August Femme Fetale Feature: FeistyGal Studio Promotes Female Badassery Through Socially Responsible Brand
Every once in a while you come across a woman who embodies what it means to be strong, beautiful and just an all around Femme Fatale. When we do a feature, we are looking for women who are really making an impact in the communities that they live in. Don't be fooled, in order to be a #Prettyonme babe you don't have to have the most glamorous success story. All you need is a little desire to change the world around you.
#Prettyonme had a chance to catch up with one Femme Fatale, Laura Aguon of Feisty Gal Studio.
At less than a year old, Feisty Gal Studio's founder is making waves in the intersectional feminist space with her "woke" brand.
Let us get to know you. Who are you and where do you come from? What’s your background?
Laura, here! I am the founder of Feisty Gal Studio, a handmade feminist apparel store in Portland, Oregon. Feisty Gal Studio grew out of the love of socially aware fashion, the power of the female entrepreneurial spirit, and creating opportunities for the badassery of the modern non-traditional woman. We donate to various women’s leadership organizations, domestic violence shelters, and LGBTQ youth safe homes with each purchase made from our loyal customers. We are going to be celebrating our 1st Birthday in November!
Tell us how and when Feisty Gal Studio got started. Did you just wake up one day and say "Hey! I think I`ll create a women`s clothing line”? Or were there events that inspired you to create the brand?
I find the narrative that female entrepreneurs just “wake up and start a business” really detrimental in a lot of ways. This idea perpetuates that women are not strategic in their companies’ vision, which leads to a continuous uphill battle of being dismissed in the business industry and [a] struggle to obtain investment funding. The common thread of female entrepreneurs is that they have been in the business for a while, they noticed an issue and found a solution to create a thriving company based on their expertise and network.
I started Feisty Gal Studio in two parts, the first after I was hand making feminist t-shirts for my friends and then, after working in a field that did not share my values. My shirts were humorous and had spot on social and political statements. Upon realizing that other large Feminist clothing companies were run by Cis White Men. Yet again, space was being taken up by the dominant majority and something needed to change. I did my research and began Feisty Gal Studio.
Take us through a day in the life of Laura at Feisty Gal. How does your day start? For the aspiring entrepreneur, how does your daily routine contribute to the success of your business?
My morning routine is short and simple because I like to sleep in, as does my family. Our evening routine is what helps me be a successful entrepreneur. During sports practice, I answer all the company emails, engage on social media, process orders, and catch up on what is happening in the news. Working all day, being emotionally and mentally accessible to my family, and running a business in the evening requires a lot of energy. Once I get to the gym, I “turn off” my brain. When I am at the gym, I get to do something solely for me and that reenergizes me. Once I get home it’s dinner, LSAT prep, and an unhealthy habit of watching The Office before bed.
To piggy back off of question three, in Feisty Gal’s early days what was your vision/purpose? Has that vision changed over time? How so?
Feisty Gal Studio was started as my own outlet to be creative and use that to give back in a big way. We have donated a portion of the proceeds from our merchandise to charities from the beginning. That is what I live for. Expansion and growth are essential in business, but being able to support charities and share impactful stories is so important to me.
Share one of the most interesting things about yourself that your audience cannot learn from your website.
My website speaks more about the company and less about me. I tend to keep my own life very private. If you would like to find out more about me professionally, I would love to connect over coffee or on Skype and pass on entrepreneurial advice.
What are the five things you love most about running Feisty Gal Studio; and the five least favorite things?
I love owning Feisty Gal Studio. I get to strategize with creatives to design social campaigns and I get to craft beautiful products. The best is that I get to work with women who embody feminism and live through values even when it’s hard. Being a feminist when everyone agrees with you is easy, being one when you’re being harassed and bullied is much harder. Props to all the women who stand up in the face of adversary! Things that are less than exciting is fighting with the post office and dealing with online trolls.
I like your policy of being Photoshop Free when it comes to how you show off your brand. What message are you trying to spread to women by adopting this policy?
Thank you! This is one of my favorite core values we have at Feisty Gal Studio. Holding ourselves to a higher standard and being photoshop free reiterates that women in their most natural state are the most beautiful and powerful beings. At Feisty Gal Studio, we give back to charities, we do not photoshop our models, and we are completely woman run!
Where do you see Feisty Gal Studio going in 5 years? 10 years? Do you see your brand going international? Do you see yourself writing a book? Let us know if there are any other ventures you plan on introducing the Feisty Gal brand to.
The hopes and dreams I have for Feisty Gal Studio are to open a brick and mortar shop here in Portland, Oregon, expand into international markets, and host women’s leadership workshops. All of this will come after I finish my law degree so I am eagerly waiting for those days!
To be honest, when I look at Feisty Gal, I think of Nasty Gal and Sophia Amoruso. What sets your brand a part from online clothing stores like Nasty Gal?
The only thing Sophia and I have in common is that we are female entrepreneurs. Our business mission and values do not parallel too often. I find a better comparison with Wild Fang. They are also a woman run, Feminist apparel company. They kick ass, we kick ass and our businesses operate as a reflection of amazing staff and founders.
Having grown in your industry and over the years, what is some advice you would give your younger self? Be it business or personal.
Take ownership of your failures and successes because that tenacity supports you through the light and darkness you will face.
What advice do you have for the younger generation of feminists and entrepreneurs trying to share their message?
Feisty Gal Studio is less than a year-old right now. We are blossoming with each new challenge and victory. The best thing about owning your own business is that its successes are yours and you get to cherish that always. Failures are not a big deal because we look at how it did not work make some tweaks and try it again. That is the beauty of business ownership.
And that ladies and gents, is one badass Femme Fetale.
Find out more about Feisty Gal Studio on their website!
Want to be featured? Email firstname.lastname@example.org and tell #Prettyonme your story.