“Lost in the right direction”
Thanks so much for stopping by! I am so grateful for all of our amazing customers and this crazy journey that all started in 2009...while I was just an irresponsible College Student prepping for that REAL WORLD. I started the line as a Gameday Lifestyle Brand while at the University of Kansas; where I was a proud Delta Gamma studying Psychology with an emphasis in Sports, Sports Management & a Minor in Italian. All while having a Bartending side gig at 'THE HAWK' for 4 years and a budding Equestrian Career that began decades before (busy bee I was!).
Like most College students, I didn't have a damn clue as to what I wanted to do with my life, but I thought it would land me somewhere in the Sports Industry...while also dabbling with the idea of getting an Archaeology Degree. What can I say...I'm Random AF...and there's just too many things that interest me for what's really, a short life.
I started competing in Equestrian Hunter/Jumpers at the age of 6 and made a serious 365 day a year job out of it until I was 26. I loved the regimen the Sports Industry brought, camaraderie and responsibility- so it naturally seemed like the right path. I auditioned to be an ESPN Sideline Reporter- Erin Andrews & Sam Steele Ponder were my idols, I had just about every internship you could imagine in Sports from Broadcast to Marketing & PR, but nothing really stuck.
I change my mind with the changes of the wind, so I knew I needed to do something to keep up with my creative 'whims'. My mom had a rule that if I was going to University in State, that I needed to move for jobs in the Summer. This took me from New York to California for some of the best experiences of my life, and removed me from my comfort zone. I thank my Mamma every day for that rule, even though I was an ass about it at the time. I always ended up loving my Summers in the end.
While in New York, I attended summer schooling for Acting & Fashion Illustration at NYU, where I also held an internship at a notable PR agency. Fashion Illustration really stuck, as I'd always been artistic and creative; always an 'A' in Art and Gym Class and a 'D' in Math! I always approached school the way I did life, if I wasn't interested...I wasn't interested...but if I was interested, I rocked it out. It's so funny because I'm such a wanderer that i've always just left things to fate and assumed i'd end up where I was supposed to, with very little stress behind it. My best friends joke that i'm so 'laid back', if you flicked me...i'd topple over. I'm a constant source of anxiety for the 'organized planners' around me. Which is one reason why my Mamma was a huge source of inspiration for me. Having been the Head Buyer for Macy's and traveling international fashion weeks and working with top brands, my Mamma dominated a mostly Male led industry. So I have always had her as a source of information, support and an honest opinion. Hence, that fateful phone call to her one night while away at University...
While at KU, I noticed girls were no longer wearing typical University T Shirts and opting for dressier items in school colors. I noticed a gap in the market and decided to try and fill it. I was cutting t shirts into cute dresses, making them into off the shoulder tops, and school color themed jewelry, and slinging 'em out of my Sorority room like the black market. Then came the birth of our parent company...Simply Gameday™.
Until 2012, this was really just a side hobby and if it went somewhere, it went somewhere. I then had friends asking for graphic tees/ready to wear jewelry for weddings, bridesmaids gifts, charities etc. which was all really fun and set off a little spark. At the time, I was working as a Veterinary Assistant in Lawrence, Kansas when I decided to take a chance and go with this whole journey...and Blaine Bowen™ was born. Luck you guys, I hopefully get to annoy you FOREVER!
As the years went by, I've developed things into my own aesthetic; humor and sarcasm being the foundation of my soul...I don't think you can get through life without it. Clearly, I incorporate that aesthetic into our graphic tees. The brand definitely reflects my style: Maybe i'll shower, maybe I won't. Chic Comfort is Key, Simple is always better, and layering can always be the coolest look of them all. Our smart a** apparel lines mostly come from annoying things I say to people, or are inspired by my travels. Our jewelry, has always been inspired by my international travels and Cultural roots of Ireland, Scandinavia and a history of growing up in the Bahamas...my home away from home.
I am always sourcing components for our jewelry on my journeys. Items have come all the way from the house of the Virgin Mary at Ephesus in Turkey, the cliff-sides of Santorini, the Beaches of the Bahamas and the Countryside of Southern Ireland. I'm always on the hunt! My parents raised us with such an open mind to the world, and travel was highly important for us to experience. I've seen the streets of Vietnam and the Museums of Paris to the districts of South Africa. This has expanded my view of the world and how others live, which has all inspired my philanthropic side. Consequently, I implemented Philanthropy as a core value here at Blaine Bowen. Giving back to us is just as important as any aspect of this Company and a non-negotiable aspect for me, along with knowing how your items are made and what they are made of.
It's disheartening to see so many companies utilizing unhealthy work conditions, unethical manufacturing processes and a lack of transparency and quality into their work. I always tell people when they wince at a graphic tee between $38-$52 and I tell them to consider how many hands a t shirt passes through from the time it makes it to retail. It all mostly starts with harvesting the cotton, then going to a mill and manufacturer-where designers and seamstresses put on their touches, then a wholesaler and a retailer. That's several hands a t shirt will pass through before making it to you. It is not possible for $20 tees to provide fair working wages, let alone safe work environments.
To learn more about our process, and EXACTLY what is in your clothes-visit our Blaine Bowen Pinterest Page to see what you get with BB.
All of our items are designed by myself down to the very color code. For jewelry, all of our handmade pieces are hand designed by myself first, before they travel to our Design Fulfillment Team. Fun Fact: Until April 2017, I was hand making everything myself...then you all kept so me busy and almost broke my back and hand (but no really, I ended up in a hand cast for Carpal Tunnel) that we had to expand to a fulfillment team of 5. Starting in 2016 we began using a Manufacturer for some of our pieces where I design everything from a hand sketch, then to a CAD where it is then manufactured into some of the awesome pieces y'all know and love.
This Company has truly been a labor of time and love...we're talking all nighters, 20 hour days, a lot of expletives and coffee...then we got to expand! We're still a small team, completely female owned and operated. My entire team and I work so hard...and it is you, our Customers that make it worth it...and I am BEYOND grateful for every ounce of support. What started in a little Sorority room talking 'what ifs' on the phone with my Mom, has turned into a 5 person in office team, and a complete team of 15+ people. A transformation I could have never imagined! Y'all keep me going so here is where, from the bottom of my little black soul, I THANK YOU!
The 'Blaine Bowen Girl':
'...a playful spirit, who sometimes may not have a direction, but she takes a step anyways. She lives in the moment...just fine with not knowing where she’s going; a laid-back dreamer who falls in love with everything and thrives on spontaneity. She’s got a love for seeing the world, other cultures and experiencing new things. She’s a determined protector of the environment, and all creatures, big and small. She's a carefree-doer who makes the best out of every moment, but is always in search of her next adventure.' - Blaine Bowen, Founder & Creative Director