Aromando went to school for fashion back in the Reagan years, but found it wasn't paying the bills. She went into sales, and did well, but didn't love it. A few life changes later, she decided it was back to the drawing board -- but this time, she wasn't going to compromise on passion.
"I had to find a way to work and be satisfied and make a difference," Aromando says. "I knew how to sew, I knew how to be creative."
So she hatched her plan for Bling Jeans. The company maintains a stock of Goodwill jeans in sizes 2 to 14, or you can send in your own old favorites. Then, you select online where you want rips, patches, buttons or lace to go -- Bling maintains an extensive array of flair for you to choose from.
The target demo is tween girls, ages 11 to 14, and their Gen X moms. The jeans for the mothers aren't Goodwill; they are Levi's 512 Perfectly Slimming jeans. Aromando says tweens are at the last era in their lives where shopping with Mom, and ultimately buying similar clothes, is anything but a tremendous drag.
Customers can elect to buy designs that Aromando has already created, or can customize the look to their hearts' content through the interactive website. Aromando draws
inspiration from hippie looks and the designer Emilio Pucci.
Prices range from $42 to $125, and Aromando's 8-year-old daughter can't wait to take her turn as a model.