Three years ago today, I took a huge leap and started stripedshirt. I consider it the first official day of business because it was the day I registered the URL of the brand I’d dreamt about for a decade prior. I didn’t have first shirts for another 9 months so I mark the anniversary of stripedshirt around that time, Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving. (and yes, as a mom of 2, the significance of starting a company and delivering first product 9 months later is not lost on me) Over these 3 years, I have learned so much, a PR gal trying to dig into the fashion, apparel, retail, ecommerce worlds. Holy cow.
The adventure has been a blast, and getting this old dog to learn new tricks (after 18 years of public relations) has been such a boost of energy in my life.
I still deeply believe in the focus of stripedshirt: giving women, kids and babies fun shirts to wear to support their favorite team, school, cause or holiday. I still believe stripedshirt is fan-wear for those of us who just want our colors to show our spirit, not a big logo or a guy’s name in a shirt build for a man.
But, along the way, I’ve had what I call Surprises in Stripes that I thought I’d share here at three years into the life of stripedshirt:
People just like stripes. Especially the ladies. So many of my purchases are just women looking for a cute stripedshirt. It seems red and white stripes, in particular, are very hard to find, in a cute, affordable version. (this goes for several men too, complaining they cannot find a good red and white stripedshirt and why don’t I make a version for guys?)
Mommy and me dressing alike extends way beyond Lilly Pulitzer. Moms want to dress like their kiddos, and at least up to a certain age (8 years old and counting for me), kids like it too! I’ve had many matchy striped days with my girls since this all began and it is cute and sweet.
Beyond just the Mom and kiddo combos, stripedshirts are great for keeping a group together! I found this out by chance, taking 4 little girls to Sea World one Christmas break right after I got my first shirts. We all striped up and I never lost them and they always knew where I was too. Fantastic! I’ve since seen families going to Disney in stripes, Girl Scout troops in stripes, Family reunions or photos, girl’s weekends or bachelorette parties. A group of stripes, even if several different color combos, is quite a fun – and recognizable – statement.
The lead up to Halloween is my biggest rush of the year. Not back to school and start of football season, not March Madness, not Christmas. Halloween. This bummed me out at first, people buying my shirts for their costumes. But now, my hope is, they get a stripedshirt to be Waldo or Freddy Krueger or Olivia the Pig or Phineas (not Ferb) or Harry Potter or a French Sailor or whatever and they love the shirt way more than just 1 day of the year. (I hope!)
And finally, I had no idea what a fan-base Doc McStuffins has with the 2 to 6 year old set! After red and white, my biggest seller by far is kids’ sizes of purple and white. And I’ve tested the theory, most are for kids who want to dress like their favorite new Disney Character. The Doc IS IN stripes!
One last Surprise in Stripes over these past 3 years – the sweet, amazing support I’ve gotten. I had hoped for it, but you never know how people will react to what you are up to. People I know and people I don’t have been so supportive, sharing kind feedback and cheering me on. There is still absolutely no more exciting moment for me than to see a “stripedshirt in the wild” – worn in public on someone I know, or better who I don’t, and that the wearer really, genuinely likes the shirt! YEAH!
Here’s to many more years of stripedshirt, and many more Surprises in Stripes!