This year, we’re running our pop-up, The Edit, in the heart of Niagara-on-the-Lake. “We’re so excited to be popping up this summer in our hometown of Niagara On the Lake! We’ve curated some of our favorite brands at a local and national level. Think of the edit as your chic general store. From fresh bouquets to chocolate cupcakes to the newest in fashion, beauty, and home we have something for the locals and tourists alike!” says Editor-in-Chief of STYLE Canada, Elise Gasbarrino.
The Edit will feature goods from local businesses as well as other Canadian vendors. Our The Edit: Behind the Brands series will take a deeper look at the founders of our participating vendors and their stories. This article features Diosa Designs with
Kim and Katie; Co-Founders of Diosa Designs
SC: Tell us a bit about yourself!
K&K: We’re Kim Hickman and Katie Thompson, the Mother-Daughter duo and the Co-Founders of DIOSA designs. We are originally from St. John’s, Newfoundland and love travelling and visiting other places around the world.
Working with each other is great simply because we get to talk every single day about some really cool things that we both feel passionate about.
Sharing and experiencing moments of laughter and tears along the way, we have this great relationship that’s also a friendship and through our journey of creating the ultimate women’s carry-all backpack, it really gleamed through that we carry each other.
SC: Tell us the story behind your brand!
K&K: In 2017, we saw that there was a gap in the market when it came to a sleek, professional, functional backpack for women and we immediately got to work. After surveying over 400 women both online and in our home about what makes a ‘perfect backpack’, calling these conversations ‘backpack yaks’, we wanted to create a stylish carry-all bag that would easily transform to carry them throughout their day focusing on a few key qualities that were repeatedly mentioned: versatility, functionality, fashion and professionality.
Thus, we developed the idea of the ultimate women’s backpack – The Maya Backpack and created this brand because we believe that we can empower women through down-to-earth, sustainable fashion.
SC: What inspires you?
K&K: DIOSA is inspired by the idea of women empowering women which stems from their travels and work with the women of Guatemala. In fact, DIOSA pronounced “dee-o-sa”, is Spanish for Goddess!
We feel that the everyday women around the world carry a lot, in every sense of the word! Designing great carry-all bags and committing to 1% of sales back to Women centered initiatives, was the best support we could give.
SC: What does 2022 hold for you?
K&K: As we mentioned, DIOSA has been built off of the foundation of women supporting and empowering other women. Although we are already in September of 2022 – we can confidently say, the best is yet to come this year!
We are currently working on an exciting product (coming very soon) that not only supports an amazing cause but pushes to empower women to embrace who they are and celebrate the brave and incredible things they do each and every day.
Although we can’t say too much about said product yet, we can say that we are partnering up with a Canadian organization that has done wonderful things for this particular community and we can’t wait to share it with you.
SC: And lastly, where’s your favourite spot to vacation?
K&K: Our favourite spot to vacation and travel to is Guatemala! We fell in love with Guatemala years ago – the culture, the food, the colours, the people!
Kim says “Arriving in Guatemala always gives me a feeling of butterflies, anticipation of the excitement to come and a general feeling of ‘I am home’.”
She explains that she initially began contributing to Guatemalan communities through an organization she co-founded several years ago called GiveGetGo.
“The initiative that I was most involved with was to provide children in Guatemala with the infrastructure and a safe place to gain an education at My Melody School. It was during one of my GiveGetGo trips that I was told about the Guatemalan women Weavers. Katie, my daughter and I have visited these centers and saw a kinship of women. They are all mothers, daughters, sisters, wives…. women carrying their lives.”
This interconnection and women empowering each other is what DIOSA is all about, making this our absolute favourite place to travel.
Find Diosa Designs at our pop-up happening in Niagara-on-the-Lake, at 1-233 King Street! For more information, visit style.ca/events
Last modified: October 1, 2022