April 5, 2018
By Michelle Criqui
From patriotic bows in red, white and blue, to camouflage purses made of uniforms from each branch of the military, Fashionista Dreams has you covered for the Month of the Military Child.
Fashionista Dreams is an online, handmade boutique that opened shop in January 2018. The store features a variety of clothing items and accessories for children, adults and dolls alike 一 all carefully crafted by 12-year-old Alyssa Cotter, an aspiring fashion designer and proud military kid.
During April’s Month of the Military Child, Cotter has decided to give 100 percent of her shop’s proceeds to Our Military Kids, as well as feature unique designs with a military flair.
“I chose Our Military Kids because they give grants to military kids to help them achieve their dreams,” Cotter said.
Growing up in the military lifestyle, Cotter lived across the country on military bases such as Fort Bragg and Fort Campbell, and now calls sunny Oahu, Hawaii home. Her mother taught her how to sew when she was six years old, and she quickly picked up a self-described “passion for fashion” that led her to open a shop of her own.
At the moment, Cotter’s favorite designs to make are purses and pencil skirts, and her top-sellers are her beanies, especially during the last few winter months. On her website, Cotter emphasizes that each Fashionista Dreams product is completely customizable, and can be always be altered according to each customer’s specific needs.
Although she said she gets many creative ideas from Pinterest, Cotter also pulls inspiration from established fashion designers and consultants, such as Vera Wang and Tim Gunn.
“I love that they put their own twist on their different items, and their personality shows through what they make,” Cotter said.
Life as a military kid has also played a role in inspiring design ideas, as showcased in Cotter’s latest military-themed products as Fashionista Dreams celebrates the Month of the Military Child. For this young fashionista, the best part about being a military kid was “moving around and getting to experience new cultures and history.”
Throughout the month, all proceeds from Cotter’s shop will benefit her fellow military kids who are facing difficult deployments and coping with combat-wounded parents. Every handmade purse, bow, apron and doll dress will help provide activity grants to children so that they can do what they love and feel the support of their community.
When it comes to inspiring other military kids in the pursuit of their goals, Cotter has one piece of advice: “Dream big!”
You can check out Alyssa Cotter’s shop by clicking here!