Nephi Garcia is known to fellow Disney fans as “Designer Daddy” who shares the amazing transformation dresses and detailed gowns he makes for his family and friends.
His rags-to-ball-gown story is like that of Cinderella. With his lifelong love of Disney and his determination, Nephi was able to turn his hobby into a career, proving that dreams do come true.
However, pursuing a career in fashion did not come easy. 14 years ago, the 33-year-old father of three from Huntington Beach moved to the United States from the Philippines, where as a young boy, he watched relatives sew garments. Nephi thought it was something he could do because he enjoyed geometry. When it was time for him to get married, he found himself tasked with making his wife’s bridal gown.
Nephi is not only a father to his adorable little girl, but he is also often viewed as a fairy godfather by a lot of ordinary women and girls across the globe, turning them into Disney princesses. He began his fairytale journey around 2014 when he took his daughter to Disneyland while dressed as a Fairy Godmother. After noticing people taking pictures of his daughter while wearing one of his costumes, he got inspired to create more costumes for his little girl.
However, Nephi had to face the harsh reality first before he could get to the promise of happily ever after: leaving a position in the high-fashion industry, declaring it not family-friendly enough for a family man, and also losing the part-time job he had in retail, and then finding himself, along with his wife and young children, living with friends as the family got dangerously close to homelessness.
It was his wife who encouraged him to pursue his passion for creating Disney-inspired dresses. He said:
“My wife told me, ‘We have literally nothing to lose. Why not do it now?’ This literally saved us from where we were at.”
The simple dress-up play that he had with his daughter soon turned into an enterprise catering to hundreds of customers from around the world. Netizens also began noticing his splendid work with the magical dresses that transform from one style to another with just a twirl.