Women have evolved. We have become more empowered, creative, and ambitious within the working world, and we have found confidence within ourselves. However, women are still not valued to their fullest potential. According to the Global Gender Gap Report, the gender gap for economic participation and opportunity stands at 60% worldwide. Female entrepreneurs, Amy Devan of Naveda Couture & Design and Lindsay Fiegleman of sticks+stones, have realized that raising the awareness of this issue is the first step to create global change. Therefore, they joined forces and created #TribeSHEro to support the growth of women. Their collaboration benefits Women for Women International through a portion of their businesses’ proceeds, and they’re using the power of fashion to promote positive change.
Femme & Fortune: What is #TribeSHEro and what does the name mean to both of you?
Amy: #tribeSHEro is about shedding light on females who strive to make their lives better and are determined to make their mark in the world beyond a daughter, sister, mother or friend. We believe in a TRIBE where SHE is empowered to move forward through freedom of expression, education, and self-reliance.
When we first started to put our heads together on this concept, we thought about the word “tribe” and to us, it equates to a sense of community. You’ve probably heard the quote, “Find your tribe. Love them hard.” As female entrepreneurs ourselves, we felt our tribe was with other females striving to reach their dreams…even if the resources and stars are not yet aligned, these ladies are driven. They are on a mission to force change – a change in what women are capable of, a change in how we are perceived, a change from societal and economical barriers. These are the ladies we want to support! With that in mind, the name of our collaborative movement came easily!
Femme & Fortune: What inspired you to start #TribeSHEro?
Lindsay: If I wasn’t in fashion, I would be in role that was made to help people. In my life, certain things have occurred that have been out of my control. Through receiving help and having a strong support system, I’ve been able to help myself, so has Amy. A lot of people aren’t that fortunate. This is especially prevalent on a much larger scale in third world countries. We have both seen this first hand during our travels and manufacturing processes. It really puts life into perspective, and brings inspiration to you as a person and as a designer to make a difference. Fashion is a huge industry with a big audience. There are voices to be easily heard and viewed. I think every brand should give back in its own way. This would help change the world, and also give some hope into changing some of the misconceptions of the industry itself.
Femme & Fortune: How did you and Lindsey from Sticks & Stones meet?
Amy: We were introduced by another female entrepreneur and artist we both know. She immediately thought we should meet. We did and we couldn’t stop talking about how similar (though seemingly different) our businesses were. We both are extremely passionate about our work, have no issues with working around the clock, are sleep-deprived in pursuit of our dreams, love every second of what we do, and most importantly want to work with and help other women.
Femme & Fortune: What are your tips on collaborating with other women? How did you two go about it for #TribeSHEro?
Lindsay: Let’s face it, women are tricky. Unfortunately, so many are caught up in competition. To be honest, it’s silly. If your products are strong, competition shouldn’t matter. There’s enough room for everyone. Amy and I are a great complements to each other — product, aesthetic and personality-wise. Having a similar educational/professional background has proven to be beneficial. Due to that, we both have almost identical work ethics, and professional goals/expectations. I think the most important thing in a partnership or collaboration is to truly believe in each other’s brand, and independent capability. It should be 50/50. If not, it’s time to re-evaluate. Life is too short to work, or share a journey with people who make you unhappy, and aren’t truly supportive of you. Always be cognoscente of the fact that negativity spreads like wildfire.
Why did you choose Women for Women International as your donation organization?
Amy: Our mission is to team up with organizations around the globe that move women forward and together help promote social change through fashion. We did some digging and Women for Women International came up in our research time and time again. The organization works out of 8 developing countries across the globe with a common goal – to provide resources, training and education to women. Facilities are set up in each of these 8 countries where women in need can learn vocational skills and gain the confidence to earn a living and support their families.
Today, portions of our proceeds are being donated to this and other similar organizations. We consider such organizations part of our tribe.
Femme & Fortune: How do you think fashion can promote social change and raise global awareness?
Lindsay: I believe I touched on this earlier briefly. To add, we’re living in the craziest time ever, it’s a digital revolution. We are a part of something so epic in history. The power of social media gets me every time. I just cannot believe it. For brands, it’s amazing and exciting. Who would have ever thought a photo, with a small caption linking to a website that you stumbled upon based on a hashtag would allow people across the world to be connected? Like seriously, what is crazier in that sentence?! I think it would be counterproductive and plain stupid for brands and individuals not to promote messages and initiatives for social change. When people can see it, they believe it, when they believe it, they want to do something about it. Plus, who doesn’t like shopping with less buyer’s remorse?
What is your biggest goal for the #TribeSHEro collaboration?
Amy: Our mission is to make it known that fashion is not about the “superficial” rap it gets, rather it has a greater impact on society, social dynamic, and economic factors. We want to contribute to those important issues and the only way we know how is through our passion.
Do you have any other ideas for the #TribeSHEro collaboration?
Lindsay: We are idea machines! I do not even know where to start, but I will say that there’s a lot more to come! We need every woman reading this to join our tribe, and help spread the word.
Amy: Lindsay said it best! Help us spread the word and join us on this ride – let’s create a sisterhood and a path for every female out there to work hard and achieve whatever her dreams may be.
Thank you so much Amy and Lindsay! We’re so excited about #TribeSHEro and can’t wait to learn more about upcoming events and initiatives from these two. Stay tuned!
Photo courtesy of Sachi Anand Photography