We had the good fortune of connecting with Melissa Estudillo and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Melissa, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
I’ve always known that I wanted to start my own business to be my own boss but I had to do it in a way that would make a positive impact in the world. During my time in college, I became aware of how polluting the apparel industry is and I felt strongly about being part of the solution, not part of the problem. I love dressing up, but every time I looked online at sustainable clothing brands, all the clothes looked very bland, minimal and not for me. Therefore, I created SUS Street, which is short for sustainable streetwear. SUS Street offers reworked vintage clothing that fun, colorful and fashionable that is inspired by hip hop dance culture but is meant for everyone to wear. By working with vintage clothing, no additional pollution is created from newly manufactured textiles. Additionally, clothing that otherwise would have been thrown away is kept out of the landfills. Even the packaging is eco-friendly. Each item is wrapped in recyclable kraft paper and is held together by an eco-friendly SUS Street sticker. Orders are then sent with 100% post-consumer waste shipping labels and 100% compostable mailers. Every detail of SUS Street has been thoughtfully planned out so that those who love to dress in bold outfits don’t have to sacrifice their sense of style to live sustainably.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I have multiple art forms that I feel passionate about and often find myself bouncing between dance, photography/videography and SUS Street everyday. Every Wednesday, I teach beginner hip hop at 7 PM and beginner heels at 8:15 PM at GVM Studios . I’ve now been teaching for a little over a year and I also offer private dance lessons too. I could have a really tiring day but after my classes, I feel energize because I love dancing so much. Other times, all my focus goes to photography and videography. I have been freelancing both photography and videography for about 4 years now and I have been working with Good Vibe CBD for a little over a year. Some of the projects I do when I freelance are music videos, wedding videos, product photos/videos, personal/family portraits, etc. The type of work I do for Good Vibe CBD is primarily product photos/videos. The last passion I bounce between is creating clothes for SUS Street. Being a one woman show, it’s up to me to create designs, create patterns if need be, source fabric, sew everything together and package orders. It can get challenging to have all these different projects to work on all the time but I just have to remind myself to take it day by day and to be patient with myself. Even though I am so passionate about my crafts and have gotten myself to where I am now with each one, I’d like to add that I am and will always be a student of each art form. I don’t believe anyone should ever stop learning when it comes to the things that they love.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I’d definitely have to them to the mountains. I feel like it’s not a full Colorado experience if you don’t go to the mountains. I’d probably rent a nice Airbnb somewhere secluded in the mountains. I’d definitely want to take them hiking at Hanging Lake because it’s not too hard/long of a hike but has an amazing view at the end. After that, we could treat ourselves to a relaxing time in the hot springs. If my friend was up for it, I would definitely want to go white water rafting too because that is such an amazing experience to have. As far as places in the city, I would have to take them to eat at Domo which is my favorite Japanese restaurant, Little Man Ice Cream, and Taki Sushi. I’d probably also want to take them on a walk downtown, maybe even ride the electric scooters.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
Thank you to my mom and sister for unconditionally supporting me and my creative aspirations ever since I was a little girl. Thank you to my boyfriend, Tony, for pushing me to believe that I don’t have to wait to be my own boss. Thank you to close friends and even acquaintances that have believed in me or even encouraged me in any way me to pursue my goals. Thank you to my friend, Lawrence, who helped me so much in my journey as a videographer. Every single one of these people have played a part in my journey whether big or small and I am thankful to have crossed paths with them.
Instagram: @meliimages @sus_street @dancesbymeli