Rebecca Melsky & Eva St. Clair
Name: Rebecca Melsky
Location: Washington, DC
Occupation: Formerly a teacher, now full-time Princess Awesome Worker Bee
Name: Eva St. Clair
Location: Washington, DC
Occupation: House Elf. And co-founder of Princess Awesome.
Eva St. Clair and Rebecca Melsky have set out to recreate the idea of being ‘girly’ with their clothing line, Princess Awesome. Between the two of them, they’ve devised a way to unite what’s traditionally youthfully feminine along with what modern little girls actually like.
“Lots of little girls love dresses and rainbows and flowers and pink. And lots of those same little girls love cars and robots and pirates and dinosaurs,” they explain at Princess Awesome headquarters.
How did it begin? With shopping trips! Rebecca’s young daughter insisted on wearing dresses every day. Perusing the childrenswear sections of department stores sparked an idea in Rebecca that was further ignited by Eva’s zest for brainstorming.
“As I walked out of the store carrying a mish-mosh of pastel and primary colored pajamas, I looked back at the girls’ section and thought to myself, “I wish I could buy one of those cute frilly, twirly dresses that Eloise loves that also has a spaceship on it. Or a dinosaur. She would wear that! She would love that!” I wanted to be able to give her the cute, “girly” fashion choices that she loved that also kept her exposed to other topics that she also enjoyed but that just aren’t represented on girls’ clothing,” she recalls. “The next time I saw Eva, I asked her if she wanted to do this crazy thing with me, and for some reason that I don’t totally understand but am tremendously grateful for now, she said yes!”
Together Eva and Rebecca have created a new frontier for little girls: fashion choices that allow for them to embrace their fledgling femininity along with their diverse interests, which truly is the essence of being a girl. Princess Awesome works with the idea of reframing ‘girly-ness’ in a fluid, all-encompassing way, while adapting with the shifting climate of gender and individuality. As the company moves forward in an ever-changing world, they think about how a young person’s self-expression might become a little different from how it is now.
“One way it could change is if fashions shift in such a way that men and boys become comfortable wearing styles that are normally associated with women and girls’ clothing. I think it’s more likely that our particular mission – to put a wide range of interesting themes on feminine clothes – will remain the same,” Eva muses.
“Eva and I talk a lot about how we are specifically not creating gender-neutral clothes. We’re taking themes and topics that do not have a gender but have been somehow deemed as “for boys” – like math and dinosaurs- and putting them on girls’ clothes. I hope that over time these topics become increasingly less gendered in public consciousness so that maybe a dress with a dinosaur on it won’t seem like such a radical idea!” Rebecca adds.
Princess Awesome has been touted by A Mighty Girl and raised funds with the aid of a Kickstarter campaign back in February. This wound up being the highest performing childrenswear Kickstarter ever. And it makes sense, the company is filling a need for kids to wear their identities and ever-changing passions literally on their sleeves. By transcending gender stereotypes, Princess Awesome is allowing girls to truly be themselves.
So, as a final word, what advice would Eva and Rebecca have for young ladies, other than wearing exactly what they want?
“Be kind. And don’t be a pushover,” Eva says.
“If you have a question, probably at least one other person in the room has the same question so ask it for both of you,” Rebecca adds. “And know that everyone – literally everyone – has moments of nervousness, anxiety, and fear. So there’s no reason not to be brave, confident, and generous. The world is yours.”
Great words to live by, and dress yourself up in, girls! Thank you to Rebecca and Eva for starting Princess Awesome! We at Sock It to Me think you are extraordinarily Cool Girls.
You can check out Princess Awesome at www.princess-awesome.com, and be sure to peep their brand-new line of Busy Dresses, “play-able” dresses that boast cars, planes, and trains all over ‘em! Vrooom, vroom!