We had the good fortune of connecting with Alayna Dunklin and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Alayna, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
SEVIIN is an orange county based children’s apparel line committed to bringing comfortable, high quality and neutral pieces for babies and toddlers. At 29 weeks I was bedridden with my first son for preterm labor and after searching countless hours for baby clothes I couldn’t help but realizes everything was filled with slogans, cars, and everything that I wasn’t in to. The simple, neutral pieces that would last couldn’t be found as easily and from there, SEVIIN was born. SEVIIN derived from the number 7 being VII in roman numerals. There are seven letters in my boys first, middle and last name; and they are my inspiration for it all. The number seven also represents positivity, happiness and perfection—it took a lot of positivity in my life to have the happiness that lead me to these two perfect blessings because for years I dealt with the possibility of not being able to have kids, endometriosis, thyroid disease, pre-term labor and high risk pregnancies all at the age of 24 (currently 26 now); which led me to this very moment. My boys have been my motivation and reason for everything
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
Im 26 years old and graduated college in 2017 from Loyola Marymount University. I started working with FedEx in order to work my way up through their company but later came across a better opportunity with a private equity firm. I started working there as an assistant and knew it was the perfect place to be to go into the career I wanted as well as grow my family; they are very family oriented and understanding even though they are a big firm. I then then married my at the time college boyfriend who is now my husband of almost three years. We knew we wanted a family right away because I had a lot of health issues that would lead me to possibly not being able to have children’s so I knew being at the job I was at, it was the perfect timing. We were blessed to have a baby boy on the way when I went into preterm labor around 29 weeks while I was at work; from that moment on everything changed. I was bedridden from 29 weeks until I went into labor at 39 weeks. During that time of not working and being in bed, I really started to think about what I wanted to do. As I laid in bed alllll day I started looking into baby clothes and suddenly a spark went off. I wanted to handpick and create a brand that provided nothing but the best high quality, comfortable kids clothing. I sat on this idea for a while and it wasn’t until 2020 when I was pregnant with my second boy that I launched my business. It definitely wasn’t easy because I launch right before COVID hit. I spent March-June with 1 order; discouraging right? I decided not to give up and keep going full force and to my surprised my business has completely taken off and is changing my life in more ways than I imagined. The thing that sets me apart more from others aside from the fact that I am still a full time employee and mom myself is that I am a black owned brand. I take pride in that because there aren’t many black, women owned brands and if there are, they aren’t receiving the credit they deserve. So to be recognized by so many people even The Today Show, has really been such a blessing.
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.
So, I’m originally from LA but after living in Orange County the past 10 years I’m 100% a beach person now. I absolutely love going to the beach to lay out and relax. Laguna Beach is one of my favorite places. However, my husband is from San Diego so I absolutely love going to down town SD with all my friends and family and going out dancing. I’m the friend that would make us start in LA and work our way down to San Diego after a week long tip-you have to get the full experience of the places I consider home! Going out to restaurants, the beach, the fancy hotel spas, roaming around to take photos; we’d have to do it all! Although, I love to spend times with my friends I am a huge family person and spending time with my husband and boys is everything and more that I prefer. Eating, Picnics, playing outside with my boys, that’s where you’ll find me 99.9% of the time!
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?
I’d first have to shout out my husband; I told him my idea and he immediately was all in-ready to spend money and start investing in my business with me. He has always been my biggest cheerleader. I’d also have to shout out my friend D’Ana Smith; she owns her own street wear line (s/o 4thprd) and she has her own company which helps future business owners like myself with ideas start from nothing and build exactly the business they imagined. She helped from my website, to my logo, to the spelling of my brand-a true gem.
Headshot & photos of my boys sitting on the bed: taken by Jennifer Garcia Owner of Spark Studio in Huntington Beach