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March 15 2018

Introducing Ceini & Sally, Founders of She Shirts

Ceini (left) and Sally (right)

Can you tell us a little about yourself?

Sally: I’m a third-year undergraduate student at the University of Bristol, studying Politics and Sociology. I’m also the elected Women’s Officer at Bristol SU, which allows me to represent all self-defining women students both within the SU and University. For me, feminism isn’t just theory, nor is it just activism; feminism is different to everyone, and I love that my role enables me to support women in practical ways. I’m also President of UBTV, Bristol University’s television station, which allows me to make accessible videos about issues such as sexual violence on campus and body image for students.

Ceini: Having recently graduated from the University of Oxford, I’m currently a postgraduate student at the University of Bristol, studying for an MA in History. I’ve always been an avid feminist and, in fact, specialize academically in contemporary feminisms and gender, sexuality and the body. I’m on the Women’s Network Committee in university and also undertake voluntary work at a local charity that works towards making Bristol a gender-equal city. I’m super passionate about women’s equality and also love fashion and being creative!

What exactly is She Shirts?

She-Shirts is an original, ethical, and unapologetically feminist fashion range. She-Shirts is transformative in that it is committed to fighting inequalities in a practical way, with all profits supporting three inspirational women’s charities, initially Women’s Aid, Smart Works and Bloody Good Period. The aim is to empower women through the creation, distribution, and then the showcasing of the She-Shirts range. Every she-shirt tells a story, focusing on contemporary challenges faced by women. Our “Woman Up” design is a word play on Man Up (a common phrase used to embolden men), “Feminist Legacies” pays tribute to inspirational feminists emblazoned across the chest and “All bodies are beautiful” challenges the relentless demand for women to conform to the ‘ideal’ body image.

 What inspired you to start She Shirts?

She Shirts was initially Sally’s idea, who felt like someone was missing a trick by not tapping into the feminist consumer market. Over the past couple of years, there’s been a move towards reclaiming feminism with big brands producing feminist slogan tees. But cutsie slogans aren’t quite enough – especially when big corporations package and sell feminism as a marketing gimmick without supporting women in other ways, such as using ethically accredited labour. There was a gap in the market for ethical, feminist t-shirts, and about 3 months ago, Sally decided to just go for it. She reached out to Ceini and together they made She Shirts a reality! She Shirts is unique in that it supports women from the ethical production of our products, to the profits that we make, which go towards charities changing women’s lives.

How did you come up with the name?

Sally: I love playing on words, and I think I once accidentally said it and was like ‘woah why is that not a thing?!’ The whole brand basically stemmed from the name!

Where are your products sold? Are they sold in stores?

All of our products are sold online at sheshirts.teemill.com – they ship internationally as well as in the UK which is great!

What is your favorite part about running She Shirts?

Ceini: Aside from the fact that we are able to support such great causes through She Shirts, I really love the creative side of the venture – I hand drew a couple of our designs (‘Sexism Isn’t Sexy’ and ‘All Bodies Are Beautiful’) which was really fun. I don’t often get a chance to explore my creative side which made it all the more special!

Sally: Personally, I love the fact that She Shirts supports women at every level; the t-shirts are made in ethical factories, using organic cotton and fair wage labour. Then our profits all go towards inspiring charities that work to make women’s lives better, and every she-shirt shares a message about issues that women face, such as sexual assault and stereotypes. To be honest, I just love it all; and I’m so lucky that Ceini isn’t just my co, but also one of my closest friends!

 What is your least favorite part about running She Shirts?

Sally: It can be pretty stressful! If I could, I would spend all my time working on She Shirts, but I’m a final year student trying to finish my degree, make students safer at Bristol, and am also delegate for the National Union of Students. But the response we’ve had so far has been amazing, and we’ve already done so much in a couple of weeks, so I’m feeling positive!

Ceini: I love running She Shirts but I think my least favorite part is trying to juggle it alongside other commitments – sometimes it can all feel a little overwhelming! Receiving positive messages from people who love our products and seeing the profits go to a good cause really makes it worthwhile however.

Is there a favorite product?

Ceini: I think my fav product, the ‘All Bodies’ she-shirt (which I may be a little biased towards for obvious reasons!), is currently our most popular design but all of them are pretty popular and we really love how different people respond positively to different she-shirts!

Your profits go towards charities that supports and empower women, can you tell us about that?

All profits go towards our three chosen charities: Women’s Aid, Smart Works and Bloody Good Period. Women’s Aid is a grassroots federation, which supports victims of domestic abuse and their children, as well as tackling sexual violence through education and policy reform. Smart Works is a charity that helps vulnerable women to achieve in job interviews, providing professional coaching and dressing preparation. Finally, Bloody Good Period provides menstrual supplies to asylum seekers, refugees & those who can’t afford them. We wanted our charities to reflect different issues that affect women in contemporary society.

How do you spread the word about your company?

Being students, we’ve really tapped into student media across different universities. We’ve been so encouraged by how responsive people have been to She Shirts and it’s really exciting every time someone asks to interview or feature us in their publications! We also love Instagram (follow us @sheshirtsuk) and Facebook – so many people use social media these days to look for clothes and brands and we really want to tap into that.

Do you have any advice for fellow entrepreneurs?

If you think you have a good idea then go for it! We never thought She Shirts would be so positively received and have been so pleasantly surprised! Also, find a great business partner or friend who you can bounce ideas off – a good working relationship is so important and is something to cherish!

Do you have a favorite quote or go to saying?

Yes! WOMAN UP! You can even buy one of our tees saying it..!

About She's Fit to Lead

She's Fit To Lead is a community for the next leaders of our generation. We believe the simple act of connecting with one another is a critical step in building confidence and a successful future. Our community connects young women at college campuses and starting careers across the country, challenging and empowering them to unlock their true potential. ABOUT SFTL

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