By Becca M.
Have you ever wanted to start out on your dreams, but felt like you were too young? Too inexperienced, or too uneducated?
Don’t let it stop you. God doesn’t want you to feel that way. And it didn’t stop sisters Bella, Vittoria, and Gigi, and their prayer-warrior mom, Carla.
This is a family that loves fashion. But when they realized that despite the fun of shopping, many of their favorite brands were using profits to support abortion, it created a conscience problem. How do we enjoy something we love while still following the directions in Proverbs 24:11-12?
They had to make a choice.
As a family, Carla, Bella, Vittoria, and Gigi not only stepped away from supporting a culture of death, they also decided to create a new option: They created a fashion brand that shines a light in a dark world.
And what a light it is.
Culture of Life 1972 glorifies Christ, and empowers His daughters by giving them a voice for their beliefs. It is a brand founded on prayer and the concept of life.
They are the only clothing brand that donates profits to national organizations, such as And Then There Were None (which provides help and resources to workers who choose to leave the abortion industry). They also provide bottles, diapers, and clothing to hundreds of moms who choose life, as well as supporting local churches, schools, and universities in pro-life outreaches.
When you shop COL1972, you can know that you have a voice. You’re supporting God’s work with your purchase, and creating a fun conversation piece. But COL1972’s pieces are not your average Christian T-shirts—these ladies are serious fashionistas!
We are so excited to be talking to Bella, Vittoria, and Gigi today, three sisters who are doing what they love for Christ’s glory.
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CBM: Congratulations, ladies, on two years of empowering women of God to choose life! Can you share with our readers your story of starting a business? What gave you the idea to start a pro-life business, and what made you decide on a fashion brand?
COL1972: Our family comes from a legacy of pro-life Christians. My great-grandmother and grandmother prayed outside of Philadelphia Planned Parenthood Clinic back in the 1970's. Our mom continued the legacy, and feels it is her duty to raise warriors for Christ who defend the innocent. We also come from a legacy of fashionistas. We have photos of our great grandmother dressed like Audrey Hepburn, fancy hat and gloves, as she prayed outside of Planned Parenthood or led rallies. We love to shop. We could not support with our dollars, fashion brands that give back to abortion. Supporting these brands that give back to death is not stylish or glamourous. The birth of the only trademarked fashion brand that celebrates life, COL1972, was a solution to our shopping addiction. LOL.
CBM: Your story of starting a business as a family is so inspiring. So is watching how you all “don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young” (1 Timothy 4:12). What were the biggest obstacles you had to overcome in the beginning? Your website says you are "prayer warriors and faith-igniters." How did you use faith to overcome those obstacles?
COL1972: In our family, you do not get a pass for being young. We feel a huge responsibility, no matter age or experience, to stand up for Biblical Truth. My mom homeschooled us all until high school age. We have memories of sitting in conference rooms while my mom had board meetings for crisis pregnancy centers where she served, doing homework in the Green Room of FOX News and watching our Mom defend life nationally, sitting with head phones- in our PJ's as she had a morning radio show at an ungodly hour for many years. We were always with her, seeing and witnessing first-hand how a Christian mother is to respond to a depraved culture.
We are very much still in the beginning of our business as we are only 2 years young. Celebrating our 2nd birthday this month of January 2021. Most challenging in our first year was linking arms with people who are genuinely pro-life and not just saying that they are to get our business, whether they are a distributor, manufacturer, or web designer. We must have genuine lovers of life on our team or we will be sabotaged, which is what almost happened at the start of our company. Another challenge has been to find USA-made manufacturers that have contemporary stylish modest clothing. Everything is made in China today, and we sincerely want to support USA made manufacturers.
Having a platform on Insta/FB and Youtube and Twitter has come with lots of censorship. Despite our asking and filling out applications for verification blue marks they claim our name (COL1972) goes against their community standards. FB will not allow us to advertise, stating that our messaging goes against their community standards. Our last tagline that was rejected by FB advertising was "Christmas is merrier with COL1972." Clearly we are being censored. But God is bigger than social media, and we switched to Parler and MeWe and are trying to go as rapidly as we can there.
Regarding our belief in prayer and hope to be faith ignitors for the world? God is the CEO of our company, we are doing our very best to work our hardest for His business. Prayer the foundation before we ever bought our first sample. Let's admit it! Having a fashion brand that proudly supports a Culture of Life is not mainstream or popular in the USA.
Our company, projects and daily struggles are prayed over daily. We are a family that drops everything to pray wherever we are. We have a handful of prayer warriors that we know pray for COL1972. We hope to be able to open this ministry up to our tribe in 2021. We want our life tribe to know that prayer is vital to being successful in business and ministry. COL1972 is uniquely both.
CBM: What are the day-to-day operations of running a fashion business like? How does your team operate? Who does the designing and coming up with clothing ideas? You are committed to being made-in-the-USA manufacturers. How did you connect with American-made manufacturers and jewelry makers?
COL1972: We use a site that has thousands of manufacturers. It is only available to private labels like ours. We filter USA made only manufacturers. A few pop-up. Often USA made product is very unfashionable and over-priced, but we have managed to find a handful that have quality styles at solid price points. Primarily, our manufacturers are down South, and surprisingly in Los Angeles. If we felt called to purchase from China, our product would have starting points of $20 retail, but we do not feel led to partner with China at this time.
All of us and my mom design pieces and the collections. We also get input from our Global Ambassadors, Alex Clark and Abby Johnson. This has been a little tricky at times as some have following that dress more conservatively than others. Overall, our entire tribe has been so gracious, knowing that we are trying our best to design with intention and purpose. We like to say all our items are Dad-approved, which has much weight in our home!
Day-to-day operations are super fun. COVID taught us that we can all work from wherever we are. One of us attends a Christian University down South, while 2 of us are finishing high school. We communicate with our Global Ambassadors weekly, sometimes daily. We are so blessed to be working as a family and with our amazing life tribe.
CBM: Your website says your mission is to “boost our Life Tribe’s confidence, while giving back to life.” That has definitely been true for me personally. (I love my 1972 baseball hat and Life Is Amazing tee!) For Christian girls, seeing Selena Gomez wearing a 1973 necklace to “honor” the anniversary of the Roe vs. Wade decision felt like a punch in the stomach. Your beautiful 1972 necklace and pin gives a voice to the voiceless, both for the unborn and to pro-life girls who want to shine the light of their faith. What advice and ideas do you have for girls who want to stand up for their beliefs, but don’t know where to begin?
COL1972: Start with prayer and LOVE! Move forward cautiously with wisdom. Research how others are doing well what you desire to do well and copy them! We are the first conservative fashion brand that gives back to life, but we devour fashion brands that we love and emulate, as able, the filters, messaging, lay out. My mom has a masters degree in Occupational Therapy and has been CEO of our home these last 25 years, so none of us has any training in the fashion industry or even business/marketing. We are just working tirelessly and intentionally. We sincerely desire to be solid Christ Ambassadors, and He does the blessing.
CBM: Let’s talk fashion. You guys have released Tiffany-inspired jewelry, and you sell handmade face masks made from vintage Lilly Pulitzer scarves. What additional looks, designers, and eras have influenced the pieces released by COL1972?
COL1972: Again, the ladies in our family left a legacy (or are leaving) of dressing well and loving Christ's Kids. It comes naturally to us as we watched our mom dress, and mom dressed us until a few years ago. Mom's favorite quote, "Your clothes should be fitted to show you're a woman but loose enough to show you are a lady." The other fashion quote she loves to say, "Life is too short to dress boring! Make every outfit count." It is in our blood. Our grandmother says she feels naked if she forgets her earrings when we go out. We have never seen her without her signature red lipstick. Ultimately and most importantly, God Confidence is our best fashion tip!
We adore the classics! Lilly, Tiffany, Chanel & Hermes are timeless. We have a few pieces left to us from our great-grandmother that we cherish. We know this is unrealistic for the average closet to house. But, we are thrilled to bring Tiffany-esque and Chanel-inspired items to our life tribe! (Plus, they are GREAT conversation items for LIFE!!) A classic pencil skirt with a crisp white button-down, adorned with pearls (hint of things to come in 2021) are always the right style choice. We adore a site called VICI dolls, and we actually use the same website platform that they use.
CBM: Each piece released on COL1972.com seems to get more and more beautiful!
COL1972: Thank you and Praise God:)
CBM: To you, what are some of your favorite pieces that COL1972 has created?
COL1972: This is by far the hardest question! One of my favorites is our 1972 Necklace. I wear mine every single day and it is the perfect accessory for all of my outfits. Plus, it's another great conversation starter! I also really love our 1972 pins for church or more formal occasions. We just launched it in a Chanel-esque sea pearl style, and I'm loving that right now!
CBM: You guys have had some really cool opportunities, including dressing Abby Johnson for the RNC, having a fashion show at Liberty University, and sponsoring the March for Life. Can you tell us more about those experiences?
COL1972: Dressing Abby for the RNC was one of our favorite moments. Having such a strong life advocate wearing our product on a national platform was surreal! The fashion show at Liberty University has definitely been one of our most fun events. Gathering with hundreds of students to celebrate life, as well as speak to 12,000 students at Liberty's Convocation was a huge blessing! The March for Life is one of my family's favorite events every year! We have attended for years and never miss it. We are thrilled to have had the opportunity to sponsor an event that has impacted our lives so much and honor a culture of life with so many people.
CBM: What’s next for you guys? What is your vision for the future of COL1972?
COL1972: 2021 Here we come! We hope to launch a vintage-inspired collection, as well as an equestrian- inspired collection, as these are two areas that my sisters and I are passionate about.
We discontinued our tiny pet collection and Men's Collection in 2021. Our tribe asked for dog tees, but then really did not purchase. We have discovered that many of our customers are foster or adoptive moms. Our tribe cares more and wishes to shop for humans. But the dog collection was fun to try! Men ask for product, but we discover that wives, girlfriends and sisters really do the men shopping. So we plan to have a limited Men's collection at Christmas and Father's Day only in 2021.
Thank you so much for being so strong and courageous, girls!