May 10, 2015 – When theStitch CEO Andre Villa decided to launch his new business, he knew he wanted an interactive site that boldy encouraged people to embrace their own beauty and to proclaim their confidence to the world by uploading their selfies to the site.
For the first photo shoot, he and co-founder Shanon Kocurek knew that they wanted people who embodied the attitude, confidence and passion for life that theStitch wanted to celebrate as the very definition of beauty. They also knew they wanted real people and not professional models, so they asked their friends and co-owners of St. Louis’s Washington Ave. Post, Karen Carty and her daughter, Jennifer Ray.
“They came into our shop one day,” said Karen, “and asked us to help them with the photography they needed to help promote their website.”
“I wasn’t sure what to expect,” said Jennifer. “The whole concept of what they were trying to do was hard to imagine. But they are good friends so I wanted to help them out.”
theStitch is sure glad that they decided to help out because their pics turned out to be a wonderful way to launch the site!
The following is a mini interview with Karen and her daughter Jennifer
in honor of Mother’s Day!
theStitch: Karen, how did you pass on your idea of beauty to your children?
Karen: Beauty to me means respecting and liking yourself and accepting of your responsibilities and limitations. I tried to provide guidance without direction and to let them develop as unique individuals comfortable with themselves.
theStitch: That must have been a great way to grown up, Jennifer!
Jennifer: Yes, I was never brought up to believe that physical beauty defined me. I was never criticized or corrected beyond ‘Stand up straight’! I was always encouraged to do what I wanted and to be an independent thinker.
theStitch: Karen, what’s one thing about beauty that you’d like to see passed on through the generations and, now that you’ve done the photo shoot, what does #EYOB mean to you?
Karen: Beautiful people are those who are respectful of others and generous in their words and deeds. If all of us treated each other as people of dignity then future generations could, perhaps, avoid the social and political strife that we deal with today. And for me, EYOB means, self-assurance mostly. Liking yourself and being open to new ideas and experiences.
theStitch: Jennifer, how do you #EYOB?
Jennifer: I don’t let myself get depressed over lacking the physical attributes or relationship statuses that magazines and pop culture want us to believe is the norm. I wear clothes that make me feel comfortable, not self-conscious. I do things by myself and I’m comfortable being by myself.
theStitch: How has being involved with theStitch changed your perception of yourself?
Karen: I believe it has made me more aware of how superficially most people perceive beauty. I also give more thought to people’s inner selves.
theStitch: Karen, would you use the word “Beautiful” to describe yourself?
Karen: In some ways yes, in some ways no. We all have work to do.
theStitch: What advice would you give to fella moms out there about embracing their own beauty?
Karen: Be yourself. Enjoy your life! Don’t let other people make your decisions for you.
theStitch: Jennifer, would you use the word “Beautiful” to describe yourself?
Jennifer: Yes. Especially once you get to know me. I’m a total package!
theStitch: You absolutely are – and so is your mom! Happy Mother’s Day, Karen and thank you both so much for doing this mini-interview with us. We couldn’t have asked for better super models for our site!