*This article was originally posted on Examiner. It focuses on why Svaha was created.
Jaya Iyer wanted to live the American Dream, so she moved to the US from India carrying only a backpack and ambition. After obtaining a Ph.D. in Fashion Merchandising from Iowa State University, she wanted to change the gender bias that exists in the apparel industry. So she and Co-Founder Eva Everett started Svaha. We recently discussed with Jaya and Eva about their rewarding journey to redefine femininity with smart dresses.
GlobePreneurs (GP): Why did you create Svaha?
Jaya Iyer (JI): When my daughter was two-years-old, she dreamed of becoming an astronaut and wanted a t-shirt with an astronaut on it. I could not find one in any girls’ department and ended up buying one from the boys’ section. I was pretty frustrated with the experience and was bothered by the message being sent to our kids. I created Svaha to address gender stereotypes in clothing. What started with children’s clothing has now expanded into STEAM-themed women’s clothing. Gender stereotypes exists in clothing at every age and our mission is to get rid of it – one piece of apparel at a time.
GP: What inspired you to create the STEAM Angels line?
Eva Everett (EE): After the success of our kids’ line, we were flooded with requests from women who wanted STEAM-themed clothes for themselves. This was very personal for me, as I started off my career in Molecular Biology and got fed up with people telling me I didn’t “look like” a scientist. I have always been very feminine, and I didn’t want to change who I was to fit it. We created this line to show that being feminine and loving STEAM can go hand in hand!
GP: How do you generate ideas for your designs?
JI: Initially, we created designs based on what we believed would be loved by most children and women in Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math. After our Kickstarter campaign, we were inundated with awesome design ideas from our passionate customers. We loved the feedback and have created many designs based on customer requests!
GP: What are your goals for the clothing line?
EE: We want to make a change in how our society views women in STEAM. Our goal is to show women that a scientist or an engineer “looks like” you. With our line, we are showing that STEAM concepts are fun and accessible to everyone and proving that brainy is beautiful!
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