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Courtesy of Beyond Gender

Women innovators who champion self-love and empowerment

Beautiful things take time. Let’s put politics aside for a moment and focus on what we can control, which is filling our life with beautiful things. Let’s continue to celebrate women innovators around the country who are unstoppable, taking strides every day to shine and bring joyful pieces into the world.  Meet these designers showcasing their message through their creations: Avis Carter, founder of JC Cover Me and FashAzon TV, Alex Perry of Bohyne and Lee Smith, founder of brands Women Are Not Prey and Anxiety Is a Liar.

Avis Carter (courtesy of JC Cover Me)

JC Cover Me & FashAzon TV

Meet Avis Carter, founder and creator of JC Cover Me and FashAzon TV. JC Cover Me is a diverse line of quality, handcrafted scarves, head wraps and accessories for those who like to showcase their unique personality.

In a twist like her head wraps, Carter has also turned to TV producing. Along with her co-producer Nena Hayden, the duo is releasing a FashAzon TV network that gives up-and-coming design entrepreneurs the opportunity for exposure. The show will air on ZTV Network, which was founded by Zondra Evans. FashAzon will introduce designers and creative talents globally to more than 200 million viewers on the trend-focused streaming platform.

“Entrepreneurs are cut from a different cloth,” Carter said. “We tell designers: we love to work with brands to tailor a business to let the world see the cashmere in you. You are the diamond, formed under heat and pressure, of value and always in style.”

FashAzon is built on two scriptures: Romans 12:6, “We are different, according to the grace given us,” and 1 Timothy 4:14-15, “Do not neglect your gift… Be diligent in these matters; give yourself wholly to them, so that everyone may see your progress.”

The platform will launch this winter. During the holiday season, Carter and Hayden will continue to build their brand and grow the FashAzon community, they said. To be featured on FashAzon, connect with Carter at fashazon.com or jccoverme.com.

Bohyne

Bohyne from Beyond Gender is one of the only fair trade and truly sustainable bridal fashion lines in the industry. Designed by Colleen Yankovich and managed by Creative Director Alex Perry, the Cambodian cooperative is fair trade-certified. The brand designed their debut Deadstock Collection to feature timeless silhouettes in an array of eco-friendly fabrics, including locally-crafted peace silks, bamboo and Deadstock lace and Valentino silk blends.

“It’s the standard in the bridal industry to release at least two collections a year — some up to 100 pieces each, which is insane!” Perry said.

Bohyne has abandoned the wasteful and unsustainable model of the bridal fashion industry by developing “slow drops.” The collection was released with five to eight looks at a time through the beginning of 2020 rather than all at once at a spring or fall bridal market.

Since the brand debut, Perry has collaborated with Rice Love Bags to help feed families in India that have been impacted by COVID-19, as well as the Pittsburgh Fashion Week Film Festival for a project redefining gender-norms through fashion.

“The holidays are usually a big ‘down time’ for the industry when we see a lot of trunk shows being scheduled and collection orders processed,” Perry said. “This year has shown us that we are following on our path, and we’re damn proud to do so, rather than participating in an unethical, exploitive industry.”

The brand continues to look ahead and strategize about how to make 2021 even more sustainable, inclusive and revolutionary. Think more activism, more education and more brand partnerships that envelope its ethos, Perry hinted. To learn more about Bohyne, visit bohyne.co.

Women Are Not Prey & Anxiety Is a Liar

Courtesy of Lee Smith

Meet Lee Smith, the Atlanta, Georgia-based founder of the Women Are Not Prey and Anxiety Is a Liar apparel brands, among others.

“Each brand was initially started as a personal empowerment platform based on mantras I used,” Lee explained.

The brands evolved into more than personal empowerment over time and into visual activism supporting social revolutions, Lee said. The brands’ focus is to empower a person to wear the change they want to see.

The Anxiety Is a Liar collection is intended to normalize talking about mental health, and the mantra appears on various tanks, tops, masks and mugs. It also totes feel-good actions such as “Unclench your jaw,” “Relax your tongue,” “Relax your shoulders,” “Take a few deep breaths,” “Smile,” “You got this,” and, of course, “Anxiety is a liar.” The collection can be found at anxietyisaliar.com.

Smith’s other collection, Women Are Not Prey, is a form of visual activism.

“I started the Women are Not Prey apparel brand to normalize and socialize the concept that women are not prey to predatory, harassing or bullying behaviors,” Lee said. See the collection on Instagram at @womenarenotprey and shop both collections at iamanempress.com.

Daniella Platt is a fashion and lifestyle strategist who guides people from concept to sales success. Her book, “Looking Good, Be A Sales Rockstar & Fashion Startup Playbook” is on Amazon. Share your ideas with her at hello@lookinggoodyaya.com.

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