We’re introducing a series of interviews with women who are doing amazing things—using their platform to amplify marginalized voices and spread awareness about social injustices. To kick off the series, we’re excited to introduce Candace Reels, founder of the LA-based feminist apparel brand, Female Collective.
Tell us more about what you do.
I am the founder of Female Collective, a feminist clothing brand and online community. Most of my tees’ proceeds go to different orgs like ACLU, Planned Parenthood, Global Fund for Women, and RAINN (Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network). I have a campaign called Uplift The Girls, which donates new or used bras to women in need in Los Angeles, and I was one of the organizers for Women's March Los Angeles, mainly working on social media strategy. I also contribute and collab with different companies who also promote female empowerment—I recently joined the GirlGaze team as their Activist-At-Large. My goal with Female Collective is to continue to build up the intersectional feminist culture in Los Angeles and also help ALL women in need.
What motivates you to do what you do?
My parents raised me to be a strong, independent, established woman with the mindset of being able to accomplish anything. It didn't matter that I was a girl, specifically a black girl. They have always told me that I could do great things. It motivates me to spread the same message to not only young girls of color, but ALL girls. Women are powerful beings and I want young girls to know that. There will be challenges growing up, but as long as you have the mindset of knowing you can achieve anything you set your mind to, there's nothing that can stop you.
Why is making a political statement through apparel/fashion important?
I am pretty shy so I've always spoken through my clothing. I create female empowerment tees for people who aren't able to express how they feel through words. With my tees people are able to show who they are and speak up for things without even saying a word.
What does feminism mean to you, and how do you uphold those beliefs within Female Collective?Feminism includes all genders, races, and sexualities. As a feminist I believe in equality for ALL. We should be fighting for each other's rights as a human race and not let our differences divide us because we are truly stronger together. With Female Collective, I’m constantly talking about these issues and expressing my intersectional feminism through social media, products I design, working with different organizations that believe in the same things, and also how I live my life.