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KC Women Spotlight: Creative Apparel

BEAUTIES BEHIND THE BRANDS PROVIDING LOCAL STYLE + EMPOWERMENT

Article by Heather Markway

Photography by Provided + Capture by Lyndsey + Willow Photo KC

Say hello and get to know four creative women and their small businesses in the Kansas City community. These females are empowering and uplifting others with their T-shirt designs and apparel. Whether you need threads to support your city, hobbies or to encourage others, these ladies have you covered! Read on to learn more about each of them, what inspired these gals to start their own online businesses and how they're making a difference in Kansas City.

The Love Spot KC Shop

Courtnee White is the owner of The Love Spot KC Shop, a business that offers simple yet powerful statement tees for women and girls.

She started her business to create community for women and girls. Her goal is to encourage females to feel good about themselves by creating tees that speak of empowerment. She is an innovator who is constantly thinking of ways she can improve The Love Spot KC Shop and serve others.

Courtnee is a Kansas City native, growing up around Independence. She loves Kansas City's diversity, food and small business/hustler mentality. Courtnee is a women of faith and enjoys spending time with her family and friends trying out new restaurants and dancing wherever she is. In the daytime, Courtnee's job entails helping Kansas City residents in under-served communities.

"My favorite thing about owning a business is being able to see my creative thoughts on my T-shirts, interacting with my supporters, and having the freedom to do things how I want them done." -Courtnee White

Clothed in Strength

Cassie Kuehl is the owner of Clothed in Strength, a business offering handmade graphic tees with encouraging and uplifting messages. 

For the past several years, Cassie has struggled with chronic illness and pain. She created Clothed in Strength as a way to encourage and uplift others by wearing positive messages. Cassie knows from experience the messages she designs serve as a reminder to look at the good things in life and rely on faith. She hopes that her creations will help uplift and encourage anyone who is struggling.

Cassie was born and raised in Gardner, Kansas, went to college at KU in Lawrence, and moved back to the metro in 2017. Even though she's lived in Kansas City her entire life, Cassie says she still enjoys exploring new things to do with family and friends. She especially enjoys attending games and cheering on the Chiefs and Royals. Cassie says her most favorite thing about living in KC is the nice and interesting people; she's a proud Kansas Citian.

"I love meeting all of my wonderful customers, connecting with them and hearing stories about how their tees have made a positive impact. I also enjoy getting to know fellow business owners, learning from them and collaborating. Personally, I am thankful to have more freedom to focus on my health while owning my own business and working primarily from home."  -Cassie Kuehl

Rooted Wings Co

Kala Wiederholt is the owner of Rooted Wings Co, a company offering comfortable and cute tees for plant lovers. 

Kala has been blogging about home decor for several years and decided to offer her audience something different. She loves plants and always found it challenging to find shirts with a message she wanted to wear. Kala sought out super-soft tees for her creations, and Rooted Wings Co was born.

Kala grew up in Hamilton, Missouri, a small town located about an hour north of Kansas City. She now lives in Liberty, which is conveniently located close to the interstate to access her hometown, but still close enough to all of the Kansas City action. Kala loves that Kansas City offers something for everyone. Some of her favorite things are First Fridays in the West Bottoms and hitting up food trucks in the Crossroads. She's all about finding a new taco joint to visit.

Kala is a mom of two kiddos ages 5 and under. She is passionate about many things: Pepsi, houseplants, traveling, history and royalty, to name a few. Kala has a degree in marketing and previously worked for a nonprofit. She says most of her skills are in the blogging world. She loves blogging as it is constantly changing, which means she is constantly learning.

"I love creating something that other people love. I've been able to chat with and become friends with so many people through our love of houseplants and the tees I've designed. It's always fun to connect with people who get you. Outside of that, I really love the freedom owning my own business affords me. I stay home with my two kids, and we are basically free to do what we want when we want because I don't have a set work schedule." -Kala Wiederholt

The Pink Dinosaur

Elle Steadman is the owner of The Pink Dinosaur, an online boutique that offers fashionable city T-shirts, stylish apparel and personalized gifts. You can find on-trend Kansas City tees for the entire family: men, women and kids.

In 2018, Elle says the stars aligned in her life. Her fourth child, Annie, was born, and she was looking for a way to stay home with her kids and still be creative. She started The Pink Dinosaur and was inspired by a charity event for The Global Orphan Project. Not long after, Elle's company began its partnership with the organization, whose mission is orphan prevention: to care for vulnerable children and keep families together.

When you buy a shirt from The Pink Dinosaur, you’re not just supporting a small business, you are also helping The Global Orphan Project. All tees are produced by GOEX, an apparel manufacturer that is a member of the Fair Trade Federation. GOEX produces premium eco-friendly apparel, provides living-wage jobs locally in Kansas City and in Haiti, as well as funds missions for The Global Orphan Project.

Elle was born and raised in St. Louis and attended Mizzou, where she met her Kansas City-born husband. At Mizzou, Elle designed T-shirts for her sorority and earned a fashion degree in Textile and Apparel Management. After college, Elle and her husband moved to Kansas City to start their family. Elle's husband encouraged her love for Kansas City sports, and she is now a Royals fan.

"I love the people in Kansas City. I have met some of the most humble, generous, kind-hearted, thoughtful, positive, inspiring, uplifting, empowering people here. I think this city is special, and I’m lucky to live here." -Elle Steadman

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