alyssa wasko & donni

alyssa wasko & donni

From Personal Loss to Fashion Innovation

we're creating space for the brains behind the brands we love, and asking good questions along the way. the result is a deep dive into the how and why of brand-building, from blueprints to launch day, customers as community and the detours in between. big lessons, easy listening.

In this episode of Read Receipt, we are excited to welcome Alyssa Wasko, the founder of Donni. Alyssa’s journey from creating scarves as a tribute to her late father to establishing a full-fledged clothing and accessories brand is a testament to resilience and creativity. Donni, known for its elevated essentials, partners exclusively with women-owned factories in LA and supports a new nonprofit each season. Join us as Alyssa shares her story of transforming personal grief into a thriving business, the evolution of Donni from scarves to versatile clothing, and the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on her business strategy. Discover how Alyssa’s focus on comfort, style, and community has made Donni a beloved brand.

Tune in to learn about Alyssa’s entrepreneurial journey, the inspiration behind her brand, and what's next for Donni.

Sit back, relax, and enjoy the conversation!

the Show Notes


Alyssa Wasko, founder of Donni, shares her inspiring journey from creating scarves in honor of her late father to establishing a successful clothing and accessories brand. Donni, known for its elevated essentials, partners with women-owned factories in LA and supports a new nonprofit each season. Alyssa discusses the evolution of Donni, the challenges of pivoting during the COVID-19 pandemic, and the importance of staying true to the brand’s core values. The conversation explores her entrepreneurial experiences, the development of Donni’s versatile products, and her vision for the future.


elevated essentials, entrepreneurship, personal loss, brand building, women-owned factories, nonprofit support, COVID-19 pivot, versatile clothing, Donni


  1. Alyssa Wasko’s journey from personal loss to founding Donni is marked by resilience and creativity.
  2. Donni focuses on creating elevated essentials that combine comfort and style, with a commitment to supporting women-owned factories and nonprofits.
  3. Building a brand involves understanding market gaps, listening to consumer needs, and maintaining a clear vision.
  4. The COVID-19 pandemic has presented unique challenges, but also opportunities for brands like Donni to adapt and thrive.
  5. Alyssa’s commitment to comfort, style, and community drives the success of Donni.

Sound Bites:

  • "Donni began as a creative outlet to cope with my father's passing, and has grown into a brand known for its elevated essentials."
  • "Our goal is to create clothing that is both comfortable and stylish, while supporting women-owned factories and nonprofits."
  • "Building a brand requires staying true to your vision and listening to your customers."
  • "The COVID-19 pandemic forced us to pivot, but it also highlighted the importance of our core values."
  • "Donni is about making people feel good, both in terms of comfort and confidence."


00:00 - Alyssa’s Background and Journey-
Alyssa introduces herself and shares her journey from creating scarves in honor of her father to founding Donni.

08:01 - The Inspiration Behind Donni-
Alyssa discusses the personal loss that inspired her to create Donni and the early days of the brand.

12:30 - Transitioning from Scarves to Clothing-
Alyssa explains her transition from designing scarves to launching a full clothing line and the lessons learned.

23:17 - The Importance of Comfort and Community-
The conversation delves into how Donni combines comfort and community support in its designs.

25:30 - Challenges and Opportunities During the Pandemic-
Alyssa talks about the challenges of pivoting during the COVID-19 pandemic and the opportunities it presented.

27:26 - Commitment to Quality and Innovation-
Alyssa highlights Donni’s dedication to high-quality materials and innovative designs.

31:23 - Building a Strong Brand Identity-
The discussion explores the importance of a strong brand identity and connecting with consumers authentically.

36:02 - The Vision for Donni-
Alyssa shares her vision for the future of Donni and her goals for the brand.

47:37 - Patience and Persistence in Entrepreneurship-
Alyssa emphasizes the need for patience and persistence in achieving long-term success.

51:43 - Final Thoughts and Insights-
Alyssa wraps up the conversation with final thoughts and valuable insights for aspiring entrepreneurs.

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