Lil Bellamosa

Lil Bellamosa natural dyer
What’s the meaning of your business name?

My business name is an adaptation of my name that a family friend came up with when I was very young. It can be a mouthful so I shorten it to ‘Lil’, which is also what all my nears and dears call me.

Tell us about yourself!

I first started experimenting with natural dyes while studying textile design at SFSU. I then moved to New York City, where I gained inspiration while living and working in the fashion industry. Upon moving back to my California roots in the Fall of 2018 I fell back in love with natural dyes and the process. ‘Lil bellamosa’ emerged in Spring of 2020, while hunkering down in the start of the pandemic and was led by a desire to create beautiful, self care products for myself and friends. It has since evolved into a budding business where I create intimates using silk and seasonal dye goods.

What are your favorite materials right now?

I work mostly in silk charmeuse because I love the way it takes the dye materials, however I am expanding into light weight cotton as well, because I love the ease. Dye wise - I am obsessed with growing my own dye flowers. Last year I grew indigo, cosmos, coreopsis, marigolds and scabiosas and loved the results of fresh blooms. I am currently starting seeds for this year's dye garden!
When did you decide to become a designer/artist? I have always wanted to be a small business owner in the craft realm. When I was in sixth grade I made baby blankets and hats and sold them at school fundraisers. I experimented in feather earrings in high school, and was constantly creating my own clothing designs. However, college was when I really honed in on my love for textile design and here we are!

Lil Bellamosa natural silk dyer

Were you encouraged to follow your dreams and create for a living?

Absolutely. My brother and I are both creatives, and our parents have always
encouraged us to follow our passions. I am so grateful for my community in Santa Cruz. People love to support artists and small businesses.
Is there a single purpose that keeps you focused? Nature is a huge inspiration for me. I love foraging for dye goods and using what is in season. I also think that creating consciously and promoting conscious consumption is at the forefront of my business values.

What about your medium makes you keep going back? What makes you stick with it?
The constant variation of natural dyes and achieving new colors. I love that each piece is unique and different - that's the magic of it. I also love the fact that I'm not working with chemicals, which makes a huge difference for our earth and for our bodies!
natural dyer lil bellamosa
Is there something that the world should know about you and/or the work that you do?
Every piece goes through my two hands, many, many times. Each piece truly is a piece of my heart going out into the world. I hope my customers can feel that.
natural dyer lil bellamosa california
What’s your biggest challenge as a maker?
To keep going when I feel self doubt. I think we all feel self doubt in our own experiences and journey, but it's really tricky when you're a sole business owner... Each piece feels very personal and vulnerable to release into the world.
california natural dyer, lil bellamosa
What’s on your current music rotation while creating?
Currently, The Tallest Man on Earth, Billie Martin, BØRNS. A little bit of everything.