Politics, body positivity, and feminism are intertwined within The Empowered Peach. Co-owners Kelly & Victoria share the values, challenges, and upcoming opportunities with their badass and eco-friendly clothing brand.
Throughout the interview, it’s clear to see the importance of what they are doing and the high regard in which they hold each other. The respect and creativity is obviously what infuses the clothing- making it so powerful. The brand values come from such a genuine place and that comes through with the designs.
While our political climate is harsh and unpredictable at best, these ladies have begun to build a community that celebrates identity and social justice. It seems now more than ever ‘feminism’ is used by companies as a marketing ploy, but these ladies don’t just talk the talk. They carefully think through their designs, making them inclusive and meaningful. Did we mention part of the proceeds get donated to Planned Parenthood?!
The Peach is more than a trendy clothing brand. It’s a culmination of passion and activism.
“More than anything, we want our brand to be representative of a movement that advocates for feminism, social justice, and body positivity.” -Kelly (Co-Owner of The Empowered Peach)
- Where did the idea for The Empowered Peach come from?
Kelly: Victoria and I have always played around with the idea of creating a small business that represents feminism. It wasn’t really until our current political climate became what it was that we decided that it was something that we were really serious about and interested in contributed to some kind of resistance against it. We want to show that we won’t sit idle to what’s happening in our country.
Victoria: The inspiration for The Peach came to me because I wanted an outlet that dismantled stigmas and represented the body positive movement, among many other platforms, physically on me. One of the first shirts we released, “chunky and empowered” was something that was really important to me. Being a size 18 girl, it is a common misconception that because of my size, I am destined to dislike my body and wish this body of mine was different. The Peach is about allowing people to take control of their own ideals and give them power. Yes, I am chunky, yes, I am empowered by it, and YES I WANT YOU TO KNOW IT! We want our product and brand to represent resilience, positivity, strength, community and kindness.
Victoria: I think our aha moment was when we got back our first mock up shirt designs. It was the first time we saw our vision, something we put so much thought, love, and energy into, come alive and into something that could actually be tangible. It’s really a wild feeling to see visions that float around in your head, be represented into something real.
3.What was the process like turning the “idea” into an actual business?
Kelly: It’s definitely one thing to go through the creative process of deciding what you want your company to represent and what kind of products you would like to have do that, and it’s another thing to actually do the research and the digging to network with other small businesses to start everything up. It has been a long and continuing learning process of what it means to run a small business, but we are happy that we have been able to find those that share our values and who we are proud to work with to represent our brand.
Victoria: Yes, exactly what Kelly said. Kel and I had really no background in how to start something like this up; there was a lot of trial and error and many times we said “well at least we know what NOT to do next time”. Our brand deals with things that are really important and represent a lot of different ideals and people and it is crucial we do then correctly. It started off as a notepad page in our phones, jotting down sayings or things that were important for us and something we wanted The Peach to represent. The notepad definitely is still growing, and we are happy that we get to strike a line through some ideas because they exist and are on our merchandise!
- Is there anything specific you want to accomplish with the brand? What’s your ideal goal?
Kelly: More than anything, we want our brand to be representative of a movement that advocates for feminism, social justice, and body positivity. We would like to eventually hold women’s empowerment workshops.
Victoria: I have big goals and small goals in mind for The Peach. Big goal is to do empowerment workshops that Kel mentioned above, but there are small goals that motivate us to grow bigger and better every day as a company. No matter how large or minuscule, we look to empower people to unapologetically be their organic selves. Whether that means looking in the mirror with a shirt that reminds them that “All bodies are good bodies” or supporting our company and allowing us to donate a percentage of our sales to Planned Parenthood, there is no better feeling than giving someone the opportunity to be their most genuine them.
5. What’s has been your biggest challenge so far?
Kelly: There have been a couple bumps in the road. Staying organized and mentally sound on top of both of us holding full time jobs while also managing our small business was overwhelming once we really started getting off the ground. But this work is so satisfying and allows us to meet so many wonderful people, that it works out.
Victoria: Our biggest challenge is not jumping ahead of ourselves. We want to represent everyone. We want to be truly intersectional; we want our fellow Peaches to find identity in at least one of our products, and it took Kelly and I a bit to realize that financially, that will take time. We are mildly overzealous as people in general, and we had to realize that businesses take time to expand. We want our products to be a microphone that gets passed around the room and gives all people a chance to express themselves. There are experiences that we can’t relate to, but we would like The Empowered Peach to be something that is inclusive to all experiences.
6. The business has so many positive messages weaved in it- body positive/ eco friendly/ feminism. How do manage to narrow these topics down into an actual design?
“It’s about allowing people to feel safe in their skin. One person’s identity is no less valuable than anothers, and we can’t primarily base our designs off of audience numbers. All experiences are worth representing.”
-Victoria (Co-Owner of The Empowered Peach)
Victoria: Narrowing down topics is REALLY tricky for us. It is a difficult balance of putting out designs that are both relatable and that also make sense financially to the business. But Kel and I both agree that the nature of this business is so much more than finances. It’s about allowing people to feel safe in their skin. One person’s identity is no less valuable than anothers, and we can’t primarily base our designs off of audience numbers. All experiences are worth representing.
Kelly: If you are going to start a small business, you have to be passionate about it because it will be exhausting otherwise. If you are going to have a partner, find someone completely compatible with you. Me and Victoria work together at our full time jobs and also do the Peach together. We are basically platonically married, and she fills in the spaces and the thoughts that I can’t finish.
Victoria: Okay, first of all, I am swooning over Kelly’s response to this question. We are so in love. But yes! You need to be passionate about what you’re going into business with. The Peach is a LABOR of LOVE. Having a small business can be physically and mentally exhausting, but it is so worth it in the end to make connections with people and see something you’re passionate about flourish.
Kelly: We actually have two exciting announcements! In June we will be traveling to Georgia as vendors for Athfest. It’s a three day long music festival in cutesy downtown Athens, GA. We also have a new line of shirts coming out in the near future that will be featuring all kinds of different artists that we have scouted out on social media for this collaboration.
Please reach out to us there or our firstname.lastname@example.org to inquire about collaboration opportunities for the artist line or to become a brand rep. Thank you!
Penny Anthem was pleased to work with The Powered Peach, as such we are doing a giveaway. Please see the GIVEAWAY post for details.