In honor of National Women’s History Month we’ve teamed with Chrissy Powers to showcase seven female creative entrepreneurs who are inspiring us with their incredible work, but also in the way they support other women! Each of these ladies were photographed wearing pieces by Dôen—another strong, female-led brand. Stay tuned as we highlight these women all week.
To put it simply, Stacie Lucas is the girl you want to sit next to in the cafeteria. Not only is she desperately cool, but she also tends to bring out the best in you just by being near her.
Stacie is the founder and designer of AMAE, a clothing line for kids and women. As we discovered, she’s passionate about ethically made clothing, coordinates retreats to inspire other women to master their craft and works hard to encourage her fellow gender to prioritize time for creativity.
During our photo shoot and interview—which you’ll find in its entirety below—we lost track of time laughing in a café and discussed how we can make creative careers a better environment for girls. Our second installment of this, our ‘Women Supporting Women’ series starts now!
How did you get into doing what you do? What was your mindset when you started your business?
The concept of AMAE was born a little more than five years ago when I transitioned out of my teaching role at an art school to become more available to my then-infant daughter, Addison Mae. The company has gone through numerous transitions and growth since then, but at the root of it was a desire to get back into creative practice.
What were some key moments in your career that you felt vulnerable or doubted yourself, and how did you grow from it?
I think this is a constant struggle. Almost a year ago, I stepped back from running a very successful (financially speaking) business, to rebrand into a business that more truly reflected my passions: slow, creative and very conscious of the environment and the human impact that I would make with each piece of clothing sold.
The doubt was huge. So many people told me I was committing business suicide. Were they right? It depends on how you define success. Did I devalue my company? Absolutely. But I never have intentions of selling. Did I lose Instagram engagement? Most certainly. But what has come of it? Absolute happiness, the slowness in life we crave as a family and way better net profits because it turns out that when you slow down and become intentional, you make much better choices.
I think the lesson is that each of us defines success in a different way and that is OK. Find your success. Find your definition of it and chase that wholeheartedly.
Why are you a supporter of women in the business? Why is that so important?
Life is way better with friends. You have two choices in life: support or criticize. Really, what do you have to lose by supporting?
What are some things we can do to help support other women in the creative industry more?
Building each other up is going to become more and more important in our current state of unease in a divided country. I think now more than ever, as women, as mothers, as friends, as creatives, it is time to put petty differences aside. The future of my children is at stake. If we don’t work together as independent, women-run business owners, we cannot affect change.
I am passionate about changing the face of the fashion industry to represent slow, ethical practices. This industry is so damaging to both our planet and large populations of people who work both domestically and abroad to serve our need for fast fashion, but alone I can’t even make a ripple of change. By supporting each other, by pushing each other and by promoting each other, there is hope that slowly we can make a change for the better.
How do you overcome the sense of competition within your field—especially on a local level?
I have to admit, I may be the least competitive person on the planet—to a fault. I was a serious athlete growing up and played basketball at the college level. The most common feedback I would get from coaches and trainers was that my lack of competitive drive hurt me. I am extremely competitive with myself. I know what I want and am pretty hard on myself until I get there, but my ability to see competition in others isn’t strong. With that being said, I am very intentional in my focus to do what is right for our family and for me personally. If I keep my mindset on that, I eliminate the need for competition. I am also a pretty firm believer that talent and hard work will set you apart if it is meant to be.
How do you stay positive when you might not get the gig, job or opportunity you were hoping for?
It’s hard not to tie your whole worth into your business. Oftentimes as creatives, it feels as if your business is your baby. But failure never killed anyone. For me, I am fortunate to be married to the most (sometimes annoyingly) rational human being, and I find that grounding. He picks up my pieces, reminds me it’s a bump in the road (not the end of the road) and sends me packing to find a way over the bump with one of his overly rational suggestions. It usually works.