We had the good fortune of connecting with Hannah McFaull and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Hannah, do you disagree with some advice that is more or less universally accepted?
Conventional advice says to succeed with a small business, you have to appeal to as wide a market as possible. When we first started, we were told over and over again that we should be trying to get our bodyfeeding shirts picked up by mainstream big box stores, or that we needed to patent our design, or pick band shirts to customize that had mainstream appeal. And at the beginning, we definitely followed this. We toned down our language, we didn’t mention our politics in our social media posts, we even chose not to customize certain band’s shirts – just in case we offended or isolated a potential customer. But it never really felt like we were being our authentic selves. This conventional advice couldn’t be further from the truth for us. Our customers buy our products because they refuse to compromise on who they are, their identity or what their values are. Not everyone wants to wear the same clothes as everyone else. Once we recognized that our customers were as unique as we are, we were able to really build a community of parents who share our values. And that keep coming back to us for more and more bodyfeeding shirts. The more we talk about our values and politics, especially relating to race, gender and identity, the more support we get. The more we talk about our chaotic lives as parents of tiny humans, the more our customers identify with us and see that we are just like them. When we stopped focusing on making the most money by appealing to the broadest number of people, and instead focused on building our community, we really started finding success.
What should our readers know about your business?
And Out Come The Boobs was born when we were new parents and hated all the clothes made for breastfeeding or bodyfeeding.
We firmly believe that you don’t stop being who you are when you become a parent. Too many parents are forced to compromise their identities, or how they express who they are. This is especially true if you are an ‘alternative’ parent, or if your body is not catered for by mainstream fashion.
Our need to dress like ‘ourselves’ as new moms lead to us customizing clothes we already owned. When we started wearing them in public, friends started asking us how they could get one. We realized we weren’t the only people who felt this way, in fact there were lots of us out there who felt ignored or overlooked by 4th trimester clothing options.
And Out Come The Boobs customizes band shirts, adding invisible zippers to allow parents access to their milk makers. We are size-inclusive, gender expansive, upcycling punks, who put our values and politics front and center. We have built a community of punk parents who refuse to compromise or conform.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
It’s exciting to see the sheer number of events coming up in the punk world – from flea markets, to art exhibitions, to music festivals. Any friend visiting the area would be down to cram as many of these as possible into their trip. It would probably include some record shopping, some tattooing, some roller skating with as many other friends as possible. .
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
Our Shoutout is dedicated to the punk parents who showed us that you don’t have to compromise on your identity or who you are, when you become a parent. This is dedicated to the parents who take their kids to music festivals. To the parents who teach their kids that living your truth and being your most authentic self is something to be valued. To the parents who teach pit rules of picking people up when they fall down. There is so much that we have to thank the punk community for instilling in us – a drive to create change for our community, DIY ethos, acceptance and tolerance of others, how to support each other when times are tough, that collaboration is always better than competition.
Other: Pinterest: @andoutcometheboobs
Photos by Portraits35