Featuring Little Bull Stokes

Candice Stokes, a tailor at the Levi's location on Market Street, is GURO Designs' newest intern. Though she graduated with a BS in International affairs from Florida State University and previously worked in corporate retail, Candice wanted to pursue more personal creative outlets. Her desire to take her passion for fashion to the next level led her to the internship position with  Oakland-based GURO Designs, where she is furthering her studies in Apparel Arts.
"I want to create with my hands and learn how to make everything myself. I grew tired of telling people on the other side of the world to work faster. " – Candice Stokes

1. What compels you to be a part of the apparel industry?

The apparel industry affects every person on the planet, whether they realize it or not. There are a lot of issues with mass production, and I believe that people need to work together to bring the supply chain back to local markers. Globalization is very important, but the massive scale of this industry makes it the second largest polluter in the world behind oil companies. By working with our communities, we can help people realize the impact of buying and the power it has on the world.

2. What has been the most difficult experience in this industry that you have faced? How did you over come it?

Honestly, the most difficult part of this industry was working in corporate retail. I realized my role in affecting so many different lives around the world because the exploitation of mass production affects all living things. For example, there are chemical pollutants from the washing and dying of garments and there is a tremendous amount of energy that goes into producing pieces. I found that I was contributing to a detriment of an industry in incomprehensible ways. Ultimately, my values lead me to quit the corporate world and follow a journey to learn about my personal passions and explore my creative abilities. I did not want to rely on a system that previously established to help a small portion of the population but destroyed the rest.

3. Why do you want to work for GURO Designs? 

First of all, Rolend is a badass lady maker that is killin' the game!  I love GURO Designs because quality speaks for itself through the work of good and functional designs. Her line contains the best materials and it shows in her work. Each piece is stitched or riveted with love and energy. You can feel it when you hold and use the products!

4. What are your future goals in this industry?

The path that I am forging has yet to reveal itself to me. I'm constantly diving deeper and finding out more about the industry and myself as well. I'm sure the signs will come to vision soon enough.

5. What advice can you give to others that are thinking of entering the apparel and designs arts?

  • It's never too late! Always strive to be a life-long learner! 
  •  Don't settle with what is available to you. If you don't like what you see, make your dream piece! Chances are someone else is looking for that design, too!
  • Be humble, kind, generous, and vulnerable! We are all learning from each other and can offer one another tidbits of information to help elevate us all to a higher level. When you open up to others, you allow for more positive experiences to flow your way. 
  • Pay it forward!

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Photography by Rolend Gumanas