Queer Clothing Sans Rainbows by Proud Threads
If I were to ask you to think of “LGBT Clothing” I’d bet money that images of rainbows (and maybe unicorns) would flash through your head. Well, times they are a-changin.
For the past year Sarah Moecker and Misty Branch have been designing, producing, and selling t-shirts under the company name Proud Threads.
Moecker, the designer of “all things PT” refers to herself as the “Art Guru,” while Branch calls herself the “Chief Pantologist.” But the two cofounders wear many hats in the role of managing a company that is receiving national and international attention. The pair recently did an interview with Curve Magazine as well.
Though the online store was officially launched in May of 2011, Branch says Proud Threads really began the year before. “We took business classes and started brainstorming ideas for designs to put on shirts,” she explains. “We spent a lot of time determining what we wanted Proud Threads to stand for.”
What does that mean though? “Our community needed a company to offer more stylish clothing than what’s out there,” explains Branch. “We all know it's super easy to find shirts with rainbows all over them. Rainbows are great but they've been done. Instead, we’re offering a more fashionable, and higher-quality product.” Sans rainbows.
Though it is currently just a t-shirt company, the end goal is offer a full fashion line. “Soon we will start expanding our products to offer more than shirts,” says Branch. “We wanted to start by getting our name out there so that when we expand to a full product line, you already know who we are, what we are about, and that you love us.”
Besides offering designs specific to their shirts, Moecker and Branch make Proud Threads unique by being more than just business partners. The couple has been together for two and a half years now. “Starting PT together has created its own set of challenges for the relationship,” says Branch, but she has no complaints. “It’s also provided the opportunity to bond and connect in a way that never would have happened.”
But don’t look for them to be out and about on any given weekend night, the pair are quite busy. “For the past year, our Friday nights have either consisted of driving out of town for festivals, camping, or family visits.” But if they are in town, they’ll likely be having dinner and drinks with their friends. When they’re not busy with Proud Threads they both work for CustomInk.com- an online site where you can design your own t-shirts for events. “You could say our lives revolve around t-shirts these days,” jokes the girls.
The Northern Virginia-based company currently does not have a store front so find them online. If you want to see the products in the flesh, luckily they are also a festival popup. Look for Proud Threads at the Capital Pride Festival, and many others throughout the U.S. To see if they’re coming to your Pride check out their events page.