night. As Dondolo’s designer, I want to be the best leader I can be for my team. I also aim to make time for myself and indulge in simple pleasures that make me happy. This includes going for my runs, treating myself to a monthly facial, and having lunch with a friend. Once I realized I couldn’t be everywhere at the same time and stopped feeling guilty about it, it was easier for me to be present, more productive, and enjoy every moment to the fullest.

PCL: What do you love about the Park Cities and being based in Dallas?

CG: I love, love, love the Dallas community of women: The friends I have made, the entrepreneurs, and our community of Dondolo moms! Their support and love are what make us who we are today! I love how important it is for our community to give back and help those in need—something Dondolo and myself share! The support from other women-owned businesses has been incredible too. We have learned to grow together and support each other!

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