Beating cancer, making cards: the inspirational spirit behind Amador Collective

Del Mar's Daniela Garcia Allie knows how much a simple note during a hard time can mean.
Daniela Garcia Allie Amador Collective

All photography by Gary Payne.

In 2016, faced with a devastating medical diagnosis, Daniela Garcia Allie went 12 rounds with chemotherapy and came out a champion. Recognizing how much cards and notes sent by friends and relatives helped in her recovery, she decided to turn her longtime card-making hobby into a full-time business.

With years of sketches, doodles and journaled thoughts in reserve, she created her Amador Collective greeting-card line in 2018. Boutiques throughout Southern California and across the country now carry her charming collection of cards and journals. Daniela resides in Del Mar with her husband, pro skateboarder Jon Allie.

Where do you go to chill out?

Daniela’s favorite place to relax is Pannikin Coffee & Tea in Encinitas, which is housed in a cheery structure built in 1888 that once served as a railroad station. “I like to sit on the back balcony; I always see friends there—I never know who I’m going to run into.

Daniela Allie 313

This bomber jacket is covered in meaningful patches sewn on by Daniela.

What book has influenced you?

The Artist’s Way: A Spiritual Path to Higher Creativity by Julia Cameron. Originally published in 1991, this self-help book has sold millions of copies worldwide. “It’s all about tapping into your own expression and figuring out what your own voice is,” Daniela says. “It really inspired me to hold onto my own originality.”

What’s your most treasured possession?

If there was a fire, she would grab her bomber jacket, customized with an array of patches that hold personal significance to her. “I had a pile of patches that were unused before I got sick, and then ever since going through chemo I have started to collect more patches and put them on there. It was kind of an invitation to really wear who I am,” she says. “I just love this jacket.”

Does it feel radical to be producing something so old school in a digital world?

“Definitely!” Daniela says. “I started to realize it is very counter-culture to take the time to actually digest your experiences, and I think that’s so needed. It’s a huge way of how I live my own life, so being able to share that and inspire other people to do the same thing is just so awesome.”

What’s your wellness routine?

Daniela is a devotee of Kundalini yoga, which she practices at The Soul of Yoga in Encinitas. “It’s such an active meditation, and I love that because it feels like a way to tap into that feeling of flow,” she says. “With a group dynamic, doing it around other people, it’s just so powerful.”

Do you have a favorite travel destination?

Danielle Garcia Allie of Amador Collective Greeting Cards

Danielle Garcia Allie started her greeting card and journal collection in 2018.

For Daniela it’s not so much the destination but the journey—she especially loves a good road trip, giving her the opportunity to journal and send notes and postcards. “It’s more about the sense of what you discover along the way,” she says, “and I feel like that is a huge part of the expression of my work.”

Do you cook? What’s your specialty?

Influenced by her Mexican and Colombian heritage, she’s mastered some of her best-loved family dishes. “I’ve learned how to make this delicious soup called ajiaco. It’s kind of a chicken soup that has potatoes and corn and it’s really, really hearty; it’s so delicious.”

Do you have a style or design crush?

It’s Jonathan Adler, the potter turned all-purpose glam designer. “The fact he has had such a long career with endless creativity—I think that’s just so cool. I love his stuff because it’s super luxurious but still so fun.”

Do you have any heroes?

Her husband is one: “He’s a big dreamer but he also has the capacity to make things happen, and then he really keeps me grounded as well as super supported through our life together.” She’s also an admirer of New Zealand filmmaker Taika Waititi (Boy, Jojo Rabbit).

Daniela Garcia Allie With Her Husband Jon Allie

Daniela Garcia Allie with her husband Jon Allie.