Shenanigans for Good

Do you ever feel when you wake up you are in the “Dream Revelation” from Dallas? Now some of you reading this might not understand this reference–GOOGLE IT! It’s basically, when everything from the past year just goes away because it was only a dream. We couldn’t write a more bizarre story than 2020. I should be designing and preparing for Paris Fashion Week which would have been less than a month from now, but that wasn’t in the cards this year.

Today, August 25th, is Hopeless + Cause Atelier’s Birthday. While I’ve been designing under the H+CA label for only a few years, it has been a part of me since I was in middle school. A memory popped up and reminded me of how it came to life.

Five years ago today, I delivered my first creation to the woman that pushed me to design. After I absolutely loved the way she looked in it and her faith in me, I took the time to write her a note…

“Do you remember what you wanted to be when you were growing up? Well, I wanted to be a fashion designer and when that didn’t happen, I moved on until life brought me back to that childhood dream. After failure, I wasn’t sure I could continue in this space.

One afternoon, I was watching ‘Eat. Pray. Love.’ I remember reading the book years before and thinking, ‘what is wrong with her?’ She cried throughout the book and it annoyed me so much. I wanted to shake her and say, ‘snap out of it!’ It wasn’t until this year that I understood. Well that afternoon, I cried throughout the entire movie. I was in a state of depression and despair and then there was a line that really struck me.

The line was, ‘Ruin is a gift. Ruin is the road to transformation.’ And being the Catholic girl that I am I reached out to St. Jude for inspiration…the saint for hopeless causes. I said a prayer and asked for guidance and an idea struck me.

Photo courtesy of WeWork Creator Magazine

I’m a HOPELESS fanatic of fashion. I’m a HOPELESS believer that everything happens for a reason and you should use it to drive or inspire you. And, because I’m human, I feel HOPELESS at times so I give others hope to be who they are meant to be. Life is filled with CAUSE & effect. What if there was a fashion line that supported: livable wages, eco-social practices, and gave back? Now wouldn’t that be a CAUSE to get behind…and just think of that effect. Hopeless + Cause Atelier”


Since then…Hopeless + Cause Atelier has connected me to some incredible people. I have been able to show my designs in my hometown, of Albuquerque, New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Austin and London. H+CA has graced British Vogue, GQ, Vanity Fair, Elle and several local and international fashion magazines….honored to have graced a few covers. But most importantly, Hopeless + Cause Atelier has been apart of some of life’s most important events, and I am so grateful to be a part of that.

When I rewatched, “Eat. Pray. Love.” I gained something new. ♥️

Photo Courtesy of Bobby Gutierrez

“When you set out in the world to help yourself, sometimes you end up helping tutti <everybody>…that’s the lesson, isn’t it?”
– Elizabeth Gilbert

This last quote from the movie has been playing in my mind a lot lately. I’m not able to show on the world stage this year, but I pondered the thought of going back to my roots and doing something for my community. I gathered a few chefs that I had been scheming with before COVID locked us down, pulled in some friends, and serendipitously connected with the right non-profits. Because…

We, as a community, have not experienced a year like 2020. Business is not happening as usual and many have had to close, while others have come up with creative ways to survive, thrive and support others. Non-profits working in the field of food security have supported individuals and families in record numbers over the past 6 months.

Four (4) restaurant partners have agreed to open up their doors creatively (via picnic take out or patio dining services) to for an event not seen before in Albuquerque. Working with incredible chefs and their corresponding restaurants, a volunteer team is putting together a community-wide event to support small business and local non-profit organizations working in the space of food security.

The plan is to secure sponsorships to cover the costs of the event, while purchases through take-out orders and on-site patio sales will go directly to the non-profit partner of that restaurant.

I’d also like to broaden my reach in supporting small business. If you have been blessed, working, and have disposable income during this time, I am asking you, reading this blog today, if would you be interested in purchasing a gift card to your favorite local shop? I’d like to host an online silent auction in conjunction with this event, but I know small businesses get hit up all the time to support community fundraisers…this time I’d like the community to support them. In buying a gift card, you are providing a cash infusion and the winning recipient is introduced to the business either through their website or in person.

I’m not asking you to purchase today. I’m creating a list to see who would be interested in participating in something like this, with a minimum purchase of $20. So if compelled, reply YES in the comment below or send me an email at

And because we like to have fun, this is a people’s choice competition. The restaurant that has the most in sales that day will be deemed the winner with bragging rights…so the community can support their favorite restaurant, creative menu or favorite non-profit. For more information about #EatOuttoLiftUp, click HERE. And, please share with your network.

With light and love (and some shenanigans for good),
Dara Sophia

4 thoughts on “Shenanigans for Good”

  1. Happy Birthday H+CA!!! I am so lucky and proud to be a part of your journey.

    Thank you Dara for always giving back and inspiring others to give back. <3

    1. Thank you Kristen! I too am so excited that you are a vital part of this journey…here’s to many more years of fashion and shenanigans for good! xx

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