Failure to Launch Brings Chance to Help

A 2008 Parish Episcopal School graduate, wanting more from fashion than she found in New York City, packed her bags and headed to the airport – again, and again.

The search for handmade, natural-fiber fabrics took Amanda Daum to China, Laos, India, Thailand, Uganda, and Guatemala.

Amanda Daum

By the time she returned to Dallas this February, she had generated momentum for the first fashion line release from her new children’s clothing brand, Sticks.

“A year prior, we were funded by Chip and Joanna Gains, and then our collection won the ‘brand to watch’ award in NY,” she said. “We were in a great position to launch.”

Though COVID-19 proved a momentum killer, the pandemic didn’t stifle Daum’s creativity. “When I realized what was happening in the world, my first thought was ‘how can Sticks help right now?”

With her handwoven fabrics completed, but clothing production unable to move forward for the launch, she pivoted to masks in hopes of taking the scary out of them for children.

Daum cited an April 13, New York Times article: “But for some children, even the humblest of masks can be scary — scary in themselves, and scary as reminders of the threat of infection, and the generally frightening times through which we are living.”

“We’re trying to be nimble and to make a difference with the resources we have on hand.”

Amanda Daum

Working with indigenous artisans in Latin America, Sticks is turning the colorful, cheerful fabrics that would have gone into its spring line into masks for children and adults with matching bandanas for pets. Find them at madebysticks.com. Daum has pledged 100% of the profits to feed families in developing countries, where the pandemic spreads poverty and hunger.

“We’re trying to be nimble and to make a difference with the resources we have on hand,” she said.

Daum grew up in Preston Hollow and lives in the Park Cities now. Before returning to the area, she spent four years in Guatemala.

“So, being a 30-year-old woman, (newly returned) to Dallas during a quarantine, I had to find creative ways to build my community,” she said. “And at Sticks, we are doing the same – finding new ways to connect with people.”

Daum’s using social media such as Instagram and TikTok and plans in December to launch a collection of garments made to last and wear year-round.

“December will be a huge accomplishment,” she said. “We’ve expanded our line to include knits in Peru, a baby collection, and we have big dreams for our future.”


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William Taylor

William Taylor, editor of Park Cities People and Preston Hollow People, shares a name and a birthday with his dad and a love for community journalism with his colleagues at People Newspapers. He joined the staff in 2016 after more than 25 years working for daily newspapers in such places as Alexandria, Louisiana; Baton Rouge; McKinney; San Angelo; and Sherman, though not in anywhere near that order. A city manager once told him that “city government is the best government” because of its potential to improve the lives of its residents. William still enjoys covering municipal government and many other topics. Follow him on Twitter @Seminarydropout. He apologizes in advance to the Joneses for any angry Tweets that might slip out about the Dallas Cowboys during the NFL season. You also can reach him at [email protected]. For the latest news, click here to sign up for our newsletter.

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