I’m thrilled to share this special finale episode of the Mother’s Quest podcast with my very own sister, Caren Lettiere. Caren, ten years older than me and like a second mother in many ways, has been a guide, mentor and inspiration to me my whole life.
She’s an ambitious, talented leader in the fashion industry and has managed to grow a $70 million dollar brand, Democracy Clothing, alongside a 27 year marriage and raising two of the loveliest young adults I know, my niece and nephew Nicole and Josh.
After graduating from UCLA with a degree in political science, she took a different course and embarked on a career path in fashion, beginning in sales for a company called Rampage, and ultimately landing at Kellwood. There, she first filled a gap she noticed her daughter had for jeans and developed a brand to meet it called Jolt/Rewind.
Soon after, she recognized an even greater underserved customer in the market, a dynamic, modern, multitasking mother like herself who loves fashion but got busy with life. Devoted to this ageless woman and aware that she doesn’t want to put an expiration date on her vitality, but could benefit from a little “engineering” when it comes to jeans, Caren launched Democracy Clothing.
I loved this conversation with my sister and learned so much myself about how she grew the brand from her side hustle into the tremendously successful venture it is today.
Family, magic, a positive mindset and a willingness to grow and evolve in community are just a few of the themes we explore in this episode. We cover everything from the important role that Caren’s husband David played in supporting her career to how they both championed their son Josh last year, when he received a cancer diagnosis and moved forward with his own positivity through three rounds of chemo and a clean bill of health.
Caren also shares openly about her own health challenges and all the ways she has built community, at home and at work, to help her thrive.
Finally, Caren gives us a special challenge. She asks us to follow and apply the 4 Pillars of Democracy Clothing: to embrace who you are, enhance what you’ve got, elevate your taste level and evolve your personal style, in order to live a more whole and confident life.
There’s also a special offer just for us…if you want to explore those pillars in a pair of Democracy jeans yourself, she’s offering a special 10% discount code, 10DEMOCRACY, that you can use on Amazon.com through January 13th.
If this calls to you, we encourage you to purchase a pair, wear them with confidence doing something that really matters to you, and then take a photo and share your story with us on Instagram using the hashtags #democracyclothing and #mothersquest.
We look forward to seeing and hearing your stories (then sharing them on Democracy’s Instastories) and learning about all the ways you are “rocking your walk,” as Caren likes to say… in your E.P.I.C. life.
P.S. Know someone who you think would appreciate this special episode? Click forward and share this conversation!
This Episode is Dedicated by:
The team at Democracy, represented by Director of Sales Judy Owens.
Democracy is a denim-based casual lifestyle brand devoted to the woman who grew up with fashion, but then got busy with life.
Founded in 2010, on the principle of “Curve Equality,” which acknowledges that all shapes are not created equal, Democracy’s designers set out to create a jean that that would maximize a woman’s shape by fusing together, style, comfort and technology.
In This Episode We Talk About:
- The BuzzFeed Article that sparked this episode and revealed Mother’s Quest community member Nancy Netherland’s story of wearing Democracy jeans from Capital Hill to her daughter’s hospital bedside
- 3 Things Caren learned from our mother, growing up as a 60’s child
- Caren’s path to living an E.P.I.C. life through pursuing her love of fashion
- Moments that make me and Caren cry as she reflects on the impact of our mother and father and her husband on her life
- How Democracy Clothing started out as Caren’s side hustle, the unique woman who inspired the brand, and how her work family helped it succeed
- The one thing Caren always knew she was on a quest for
- Keys to honoring your kids as they become more independent
- Caren’s son Josh’s experience battling testicular cancer last year and how she and her husband David honored his choices
- What Caren’s Dr. told her she could NOT do if she wanted to avoid diabetes, how she reclaimed her health, and the special way she starts her mornings alongside her daughter Nicole
- The Four Pillars of Democracy Clothing and a special challenge and discount for the Mother’s Quest Community
Resources and Topics Mentioned:
- Democracy Clothing (Wit & Wisdom) Featured on BuzzFeed
- Ep 10: Choosing Gratitude and Glitter with Nancy Netherland, who inspired this episode with her own powerful story of wearing Democracy jeans.
- What is Your Jean Story? – Video with Caren Explaining Her Jeans
- Democracy Clothing
Other Episodes with My Family Members:
- Ep 43: Love of Family and Pursuing our Fate ~A Father’s Day Special~ with David Lieberman
- EP34: Season Two Finale: The Power of Friendship and a 50 Year-Old Book Club with Fran Lieberman and Sandy Klasky
- Ep 18: YOLO (You Only Live Once) and other Milestone Reflectionswith Ryan Neale
This Week’s Challenge:
For this week’s challenge, Caren encourages us to take a moment and recognize that you are an extraordinary and dynamic woman. Learn to give yourself space to appreciate who you are and how you got to where you are now.
Caren also asks us to follow and apply the 4 Pillars of Democracy to: embrace who you are, enhance what you’ve got, elevate your taste level and evolve your personal style, in order to feel good about yourself and live a more whole and confident life.
There’s also a special offer…if you want to explore those pillars in a pair of Democracy jeans yourself, she’s offering a special 10% discount code, 10DEMOCRACY, that you can use on Amazon.com through January 13th. We encourage you to purchase a pair, wear them with confidence doing something that really matters, and then take a photo and share your story with us using the hashtags #democracyclothing and #mothersquest.
We look forward to seeing and hearing your stories and learning about all the ways you are “rocking your walk,” as Caren says…in your E.P.I.C. life.
*Don’t forget to put #DemocracyClothing #MothersQuest as you share your Jeans story on Instagram and have an opportunity to have yours shared on Democracy’s Instastories.
The code can be redeemed on multiple units of Democracy but only on one order per person. Code is valid through 1/13/19 or until supplies last.
Learn More About Caren Lettierre:
Caren is the founder and President of Democracy Clothing, the brand that she passionately created and launched in 2010 for Kellwood.
After graduating from UCLA with a bachelor’s degree in political science, Caren embarked on her non-traditional career path into fashion. She began in sales, launching the Rampage Clothing brand and their modern missy sub-brand CDC. After this, she embarked on her quest to fill the void in fashion for the dynamic, modern, multitasking woman.
Through her empathetic lens, she embraces women of all shapes and sizes and is committed to providing them with the foundation and confidence as they pursue their E.P.I.C. life.
Caren’s proudest accomplishment is the fulfilling family life that she built along the way with David, her husband of 27 years and their amazing kids Nicole and Josh.
Support the Circle of Mothers GoFundMe Campaign
As of December of 2018, 644 children and 2,729 teens have been killed by gun violence in the US this year. If you feel pain at the loss of so many young lives full of promise, imagine the devastating grief experienced by the mothers they’ve left behind.
On May 16, 2014, Sybrina embarked on a powerful call to action to support and invest in mothers, by reaching out to mothers grieving in our communities. The Circle of Mothers, an annual retreat for women who have lost a child to senseless gun violence, was born.
It costs $1,500 to sponsor a mother who would otherwise not be able to participate in Circle of Mothers. Activist Michael Skolnik and I have pledged the first $3,000 of this $15,000 campaign, 2 toward our goal of 10 women we hope to send.
I pray that one day we won’t need The Circle of Mothers, because we’ve brought an end to gun violence in the US and no more mothers will have to grieve the theft of their children’s lives.
Until then, I hope you’ll open your hearts and minds to Sybrina’s story, lift up grieving mothers who seek healing, and invest in them to lead the way forward.
Women Podcasters in Solidarity
Tragically, I have now lost count of the number of mass shootings have taken place just in the time since the Women Podcasters in Solidarity selected “gun safety” as the issue we want to shine a light on this season.
Grateful to partner with Cristin Marie and Elsie Escobar on bringing this season of the Initiative to life. It is my deepest hope that through the power of podcasting, the episodes we will record, the conversations we will share with our listeners, and the dollars we will collectively raise toward gun safety causes, will save lives.
Please take a look at Cristin’s post here and say “yes” to the Initiative yourself or help spread the word to reach other podcasters who would want to join.
Mother’s Quest Circle
APPLICATIONS OPEN FOR FEBRUARY 2019!!
If you’re on a quest to live an E.P.I.C. life, but you’ve been feeling challenged, isolated, or unsure of the path ahead, the Virtual Mother’s Quest Circle may be the source of connection you’re looking for.
The Mother’s Quest Circle provides inspiration, coaching and community for an intimate group of no more than 8 women who are ready to say “yes” to:
✨Reflect together, in a community of like-minded mothers, on what matters most
✨To consciously live their version (not someone else’s) of an E.P.I.C. life
✨To take bold action toward one of the E.P.I.C. life guideposts before the end of the sessions
✨To hold space for sharing, coaching, and championing one another so we are “in community” on our journey
If you’re looking to start the year strong, the Circle is a great way to make an investment in yourself and what matters most to you. Apply here to add your name to the wait list.
Watch out for Season Four
This is the last episode of Season Three of the Mother’s Quest Podcast. I’ll be taking some time off from podcasting during the holidays and start of the new year but will be back in February with an incredible Season Four. Until then, I invite you to subscribe if you haven’t already to catch up on any episodes you’ve missed. And would love to see you in the private Mothers’ Quest Facebook Group where we will continue to build community and connection. Visit www.mothersquest.com/community to join.
A big THANK YOU to our “patrons” for helping to bring these conversations to myself and other mothers through financial and/or in-kind support:
Carrie Caulfield Arick
Sage B. Hobbs
Titilayo Tinubu Ali
Carly Magnus Hurt
Mara Berns Langer
Jen Jenkins Dohner
Caren and Debbie Lieberman
Fran and David Lieberman
Debbie and Alan Goore
The Sustainable Living Podcast
Support the Podcast
If you’d like to make a contribution to Mother’s Quest to support Season Three of the Podcast and/or help provide coaching scholarships for mothers, follow this link to make a contribution.
If you would like to “dedicate” an upcoming episode to a special mother in your life, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Mother’s Quest is a podcast for moms who are ready to live a truly E.P.I.C. life.
Join in for intimate conversations with a diverse group of inspiring mothers as they share how they are living an E.P.I.C. life, Engaging mindfully with their children (E), Passionately and Purposefully making a difference beyond their family (P), Investing in themselves (I), and Connecting to a strong support network (C).
Join our community of mothers to light the way and sustain you on your quest at https://www.facebook.com/groups/mothersquest/