Mall consumers and industry experts agree that the modern fashion industry needs a major checkup, and now a new Spokane company is helping lead the charge.
Founded by Kim Blessing and Delena Mobley, dom+bomb launched in the spring of 2022 with a small selection of basic pieces for its ever-growing collection of sustainably made clothing that includes size and gender. Their goal is to inspire and empower others and create a welcoming, non-judgmental community around fashion.
“We did a lot of market research on what’s available here and just talked to people and heard how hard it is to find cute stuff that fits, especially in the larger sizes,” Blessing says. “There is simply nowhere to go.
“One of the big things we wanted to focus on, and why we have a full range, is that it’s so hard to shop with friends when you’re all different sizes. We really want to build a place where people can unite,” she adds.
Because the design, production and quality testing process is long – many pieces are currently in development – dom+bomb has launched the first of its “essentials” collection with a skirt ($85) and two tops, a crop top ($60) and a boat neck T-shirt ($65). A body chain ($59) made by local jewelry artist Blue Owl Handicrafts is the first piece in dom + bomb’s line of accessories.
Crafted from a soft, drapey fabric, each piece has been designed by the duo to flatter any body type and can be teamed with other dom+bomb garments or what’s already in a lover’s closet. customer.
The two founders grew up inspired by the women in their family who sewed and passed on this know-how to them.
Mobley recalls saving money she earned from babysitting during her college years to buy fabric and making herself a plaid romper to avoid being teased by her peers for not having fashionable and expensive clothes. As life progressed, however, her focus shifted to college and a career, and it wasn’t until recently that she reconnected to those clothing-making roots while imagining dom + bomb with Blessing.
The two met and became friends while working at a local communications company. They each decided to leave this industry during the pandemic to focus on more creative work and something they are both passionate about: fashion. Dom+bombe was born. The name is a combination of Mobley’s initials, DOM, and Blessing’s social media handle, @bombthetiara.
“We started making masks [for COVID]and it started to make me fall in love with textiles all over again,” Mobley says. “And just tapping into the self that I had kind of given up on so I could take care of serious business for a while.”
Owith a background in marketing and communication, dom+bomb’s brand image came naturally. Now that the project had gained a solid foundation, Mobley and Blessing focused on honing their skills in pattern making and crafting finer garments. They also worked with a group of local models to accurately scale each garment for dom+bomb’s inclusive size range.
“We create the designs, then I do all the patterns, then we sew samples and try them on our fitted models,” Blessing explains. “And our fitted models are really one of the most exciting things we’ve come across.”
When dom+bomb put out a call for models, the duo weren’t sure how many responses they’d get, but they currently have 50 people on their list.
“What’s so beautiful is that all of our fitted designs have a story,” continues Blessing. “They come to us for a reason, you know, whether it’s because their gender doesn’t conform and they want a safe and fun place, or they’re older and they can’t find something. something that suits them.”
All dom+bomb garments are available in sizes extra small to 5XL. Current fabric choices are bold and vibrant hues of yellow, fuchsia, and teal, as well as basic black.
Working with dom+bomb’s fitted models helped the duo make small changes to a piece that might need, for example, more or less length in the bust or hips from size to size.
“We have models try on our clothes from the smallest to the largest size, and then we make the necessary changes so that the designs work for all body types,” says Mobley. “We take photos, and we pay very close attention to the hem, where it falls, and how [a piece] drape the body.”
Dom+bomb’s collection of essentials consists of simple pieces, but the duo plan to expand with more tailored garments like pants and button-up shirts. Currently, they are finalizing a T-shirt dress which is expected to launch soon.
while a dom+bomb shop is planned to open locally within the next year, the brand’s products are currently only available online at domandbomb.com, and each piece is made to order.
“We really want to make sure our stuff doesn’t end up in landfills, so we only make what we sell,” says Blessing. “And we also really want to make sure our stuff lasts, and later we look at the circularity piece” – that is, how to recycle an item at the end of its use.
Blessing and Mobley spent months searching for a garment manufacturer in the United States, finally landing on a small garment factory in Southern California that pays its workers fairly. The fabrics are sourced from a British Columbia company and meet the duo’s high standards for ethical manufacturing and sustainability.
“We really wanted to make sure that we were taking care of people, not just here in Spokane, but everything we outsource, because the fashion industry is just terrible when it comes to exploiting workers,” Blessing said.
“We knew early on that we needed to focus as much as possible on our domestic operations, and we did,” adds Mobley.
In addition to the dom+bomb clothing collection, the company also offers tailoring and mending services, as well as recycling and styling services, all of which are tied to their focus on sustainability.
“A really important aspect of what we do is our styling services,” says Mobley. “I practically go into people’s closets, help them weed out what no longer works and give them ideas on how to recycle it. But it also helps them think about how they might perhaps revitalize some parts, bring something to fix, or maybe change the knobs or hardware on something.”
Customers can book an appointment for styling or sewing services on the dom+bomb website.
“We’ve learned that sustainability means something different to everyone we talk to, and we don’t want to prescribe any lifestyle,” says Mobley. “But if you have any questions, we want to be able to answer them.” ♦