I can't remember exactly when I first saw the first Descriptive Apparel tee come across my Instagram feed but ever since then, I seem to see the white tees with positive + affirming messaging at every turn. Maybe since we travel in some of the same blogger circles, our paths were destined to cross and I am certainly glad it was sooner than later. Founder Kerri Koen is one of those gals who had an idea and when the creative juices are flowing, sometimes you just can't stop them! Her vision is coming to life and her tees' messages are resonating with gals just like me. Her Mama Bear tee allows me to show the people of the world that I am proud to be a mother + I will protect my lil' cub with a fierceness you don't even realize... but, well, the t-shirt makes it simpler to explain than that. I had a chance to ask Kerri a few questions about her brand and where she sees herself in the future.
Give us a little detail as to how Descriptive Apparel came about. What initially drove you to start DA as a brand?
The idea of the “Fire Wife” tee has been on my mind for a while. I had this daydream of a crisp, white tee with black script. No red or firetrucks, just something cute and classy that I could dress up or down. Last September, I was right in the middle of this really busy orientation at my office when I realized that my husband knew a screen printer that could bring my idea to life. It was the worst possible timing, but I couldn’t stop thinking about it. Starting with something as specific as a shirt for wives of firemen seemed too small, so I went back to the drawing board and came out with “Over Achiever.” I was doing designs and building a website at night, taking calls between meetings, and sending my husband all over town to get it off the ground, but it was so worth it. I love the creative outlet that DA provides, and the community of women that I’ve been able to connect with is simply amazing.
When creating your products/tee phrasing, where do you take inspiration from?
I want the descriptions on our tees to always be positive and motivating, and to reflect how real women feel about themselves. My inspiration comes from the women all around me that are doing amazing things every day. We work, play, and love. We raise babies, support our partners, and encourage our friends. I want there to be a Descriptive Apparel tee for all of these things. Currently, we have Over Achiever, Mama Bear, Fire Wife, Wanderer, and Like a Girl, but the list of upcoming descriptions is so long! And, of course, I am always open to requests.
Who do you hope to reach with your Descriptive Apparel messaging?
Women! To be more specific, hardworking, butt-kicking, non-stop women. I see so many of us working our way to the top of a company or industry, or starting our own business, or raising amazing little people. Too many of us are afraid to say just how amazing we are. Why not WEAR how amazing we are? The roles that we play every day – and there are a lot of them! – make a difference in the lives of so many. I love the idea of being able to describe ourselves with something as simple as a t-shirt.
What do you love to do in New England, when you aren't busy running Descriptive Apparel?
I am a lake-girl at heart, so in the summer months you can always find me on my parents’ boat up in Maine. In the winter, I mostly hibernate! I am such a home-body, which I am learning to embrace as I get older (maybe a new t-shirt idea?). I love to visit restaurants, whether it be at my favorite local spot with my husband, or grabbing a few cocktails & appetizers somewhere in Boston with the girls.
You have certainly hit the ground running! Where do you see Descriptive Apparel headed in the future?
Right now, I am excited to expand options beyond our signature tee. A muscle tank is currently available for pre-order, and a long-sleeve is in the works. I definitely do not want to exclude the men in our lives forever, because I know they are out there doing amazing things as well. But expect lots more options for the ladies before we take on dressing gentlemen.