Lauren Thierry: Fashionably Independent

July 27 - On The Dot
It’s a great day to be a woman! Melinda Garvey here as your voice, with the mission to give women everywhere a place to be heard and tell their stories. We’d love to hear from you!

FIRST THOUGHT: Making Independence Fashionable

Women who become new moms often remark how everything changed when the baby was born. Your priorities may shift and your outlook on life might alter a bit too.

Regardless of whether you’re a parent, you can probably think of one or two things that happened to you that caused you to re-evaluate your master plan. Today, we talk about what it’s like to deviate from what you thought life would look like. It’s scary and exhilarating—and it might just change the world.

WOMEN IN NUMBERS: $2.4 Trillion

Most of the moms I know are amazing at identifying the best brands and sussing out good deals. U.S. moms make $2.4 trillion worth of purchases each year. But the thing is a lot of them don’t feel like advertisers understand who they are or what they want.

Sixty-four percent of moms ask other moms for advice before making a purchase because moms feel that other moms are credible, according to statistics.

That makes a lot of sense. In fact, today’s Woman to Watch calls this concept “mom sense.”

WOMAN TO WATCH: Lauren Thierry, Founder and President of Independence Day Clothing

Lauren Thierry has degrees from Sarah Lawrence and the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, and she was a TV news anchor for more than a decade. While many would consider her life picture perfect, Thierry left her job at CNN to do something even bigger and better.

When her son, Liam, was diagnosed with autism at age 2, Thierry knew her demanding job at CNN was no longer all-important. Thierry had a desire to be there for her son and the millions of other children dealing with the day-to-day struggles associated with autism.

So, she left the broadcast world and produced and directed a documentary called Autism Every Day, for which she filmed eight families with autistic children during the course of 24 hours. During this process, she noticed other children and families were just as frustrated as she and her son were about clothes.

Many people with autism spectrum disorder have sensory issues, which means dealing with elements like seams and tags in clothing can be upsetting. It was hard for Thierry to find outfits without tags, zippers, buttons, seams or lace. Wandering off is also a fear for parents of autistic children, but because of their children’s sensory issues, it’s tough to equip a child with a GPS device, as typical methods like a watch or necklace are bothersome.

After tweaking a mainstream shirt and folding a GPS device into the fabric, Thierry had a light-bulb moment. She was then able to create a 14-piece clothing collection for those with cognitive impairments or physical handicaps. There’s a hidden compartment for a GPS, and there aren’t any pesky tags or zippers. Oh, and guess what? There is no wrong way to wear the clothes. There’s no front or back side, no inside or outside. Kids just put on the clothes however they like, and they’re good to go.

Thierry named these ingenious duds Independence Day Clothing because, to her, giving children the ability to dress in cool clothes that accommodate their needs gives them a real sense of independence. For the 21 million Americans living with disabilities, this unique clothing reduces the time spent getting ready by an amazing 90 percent.

Independence Day Clothing has been praised for providing a real-world solution for those in need. Thierry isn’t just making children and their parents happier, she’s giving them extra time in the mornings to learn, grow and most importantly, be independent.


As suffragette and women’s rights activist Susan B. Anthony said:

“Independence is happiness.”

That’s all for now. Be sure to share this so more women can have a voice! Thanks for getting ready with us.

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