She Got Her Own: LaShaun Phillips-Martin, Owner, Shootie Girl
1 year ago
Inspirational Tees With Style
In this series, we're profiling women who have left their corporate jobs behind and launched their own businesses in the recession. They are balancing children, careers and relationships and manage to make being their own bosses look good.
LaShaun Phillips-Martin launched Shootie Girl four years ago, with a simple premise: focus on inspirational messages with a bit of style. Fast-forward to 2012 and now she's talking with major retailers to get her product in stores nationwide. Loop 21 talked with Martin about her advice for new entrepreneurs and how her two daughters assist in the family business:
Loop 21: Can you tell me the story of how Shootie Girl began? How did you come up with the name?
Phillips-Martin: The company started as a fluke, really. I'm part of Mocha Moms (the national organization for stay-at-home mothers of color) and we had a national conference in Chicago three years ago. We had a vendor who would do the rhinestone shirts for us and they did beautiful work. But when we went back to them, we discovered they had closed. I decided to try my hand at it, trying to duplicate what our vendor was doing. I really didn't want to move forward with the business because it was a down economy. I figured people weren't thinking about shopping when they're worried about putting food on the table. But we found that when we put items out there, they were flying. We found that no matter what the economy looked like, women are going to shop. It's something about getting your hair done and making sure you look nice.
The name of the company came from our girls. When our girls were young, maybe 3 or 4, they would dress up in front of the mirror and say, "Shootie girl!" We would always ask them what they meant. And they said, "It means that I'm confident...intelligent...strong. I rock."
When we started the company we thought, "It's gotta be Shootie Girl!" So while we do custom orders, if it's something negative or condescending, I won't do it. I'm setting the standard for two young girls and they are looking very closely at what I do. If I conduct myself that way, they think they can act that way. We're very strategic about the messages we send out.