We had the good fortune of connecting with Amanda Aicardi and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Amanda, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
My initial thought process behind starting my own business was to do something fun outside of work. I have been working as an oncology nurse for 13 years. I love my job but have always had a creative side that I have wanted to experiment with. During the pandemic my job became increasingly more stressful and I thought this is the perfect time to utilize my free time to do something fun and different. I also realized that the mental health of health care workers was at risk due to the staffing shortages, and the stress of not having families able to visit patients, it was a lot of stress on us. I started thinking maybe if I start my own business making tie dye I can donate part of the proceeds to a foundation that supports mental health for health care workers. I have not yet found a cause to donate to for mental health but have donated proceeds of my sales to Memorial Sloan Kettering Cycle for Survival. I am grateful to be able to give back through creating fun pieces for people to wear!
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 been a nurse for 13 years primarily specializing in Oncology and Bone Marrow Transplant. I started my career in Boston at Brigham & Women’s Hospital and eventually became a travel nurse. I moved to NYC and worked at some of the best hospitals in NY. I have learned a great deal in my travels from some of the best nurses I have ever met! I am genuinely grateful for the experiences that I have had as well as the opportunities I have had. I took another opportunity to travel to San Diego and have now been here for about 6 years. I now work at UCSD and love my job, I have worked so hard to get to where I am today. I think that being from the East Coast I have always been pushed to be better and work harder. My drive and ambition has never slowed down and I continue to strive to be better. I have always had multiple jobs to help paying off my student loans, and I now only have one job. I feel that my tie dye company helps to allow me to utilize the creative part of my brain whilst doing something different!
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I am a foodie at heart and I would probably start my itinerary in Little Italy. I love Carruth Cellars as well as Pali Wine Co for a great snack and beverage to start. The Hornblower cruises are great to take friends and family and then dinner at Bencotto or Barbusa. I used to live in PB and my two favorite restaurants would have to be Costa Brava and Enoteca Adriano.
I love Spanish tapas and Costa Brava is a little hidden gem across from Trader Joe’s with live Spanish music and delightful tapas. I currently live in North County and love Herb & Sea for dinner and The Roxy for live music.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I was inspired by a book called, “Start Something That Matters” by Blake Mycoskie the founder of TOMs shoes. Prior to reading his book I didn’t know that the name TOMs shoes comes from his mission: for every shoe sold today is a shoe for TOMmorrow- emphasis on the TOM which is where he came up with the name. He donates a pair of shoes to a child in need for every pair of shoes sold. His story inspired me because prior to reading his book I was not aware of the impact his shoes were making. He had an idea while on vacation in Argentina, he had no intent in starting a company from that trip but it just happened. One strong point that he makes is that it’s not only important to be a part of something that matters but to also make it some people can relate to. People are more likely to support your product if they feel a connection to it and your making a difference. That’s what inspired my idea to make something that people enjoy wearing as well as supporting a good cause along the way!
The initial photo of my market is at the: Seahive Market in Liberty Station photo taken by: Chris Wojdak Photography