With her sister Brittany as a partner and a boho vibe made for today’s bride, this designer is making her mark on the wedding world.
Ashley Castaños grew up in a creative household, her mother an artist and her dad a carpenter. Reminiscing on her past, Ashley says, “I think growing up, we were just bred to be creative. In our house, you were going to be making something.” That creativity eventually led Ashley and her sister Brittany to start Daughters of Simone, a booming bridal business with an eclectic edge.
The business started as a search through thrift stores for vintage wedding dresses, which were then refurbished and sold on Etsy. With the Etsy shop a smash hit (no surprise there considering the brand’s eye for detail and taste in vintage), Brittany and Ashley opened a showroom for Daughters of Simone in their San Francisco apartment.
Ashley described the showroom as having, “a rack of 30 to 40 vintage wedding dresses” next to her bed and Trader Joe’s flowers for decorations (who doesn’t love a $5 bouquet of sunflowers?). Regardless, the Apartment B showroom was a hit, with brides flying across the country to try on the duo’s boho-chic designs.
They began to design their own collections of dresses, still vintage inspired but their own creations from start to finish. After gaining popularity with brides and breaking down the perception that bohemian was not a style for weddings, the sisters moved to New York to make their dream a reality. There they participated in New York Bridal Week, and grew their presence on the East Coast and eventually, abroad.
Now Ashley is living in Fresno and working at the company’s local office, where brides are able to go and try on pieces. In recent months, Daughters of Simone has launched their latest Day Dream collection, along with a collaboration with A.B. Ellie and a bridesmaids collection with Leave Her Wilder. They’ve also expanded into wholesale, stocked in stores like Anthropologie’s BHLDN and boutiques across the globe (literally) .
Ashley is quick to point out that it’s not all beautiful gowns and glamorous fashion shows at the helm of Daughters of Simone. “I hate to burst anyone's bubble,” she says, “but half the time we're just steaming dresses and hauling boxes in and out of our cars and up and down stairs and praying they have an elevator.”
Their hard work pays off when they get to see the effect they’ve had on a client’s special day. As Ashley puts it, “we're not just selling basic dresses off of a rack. It's a really special and intimate piece. We feel really fortunate to be able to that.”
So, what does it mean to be a #FierceFemme in Ashley’s eyes? “I think it's staying authentic and true to yourself,” says Ash. A fierce femme “is brave and take risks,” and we couldn’t agree more.