Our global team of delinquents believe that fashion rules (okay, rules in general) are someone else's opinion. We're gearing up to take down the destructive fashion industry that insults their customers and mistreats their workers.
You in to join us in our mission?
Dona - Chief Creative Officer
Dona believes that no matter how crazy your dream might sound…you absolutely must #DoTheThing. The greatest regrets we have are the things we did NOT do. If she finds out you have a secret dream you're not pursuing, she has no qualms about throwing you out of an airplane window, just sayin'. She's a picky-as-hell software engineering leader at Microsoft, a published author, a keynote speaker and a now fashion designer. Dona's inspired by her grandmother, who earned a living tailoring custom clothing for the women in her community for over 60 years in a time when being a woman entrepreneur was super-rare. As a side-hustle, Dona attended New York Fashion Academy and was horrified to learn that fashion is the second biggest cause of pollution on earth thanks to the throwaway nature of fast fashion. She also learned all the dirty little tricks the fashion industry plays with your mind to make you keep buying things you don't need or want. She's determined to bring back luxury "slow fashion" that’s tailor-made for YOU. She wants your Prima Dona piece to be something you'll treasure your whole life.
Jeremiah - Chief Operations Officer
Jeremiah believes that everyone on earth who wants to, can learn technical skills to improve their lives and communities. He is currently the Director of Business Strategy for the Airband Initiative at Microsoft, working to empower billions more people to access the internet affordably. He is running operations for Prima Dona so he can better understand how to bring efficiency to traditional industries like fashion, especially when working with a global team. He has over a decade of experience in emerging markets and startups--ranging from working at the UN in Paris, studying climate change in Costa Rica, running operations for a social enterprise in Cambodia and Laos and serving in the Peace Corps in the Dominican Republic. In his "off" time, Jeremiah advises early-stage startups on their strategy, tech, and operations, while writing about his experiences. He's inspired to build a business that his true boss, his two-year old daughter, Luciana, will one day be proud to be a part of.
Bolaji - Operations Manager, Lagos
Bolaji believes there is no substitute for high-quality, hard work and relentless optimism to make a living as a true artisan. She's a single mom to a sassy and inquisitive nine-year-old girl named Esther. Bolaji taught herself couture tailoring when she realized that no matter what, people will always need well-made clothing for the most important days of their lives. She currently supports herself, her daughter and her parents with her artisan tailoring skills, taking on only the most picky of customers (like us!). On top of having the uncanny ability to find the MOST unique fabric in any shop, she is a master negotiator and strikes fear into the heart of every fabric salesperson in Lagos. She recently pulled several all-nighters in a row getting the Armoire collection hand-tailored for launch.
Shyamal - Operations Manager, Detroit
Shyamal believes in helping companies be efficient--from day one. After over 20 years doing this for an automotive manufacturing company of over 100K people, he is currently working to repeat the magic for Prima Dona. His family's business is bespoke tailoring and he is currently exploring the magic of finding exactly the right sources of unique fabric all of the world while setting up a tailoring operations hub in Detroit.
Ioana - Advisor
Ioana believes that anyone on earth can achieve their goals through discipline, unwavering faith in oneself and a heck of a lot of hard work. On top of her day job leading PhD recruiting at Microsoft, Ioana is the chief taskmaster at Prima Dona and helps the team stay on track to achieve their weekly and monthly goals. She's also an emerging shoe designer, an ardent fan of leading with kindness, statement fashion and is the inspiration behind the first Prima Dona dress--the Ioana Hourglass.
Mireya - Advisor
Mireya believes in the power of unbanked populations in developing countries. She is one of the foremost experts of mobile payments in the world. She's applied her expertise through a decade of work at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and later as Head of Mobile Money at the GSMA. She’s passionate about financial inclusion and tackling inequality both in the US and abroad.
Doug - Advisor
Doug believes that above all, quality is key and reputation and reliability is everything. He applies this in all aspects of his life from being an engineering director in large tech companies, to side-hustling as a Chef de Partie in the Tom Douglas organization. He brings his organization and extreme attention to detail to acting as advisor and head photographer for Prima Dona.
Dele - Advisor
Dele believes that it's now time for the next 5 billion to rise. He's one of the leading forces behind the new Africa Development Center in Microsoft, where the most innovative engineering in the company is being created out of Lagos, Nigeria and Nairobi, Kenya. Dele has over 20 years in tech and is passionate about is an avid advocate for small businesses using tech to fulfill their potential. He's trying to get bolder with his fashion choices and hopes to someday be as artistic as his kids.