Hello beautiful! Today I am filling you up with more than just style inspiration, but with a dose of uplifting synergy from a group of beautiful women that’s serving lots of female empowerment. I’m lucky enough to personally know them + to see their astounding growth from girls to women. Not only women, but women with numerous titles as wife, mother, entrepreneur, aunt, sister, friend + the list obviously goes on. They represent a great population of women that have dealt with much of what all women deal with throughout life. Recognizing that many of the obstacles + challenges they have faced aren’t as unique as they realized, they founded an inspirational organization, 4LinkedHearts, to empower all women reminding us that we are not alone + togetherness is the best way. Through a T-shirt collection, the mission is to connect + encourage dialogue between women. A way for us to challenge our thoughts, empower one another + conquer those negative feelings. Aren’t they awesome?!?
Come along + join the conversation with these fearless ladies. Become apart of the moving movement of women empowerment.
From left to right: Ranada, Rashala, Javon + Jazmin
Tell my readers a little about 4LinkedHearts + its purpose.
Ranada Howell: Our mission is to encourage positive relationships between women, while false reality TV is at its all time high with the cattiness + competing. We hope to create connections through our personal stories + spark a unity movement across the nation. Right now its about time that someone put something positive into the atmosphere because in reality we’re all linked through our stories, which all boils down to empowering each other.
As a women empowerment movement, how did that turn into using clothing instead of other medium types to get the word across?
Ranada Howell: As women we know that we love to shop + are top consumers nationwide so we wanted to provide our customers a fashionable way to express themselves. We started out with tees because they are more commonly universal so it only seemed right to have women wear something that allows them to wear their story + testimony on a shirt in hopes of someone seeing it + allowing a conversation to be sparked. Our first set of tees had a hash tag phrase like “Beautiful Survivor” + that could be someone’s link though cancer or even domestic violence. One of our new phrases, “Pretty Not Petty” basically spoke for itself, saying be pretty on the inside + rid yourself of pettiness. To have our customers choose what represents them instead of society making that choice, is empowering within itself.
This is 4LinkedHearts 2nd launch, what did you do different with your tees this time around?
Jazmin Steele: We learned a lot our first year in business + one of the things that we ended up noticing is that even though each phrase was different + had different meanings they all looked the same. We then went back to the drawing board + wanted our second year to be even better than our first year by giving our customers + new customers visually a different look + new design for each of their stories so it didn’t visually look the same. Same purpose, same mission, still telling stories, but we wanted to change it up a little bit giving people something new + different to look at so that’s something we came together on + one of the changes we wanted to make.
Can your T-shirt be personalized?
Jazmin Steele: As of now, no. What we have done in the past is have a contest where we would take design ideas on our t-shirts from our customers. For people that are interested in purchasing in bulk, we consider customizing for those larger purchases. The t-shirts we selected have gone to the design board + were talked about over + over again. We feel like we have an overall representation of our target market + the ladies that we are marketing towards are being well represented. Every woman can find their story in our t-shirts. However, our customers + future customers should definitely keep an eye out for our contests where they can share their ideas with us.
During the first launch you ladies also had really cute accessories. Do you still provide accessories? If so, what accessories do you currently have available to style with your tees?
Javon Mitchell: Yes, we still provide accessories. Right now we offer crystal pave link bracelets. They’re of high quality + very fashionable. For example, we offer a bracelet that’s called “jungle fever” which is gold plated with a black + cream enamel link paired with a hematite color crystal pave link, which costs 25 bucks or you can always take home our beautiful “night + shining armor” bracelet which is gold plated with all hematite colored crystals paved on the link that’s $35. We have a few others that you can check out on our website, but be on the look out for new accessories being added at a later date.
Cute fact: They came up with fun + cute ideas for the names of each link bracelet based off of the detail of the bracelet + equivalence to the style. The chain link is significant as it relates to their company name showing the intertwining + connection. Neat, right?!?
How do you come up with each inspirational and motivational word? How do you hope this impacts the woman wearing it?
Javon Mitchell: The way we come up with some of our inspirational + motivational phrases is we first consider the multi-faceted woman. She’s a mother, a sister, a friend, a working woman, a god fearing woman, a strong every day woman, right? We consider the positive phrases that represent her. The phrases we choose are empowering, uplifting, expressive + reflective of a woman’s journey. Honestly, we sit back, us four + just crank out different ideas. We brain storm, creating phrases that we believe truly embodies women all over the world. As far as the impact of the women that wear our tees, our tag line is “Share your story, wear your story” so we believe our phrases on the tees describe every part of a woman’s story. We’re a lot more alike than we may realize as women, so we hope that the women rocking our tees can invoke conversation with other women that can ultimately share their stories with one another becoming relatable + eventually unite. That’s all apart of our unity movement. We’re all about encouraging positive relationships among women.
Many don’t realize that with style there’s always a statement being made, in what ways do you want your empowerment movement line to be the catapult for women to use as a way to express themselves?
Rashala Powell: It’s kind of piggy backing on what Javon + Ranada both said, just talking about how we’re wearing our story + sharing your story with a testimony. When you see what someone has on, like a woman wearing one of our t-shirts, will hopefully spark a conversation + that is exactly what our goal was from the beginning. That’s how we want to empower + unite women, stopping with the cattiness + funny looks. Instead of looking at what I have on in such a negative way, make it positive + ask what that means. It can start a conversation. It can start a story. My story can be the same, but it also can be different + so we just want to make that a way that women can express their selves. That’s exactly what we want, women to express themselves by what you’re wearing.
For the women out there that need help styling in your tees, what style inspiration can you give in order for them to master their personal style?
Rashala Powell: Exactly what was said. They need to master their personal style. It’s not about what anyone else is wearing or how their wearing it. It’s very good to look at something like, “ooh that’s cute but I don’t think I could do that”, well try it + get out your comfort zone. Tees are like we’ve said, they’re universal, so a tee can be styled in many different ways. If you feel like dressing up throw on a tee with a skirt + some cute little sandals. If you want to dress it down throw on a tee with some shorts, tennis shoes, a hat + accessories. Any little thing can make a t-shirt look waaay more than just a t-shirt. With the tees that we have that has something to say + are statement pieces already, it actually helps to be able to add just a little something. We’ll be giving some outfit ideas that are styled by me for just a couple ideas just in case you don’t know because some people just don’t know how to put together some things. If you just don’t know what to do with a t-shirt the great thing about it is they all have different sayings + you can incorporate any tee with any of these outfit ideas. I always use the motto, “if you like it wear it, just forget the rules”. If it makes you feel comfortable + you like the way it looks then go ahead + just go for it. It’s more simple than we think when it comes to styling.
But wait…we are not going to leave you hanging. Here are some visual styling ideas from their Summer Lookbook by Rashala, who also serves as the in-house stylist, to help you better style your story. It’s just a taste of what you’ll see in the lookbook on their website if you need inspiration.
I’m wearing my story from the 4LinkedHearts t-shirt collection, “Building My Empire”. Seems simple, but there’s nothing simplistic about it. It means living out my dreams + passions, doing things my way, creating something of my own, setting a future up for myself + family. I’ve completed the ensemble with a vest that was featured in another one of my outfit posts so it shows its functionality.
What’s your story? Which tee from their collection resonates with you?
I hope you enjoyed my interview + learning more about the empowering movement, that is 4LinkedHearts. For more in depth info about these queens + to purchase your tee, stop by their site to style in + tell your story. Oh, and don’t forget to follow them on social media to stay in the loop.
In or near the San Diego area this weekend? The ladies of 4LinkedHearts would love to connect with you. You can catch their T-Shirt line in the Twynotshow on August 6th! [Event details here]
My photographer/Brandon Kyle
Location/Los Angeles, CA