There's nothing more exciting then staying in touch and following the progress of our past socialites! We love watching their posts and seeing how far they've come since attending social studio shop.
Today, we're thrilled to be sitting down with Jenny and Taylor, the founders of Casual 4 a Cause, to chat about their mission to help other female entrepreneurs and the launch of their Kickstarter campaign. Read on to discover how they plan introduce "purpose" to fashion...
What is Casual 4 a Cause? How the idea came about?
Growing up we were often asked, “what do you want to do with your life?” The only thing that remained constant was that we wanted to help others, or change the world in some capacity. At a young age we both learned about the gift of giving and how it can change a person’s life. We knew we wanted to be a part of that wonderful gift.
We went through many brainstorming sessions and ultimately, Jenny conceptualized the idea of purposeful fashion. The concept is $4 of each t-shirt sold will go towards a micro-grant to help women entrepreneurs start-up their business or help them learn a skilled trade. We also hope to be able to mentor these woman on some level by sharing our story and what we have learned about the world of entrepreneurship.
Why the emphasis on casual? Why did you pick the hashtag #livecasual?
Being born and raised in California, t-shirts are a main staple in everyone’s closet. However, finding the perfect t-shirt can be difficult and we want every woman to feel comfortable and confident in what they wear. Our focus was to find super comfortable material, without sacrificing a fabulous fit.
We also wanted to be able to come up with a product that made giving back easy. Our tees our casual, but our mission and message is far from it. We don’t just want people to be a fan of our shirts, we want them to live our mission; #livecasual. We want our supporters and consumers to live a life full of love and light and share that with others. #livecasual is a way for our supporters and believers to come together and see how their purchase is helping women achieve their hopes and dreams.
Your slogan is “casually making a difference.” What difference(s) do you hope to make through Casual 4 a Cause?
We have grandiose dreams of the difference we want to make, it will be slower in the beginning-- we want to be very involved in the micro-grant process. We are creating a nomination process where friends and family can nominate someone for the grant.
Initially, our grant winners will be given $500 grants. These will will given out on a bi-yearly basis. We will spotlight each story and be involved in what they use the grant for, what it brought to their lives, and keep in touch in what goals they accomplish in the future.
We want women to learn lifelong skills to help them achieve the life they dream of whether that is taking a class in their trade, or attending a conference to learn to brand themselves. Any positive experience we can give to someone, no matter how small, is a win in our book!
What one piece of advice would you give another entrepreneur?
Taylor: It will always seem impossible, but to use that “impossible feeling” as motivation. In my heart of hearts, I knew we could do this. Even though we have done so much to get to this point… we still have so much more to do until we fully launch, it still feels a little impossible. But, as we finish each new task and learn more and more about entrepreneurship-- it creates more motivation to keep going because our long term goal of helping women do the exact same thing we are… is all that matters. It will always be overwhelming-- stay organized, stay motivated, focus on the ultimate goal and remember why you started.
Jenny: Self-doubt is an instant dream crusher. I am guilty of it; I think I can safely say we all are at one point in our lives. One of my favorite quotes that has become very popular is by Erin Hanson. It reads...
But what if I fall? Oh, but my darling, what if you fly?
I repeat that in my head and tell myself that I am going to fly. Starting something new can be scary and overwhelming; and we are typically are our own worst enemies. You have to face the fear, and do it anyway.
What’s your favorite social media network and why?
Hands down, Instagram. We love sharing our progress and goals through this visual outlet. We have connected with amazing women, brands and bloggers. We take pride in our posts and want to make sure we are giving our followers substance. We love our Instagram so much, that we have even added it to our homepage on our website!
Your brand is really focused around helping and loving others. How do you plan to leverage this idea to get people excited about your company?
We have received incredible feedback about our concept. We feel “making a difference” part of our mission is the greatest motivator for buying our t-shirts vs. going to a retail store. Yes, we have the fit, fabric and the made in the USA factors, but our giving back in order to help women entrepreneurs is our greatest selling point.
As far as leverage, we will be very open in showing how the proceeds are being used through our website and social media. People love hearing good-hearted stories and we plan to add many of those stories to the world!
2015 is going to be big year for you guys. What are your goals for Casual 4 a Cause this upcoming year?
We are beyond excited for 2015! Our biggest goal of course is to launch!!
This week we launched our Kickstarter campaign to help fund the start of our business. After the campaign we plan to be in full production and open our e-commerce store by May/June which aligns us perfectly with summer t-shirt weather.
***Want to help Jenny and Taylor accomplish their dreams? Make a donation to their Kickstarter campaign here!***
Second to launching, our biggest goal would be to select our first micro-grant recipient! We hope to be able to do many more than just one, but our first one will be extremely special and we are almost in tears (happy tears) thinking about it! We will have many more exciting things happening so be sure to stay connected with casual 4 a cause!