I’m Caren Lettiere, and I’m the founder and President of Democracy Clothing. Welcome to our new online home and our first blog!
When I set out ten years ago to create the perfect pair of jeans that could fit my curvy body, I never imagined that Democracy would grow into a fashion lifestyle brand with such a loyal following. Or that we would one day launch a shoppable e-commerce site.
In honor of this milestone, I want to share our story from the very beginning when the jeans that would start it all were just an idea in my head.
Why couldn’t I find jeans like that for me?
Before there was Democracy, I launched a division called Jolt and Rewind, focused on jeans and casual bottoms for the junior customer. It was a huge success, and I enjoyed my role. But, even though I had easy access to knowledge about the latest fashion, I realized these trends were not designed for someone like me, with a post-baby body.
Around the same time, at school drop-off and on the soccer field, my friends, who also grew up with fashion but then got busy with life, shared that they were unsure about the current trends. They would ask me for style advice and where they could purchase clothes that were trend-right yet appropriate for them. And, I sensed this growing frustration among women who wanted to look modern and current. They had money to spend, but couldn’t identify a brand or store that could meet their needs head to toe.
I wondered, could there be a casual lifestyle brand, anchored in denim, for us ageless women whose bodies had changed, but who still wanted to feel confident, comfortable, and current? What could I do to make clothing that acknowledged that all shapes are different but created equal without assigning value to anyone of them?
Building the brand and the team
I knew there was a real void here, and I decided that I was going to help to fill it. But what I needed next were the resources- time, energy, and talent - to get this idea off the ground. I was given the green light to pursue it, but only if I could do so within the financial and personnel constraints of my existing business model.
I had myself a side hustle!
Everyone on the Jolt/Rewind team pitched in to help me design the denim line. I enlisted Judy Owens, who was my partner in crime, from a previous company, to come on board to sell. She helped me identify our brand mission and the values that still guide us today. Judy is the one who tirelessly reads every email and responds to each one of you.
As we did our due diligence, the stores wanted to know how this customer completed her look. Now I needed to come up with a capsule collection to showcase the vibe of the denim line.
Enter stage left, Coren Kim, an amazing woman who had worked together with me during the beginning days of Jolt/Rewind. I bumped into her in the stairwell. She was designing for another brand within the company, and I thought that she would be up for a challenge.
Coren said “yes,” and that’s how the Democracy casual lifestyle collection was born — comprised of the kinds of clothes that my friends and I had been searching for...modern, affordable pieces with feminine details in novelty fabrics that worked perfectly back to denim.
Democracy in Action Today
A decade later, Democracy has grown exponentially, but the heart, entrepreneurial spirit, and connection to our customers remain. We love that we get to hear about how Democracy Clothing has been “life-changing” for you, giving you the confidence and the freedom to do amazing things in your Democracy jeans.
With the launch of this site, we look forward to being in closer communication. In addition to us offering brand insights and stories through the blog, we also want to hear from you. Please reach out and share your thoughts and feelings about the clothes and tell us not only what you like, but also what’s missing and how we can serve you better.
It’s our goal at Democracy Clothing to help you to look good and feel good while doing good.
Thank you for being part of our collective jean journey!