In honor of Mother’s Day 2019, I wanted to share this episode on the feed again with my sister Caren Lettiere, founder of Democracy Clothing, and an amazing update about the events that unfolded after we released this episode.
As you’ll hear in this conversation as it unfolds, Caren and I realized more and more how much our missions are aligned, but manifested in different ways. Caren helps empower women, many of them mothers, by helping them look and feel good on the outside and I empower mothers by helping them get clear and connected to their voice, their vision and their values on the inside.
We decided we wanted to work together and Caren brought me on to help Democracy with their brand messaging and to find ways to deepen their social impact. Because I was invited while recording an episode with Trayvon Martin’s mother, Sybrina Fulton, to be an ambassador at her Circle of Mothers healing retreat, I had this idea that Caren could come too and gift the mothers, who were all grieving the loss of a child to gun violence, with her Democracy jeans.
The weekend for the mothers was nothing short of transformative. That we anticipated. But, what surprised us was was that something like jeans, which might have been experienced as trivial, was in the words of many of these mothers “life-changing.”
After witnessing this, we wanted to support more of you with the 20% coupon to purchase the jeans, so you can look good, feel good and have the confidence to do good in Democracy jeans. As we did in the original episode, we’d also love to hear from you. Share your photos with the Mother’s Quest and Democracy Clothing hashtags and let us know about how your “Democracy in Action” stories are unfolding.
Sending love to all the mothers, and those who mother, especially those who may be healing from the loss of a loved one.
Thinking of you on Mother’s Day!
P.S. Know someone who would love this conversation? Click forward now to pay this forward to a friend who may be interested.
Ep 56: Embrace Your Shape and Evolve Your Life with Democracy Clothing’s President 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.
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.
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
- Ep 55: From Grief to Advocacy and a Circle of Mothers with Trayvon Martin’s Mother Sybrina Fulton
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.
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 May 24th, 2019 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.
Join the Manifesto Challenge
Graeme and I have a vision one day for the creation and sharing of one million of these manifestos on social media using the hashtag #oneminutemommanifesto.
Join us in the private Mother’s Quest Facebook Group, from May 13th to the 17th.
Each day, I’ll share a reflective prompt to help you claim the next chapter in your life and I’ll host a different mother, including Graeme, who will share their stories and their #oneminutemommanifestos for inspiration.
Spark Your E.P.I.C. Year
Anyone else feel like they need a spring reset to their year?
A few months ago, we declared February the new January and facilitated a Mother’s Quest Workshop/Virtual Milestone Hike experience to help us all start again.
Using photos from my favorite local hike, I took a small group on a virtual journey to:
✨Reflect on our last chapter (as we ascend)
✨Decide what we want to release (using an image of a big bad bonfire!) and what we want to carry forward
✨Then, set intentions along the E.P.I.C. guideposts for our new chapter.
There’s a special planning sheet we created to guide you and help you document the whole process.
🌟Truthfully, we can start fresh any time we choose.🌟
If you decide you want to reset and begin again, today, this afternoon or this weekend, using this experience and worksheet to support you. Just sign up here.
Join me on my #100dayproject Journey
I’m doing Lindsay Jean Thomson’s #100dayproject and decided to record 100 stories about the making of Mother’s Quest on my Mother’s Quest Bite-sized Reflections on Living an E.P.I.C. Life Podcast (an unedited sister podcast to my interview show.) Releasing perfectionism, I realized a few days in, these 100 episodes won’t be consecutive, but I’ll get to 100 still! There are almost a dozen recorded now and I’d love for you to tune in!
Follow Mother’s Quest on Anchor and join the #100dayproject!
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:
Julie Castro Abrams
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/