Shade shirts give women fashion relief

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    By Liliya Velbovets

    Too short. Too low. Too sheer.

    It seems like it would be faster to learn how to sew than find a desirable piece of wardrobe in the mall.

    Two women who graduated from BYU are aware of the challenges girls face when trying to look stylish and at the same time, follow the modesty standards.

    Thus, last year they founded Shade Clothing, a company dedicated to providing women with modest options for wearing today?s latest fashions.

    Many women agree the most popular trends these days are really low pants and short, sheer wide-necked shirts.

    ?If you are moving at all you end up showing something that you don”t want to be showing,? said Char Garn, sales representative for Shade Clothing.

    The problem women face is trying to stay on top of current fashion but also follow moral standards.

    Chelsea Rippy, president of the company, refuses to wait for the fashion industry to present her with appropriate solutions. The idea to take action came to her the season that peasant shirts were in fashion because they were usually too short or too see-through.

    ?I loved the style but never bought one because I knew I would never find anything to wear under it that would cover my garment,? Rippy said. ?I came home one day from a particularly frustrating shopping trip and decided that I was going to make the ultimate undershirt.?

    Taking matters into her own hands, Rippy spent one year designing and developing a line of undershirts with the goal of helping women dress modestly, comfortably and fashionably. She excited her friend Garn with her passion about the product and Garn became her business partner.

    Rippy and Garn have a lot of things in common. They are both BYU graduates with degrees in the field of health. Though their majors may not have a lot to do with running the company, they said the attributes they have learned at BYU have helped them in their business.

    ?I am very thankful that I”ve been given the opportunity to show my children how important hard work is and what it takes to go after something and make it successful,? Garn said.

    Both women are married and their husbands are also entrepreneurs. Although their husbands are focused on their own careers, they are a big support to their wives in their goals.

    ?They both have experience in marketing and business so we bounce a lot of our ideas off of them,? Rippy said. ?From day one, my husband has been excited about this company and its potential. He has kept me grounded during the ups and downs of being a small business owner.?

    The fashion business is very competitive and people are not willing to share their knowledge about how to get started, Garn said. Newcomers have to learn about where to get fabric and manufacturers as they go.

    Although her work takes a lot of time, Garn finds it to be fulfilling.

    ?It is hard to juggle my family and my company but I feel like it is worth it,? she said. ?Having a passion is very important in your life. I didn?t think that I would make money, but I was very passionate about these shirts and I wanted to do it.?

    This passion seems to work for Shade Clothing. The company?s sales have grown by 30 percent each month since its inception and orders have been received from every state in the country.

    For the most part the company sells shirts online, promoting the attire through house parties where girls can try and buy products. The only retail stores selling Shade shirts are JMR and Lola Bella at the Gateway in Salt Lake City.

    ?Today we are getting a thousand [shirts] and I know it will be gone within a week,? said Kevin Murray, JMR manager.

    Garn?s excitement for the product comes from the versatility it has brought to her wardrobe. She said the shirts made her life much easier and gave her more freedom in clothing choice.

    ?I honestly have a passion for every woman to own a Shade Clothing shirt because of how much it?s changed my life,? she said. ?I know that sounds dramatic but really it has. I”m a lot more comfortable and happy in everything I”m wearing.?

    Check out www.shadeclothing.com for more information.

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