What It's About
A Nike employee creates a clothing line of her own.
Words of Wisdom
Even in a crowded market, you can create enough demand to produce a nice income on the side. There are hundreds, if not thousands of t-shirt companies out there, but by focusing on a young female demographic, Bre managed to find a sizable customer base.
Research conducted in 2016 revealed that only 4% of the CEOs at the Fortune 500 companies were women. This is a huge divide between the genders, and Bre believes that If we can get more women thinking of themselves as CEO’s, we'll be able to change that statistic.
Notes from Chris
Bre Cruickshank never asked for permission. Although residing far from the catwalks and fashion districts of New York City, she always had a love of retail and clothing. And geography is no longer a barrier. The internet has completely flipped the fashion design business on its head. What would have felt impossible just a couple of decades ago —starting your own clothing line— is now commonplace for budding fashionistas the world over. Bre has built up a successful side hustle using the internet as her only marketing channel, all while based out of Austin, Texas. But I’m getting ahead of myself. Let’s go back to the beginning of Bre’s side hustle story in early 2017. She was living in Portland, Oregon and working for one of the worlds largest clothing companies, Nike, in their retail sector. Although the Nike slogan —just do it— is known the world over, the tagline isn’t something that resonated in the work she was doing. She spent her 9-5 feeling burnt out and unfulfilled. Fast forward just a few months to mid-2017. Bre and a few of her friends are brainstorming a few ideas while drinking cheap wine at a party. With the dissatisfaction of her day job firmly in mind, the idea for her side hustle began to hatch. That brainstorming session gave birth to a fashion concept, something built with purpose AND profits in mind. She would call it Radical Girl Gang—known as RGG—is an online-only t-shirt and fashion company dedicated to women’s empowerment. RGG would reflect the values and beliefs that Bre personally holds. The brand would be an extension of herself. The first step was to come up with some initial t-shirt designs. Bre knew there was no need to get too radical here and kept the first batch to just 5 designs. As she and her friends were the target demographic they brainstormed t-shirts that they’d want to wear themselves. Many of Radical Girl Gangs initial customers were friends of Bre’s, but it didn’t take long to build up some word of mouth and develop a bit of a following. The target market of 20-something females are quite active on social media and since RGGs inception the social accounts have fostered many fans. Allowing for the brand to stay front of mind and attract new customers using high quality fashion shots. This small online fashion label is generating up to $1,500 profit per month. Not bad for a part-time gig outside of her day job! $1,500/month isn’t enough to quit her job, but that’s okay. In her own words, she ‘loves’ her job, finds it stimulating, and appreciates that it offers a steady paycheck, benefits, and the knowledge that her 401k is safe and sound. She views her biggest challenge as accepting that she doesn’t yet know the final destination… but she’s happy to have set out on the journey.
MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE:
- Radical Girl Gang: Deck yourself out in Bre's statement pieces—see the full lineup over on her website!
- Fortune | Percentage of Female CEOs in Fortune 500 Companies: If this is a topic of interest to you, here's an article that takes a look at the disparity of the sexes in Fortune 500 companies
- Hand-Stamped Feminist Jewelry Earns $25,000 Side Income: She’s loud, she’s proud, and she’s wielding a hammer to smash the patriarchy with her hand-stamped feminist jewelry line
- Detroit Women Make Jewelry for Profit and Social Good: An attorney starts a jewelry company with purpose, employing disadvantaged women in Detroit to help them transition from a life of dependence into one of self-reliance
- New Yorker Doubles Her Income with Next-Level Tarot Cards: How a senior designer for a feminist media publication decides to create tarot card decks and ends up making as much with her side hustle as she does at her day job
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