mox·ie/ˈmäksē/noun: moxie; noun: moxyforce of character, determination, or nerve
[ad] Clothing to me has always been more than just putting something on. It is a part of who I am, my personality, a way for me to make my imprint on my community, and the world around me. I thrive on community and sharing new pieces with my community that I find by supporting local brands. Whether that means in your own backyard or across the country it means I am supporting a dream while also feeling like a million bucks in whatever I put on.
When I was introduced to Moxie Chic; a powerful, positive, women empowerment brand I knew that what I believe in and this brand could work together hand in hand and that is why I am so thrilled to be able to share this with you all.
I sat down for a virtual chat with Founder & Owner Jennifer Shurdut-Bab to learn about how the brand started, her background, and her vision for the brand. I was also able to try some cool pieces from the athletic collection and the t-shirt collection both of which I instantly fell I love with. See the Q & A below plus some cool photos of the pieces I was able to try.
Q&A with Jennifer Shurdut-Bab
Q: Tell us a little bit about yourself Jennifer and your background.
A: I was born in New York and I knew at a very young age I had an entrepreneurial spirit. As I went through high school and then college I merged many of my interests together, but as I time went on I put my love for the garment business ( designing shirts) on hold because I wanted to focus on school and then for work as a lawyer and eventually being a mom. I felt this way until very recently in 2018; now that my kids were in school most of the day I wanted to find something else to do and this was really the rebirth of my creative outlet and going back to designing shirts. This idea came about because I wanted something that was more current and relevant to myself and to the world today. Something that would tie my daughter, my stepdaughter, and our worlds together. It was a very organic transition from being a mom into creating a brand that was empowering for all women.
Q: How did the idea come about to start an empowering clothing brand?
A: I had a shirt company before but when I was 48 years old I was really exploring what was the next step I wanted to take in my life. I was connected and had built relationships with all sorts of women and brainstorming ideas of different businesses to start. One day I was hanging out and it was the day before I turned 49, and I was just trying to find inspiration and I kept looking around my office; I have a home office and I went over to the closet and I looked at all the samples from my previous shirt business and asked myself why can’t I do this? In a way that is totally relevant to today? This was really the spark that led to me asking what kind of shirt do I want to wear? What would my daughter wear? And in thinking of how feminist clothing was at the time I saw very angry clothing in a way that was tearing men down and as a woman who had very healthy male relationships; a loving dad, supportive husband and a son I felt that I couldn’t go in that same direction. In this emerged the concept of positive feminism, empowering for girls and women without being negative to men. It was also about being a good role model for my children regardless of their gender.
Q: What was the idea behind the name ‘Moxie”?
A: I really just love the word Moxie, but the first time I really examined this word was when we were at my daughter’s school ( she goes to an all-girls school) and the head of the school had mentioned that she wanted all the girls to do something with moxie that summer, and no one in the audience knew what moxie was. My dad was in the audience, raised his hand, and gave the definition of the word and where it came from. And when I was brainstorming names for the brand, the seed had been planted and I said why not? I felt that women should own the word “Moxie”. When you look at what society called strong, powerful women a lot of it is so negative and I wanted to be called the woman with Moxie instead of “the one who got her way” or other negative connotations. Moxie allows for such a positive connotation and this is how it came into my vocabulary in such a strong way.
Q: How you hope people will feel when wearing Moxie?
A: I want them to feel like they can conquer the world, to conquer anything they set their mind to. I want them to believe in themselves, to believe they can do the extraordinary. I try to raise my children in this spirit as well. I talk to the moms at both my children’s schools and especially the moms at my son’s school were really impressed, because they saw was out there currently and wondered how they could relate that to their sons. /When they voiced their thank you’s I felt validated in my concepts because they felt the same way.
Q: Here at Life as a Maven we are all about connection, can you tell us a little bit about your connection to the Moxie community and how the feedback has been?
A: Its been so terrific, and in reference to above so many positive reactions from women with boys. Which was so funny but also incredibly relevant. The community is really all women and all girls of every age. When I first started the company I wrote a blog about growing grit, which was about an experience my daughter had and the women who published it called me up and said that there is so much in my life that I have survived and reading your article was so energizing, I felt so good reading it and we are publishing it. Beyond that, there has been a group of girls at my daughter’s school who like the brand so much and have been ambassadors of the brand. We are also a purpose brand which means we support girls and not just in messaging ( like on our clothing) but also in supporting organizations that support girls and women. Every product that is sold, a portion of proceeds goes to an organization that supports women. These organizations change every so often and currently, it is The Women of Color Network.m We have campaigns for girls to submit how they show moxie, and some contests we want to run to highlight female artists as well.
Q: What do you love to do in your spare time?
A: Initially I thought this question was so funny, like are you joking? What spare time? Haha. We just got a puppy a few weeks ago and she wakes me up at 6 am and then I go to bed whenever and that is my spare time now, but in reading your blog it brought to light how much I love to travel. I didn’t get married until my very late 30’s and then I had children late in life. I really love to travel; I’ve been to Africa, Asia, and really all over the world. I just brought my kids to India before COVID and it was a huge family trip. So when we can we travel in our spare time. I also had some different health issues in my life, so a couple of years ago I started eating healthier and learned about nutrition factors plus created recipes that are very different than maybe I would have eaten five years ago. This has become a fun exercise to get myself and my family healthy. Family is the most important thing and what inspires me.
girlPOWer Athletic Set
Moxie Defined Womens Semi Fitted Tee
Ready to take on the day!
In everything you do Mavens I hope you feel inspired and ready to take on the world. I hope you enjoyed this piece and please leave me your feedback in the comments below and tell me about your own experiences with Voicing your Moxie!
Life as a Maven