Dory Ann Carter walked into the grocery store expecting to leave with the items on her shopping list, but instead left with the notion that a shirt and a simple message could spark a deep conversation about feminism.
Carter, a sophomore communication studies major, was wearing a shirt she created that says “support women, support the world,” and women at the store began discussing the importance and weight behind the words.
She had created the shirt for her introduction to women’s studies class last fall, and now sells the shirts on Redbubble.com.
“It is amazing that a shirt with a simple message on it can start such a great conversation,” Carter said.
Q: How did you start selling the shirt?
A: I posted a picture of the shirt on Instagram and people really liked it and asked if I made them. (They) said they would be interested in buying one. Then, I researched, and I decided that I would post it on Redbubble.com. I wasn’t looking for a profit – I just wanted people to enjoy it.
Q: What impact have the shirts had?
A: Originally, the people who were commenting on the Instagram post were a few girls from my high school, and it’s just exciting to see girls a little bit younger than me from my hometown interested in the shirt. Girls I wasn’t even close with purchased them, and I enjoy being able to see how the shirt has empowered them.
Q: How did you come up with the design?
A: I knew I wanted a short message that was very general but had a profound message that went along with it. I tried to connect it back to what I learned from the class as a whole, and it was just that if we support women and lift them up, then our world is going to be a better place in the end.
Q: How do you hope the message you created resonates with the people who see it?
A: I hope that the message, since it is so general and so simple, just helps people make sense of what feminism means, because if someone sees the message ‘support women, support the world,’ they might understand it more than just saying ‘feminism.’
Q: How has your shirt affected Chapman?
A: Chapman Democrats reached out with me to try to partner with me to promote the shirts and use the proceeds as a fundraiser (for) Planned Parenthood. It would be nice to use that money to support a women’s organization.
Q: What else can people buy with this design?
A: On Redbubble you can sell the same design with multiple different items. For example, I also sell stickers, coffee mugs, sweatshirts and a few others.
Q: Have you had a lot of sales?
A: I will get emails from random people who have bought it. Also, a lot of my family has purchased it as well. I just put it out there in case anyone wanted to enjoy it. I didn’t expect other people to buy it.
Q: What advice would you give to someone who wants to do the same?
A: I would have to say the starting point is figuring out what message you want to send and then use your design idea and make it happen. If you’re going to enjoy it, others will ultimately enjoy it as well.
Q: What do you hope the future holds?
A: I would definitely love to continue to either make designs like this or just art in general with strong messages for people to enjoy and resonate with. Ultimately, I want to go into a business that is women empowerment and social media combined, so this was a great project to start out with.
You can find Carter’s design here.