Latinas Pili Montilla and Karla Butvidas are rising stars in the fashion industry who are taking it by storm with their clothing brand, Karla & Co. Created specifically for Latinas, the brand encourages individuals to express and celebrate their culture through apparel. More than just a clothing line, Karla & Co. aims to spread positivity while representing and empowering members of the Latin community.
“Through our brand we get to connect people with their roots, bringing back memories from their childhood and making them feel represented by way of our designs,” explains Karla Butvidas, founder of Karla & Co.
One popular phrase that embodies the spirit of the brand is “Pa’lante Chula” (meaning “Keep going, darlin’!”). It serves as a fun and encouraging motto that resonates with many.
As Latina entrepreneurs, Montilla and Butvidas have learned the importance of persistence and innovation, tailored to the needs of their community. Authenticity, humor, and community building have been pivotal in the brand’s growth. Listening attentively to their customers and respecting their feedback have played a vital role in their success.
“People love our brand because we are genuine, we spread positivity and we like to connect directly with our community,” emphasizes Pili Montilla, co-founder of Karla & Co. “We can’t say it enough: without the support of our community we wouldn’t be able to continue spreading our sazón and our love for who we are.”
Karla & Co. strives to give back to the Latin community by partnering with influential figures like Chef Omi and Rebeca Hoffman, who have created their own collections. Additionally, the brand has exciting projects lined up under their Música line, which will benefit Latin musicians.
“Giving back to our community is of extreme importance to Karla and Co.,” states Karla. “Throughout the year, we like to partner up with different non-for-profit organizations that cater to our people.”
To further engage with their supporters, Karla & Co. plans to visit different cities through pop-up events and conferences. By participating in these gatherings, they aim to foster a sense of community and provide an opportunity for people to connect in person. “Make sure to follow us on Instagram to get all the details,” encourages Pili. “Come say ‘hola’ if we’re in your town!”
Karla & Co.’s journey has demonstrated that pursuing passions aligned with positive impact can lead to success. By embracing their heritage, spreading positivity, and giving back to their community, Pili and Karla have created a brand that not only celebrates Latin culture but also empowers Latinas worldwide.
In the words of Karla Butvidas, “Life is too short to not be doing something you absolutely LOVE.” With Karla & Co., Latinas can express their individuality, honor their roots, and embrace a community that uplifts and inspires them.
This article feature is from our annual special edition issue, the L.A. STYLE Magazine Most Influential of 2023.