Who We Are
Who doesn’t love a graphic tee? They are effortlessly chic and fun and often become the first clues into your personality or mood. Browsing the racks of your favorite mainstream brands you certainly won’t be hard-pressed to find a variety of cute and fashionable tees, decor and accessories. Chances are, however, you will be hard-pressed to find tees that truly reflect your culture and the things you love. Though the exclusion of Black women in media and product development is not as polarizing as it has been in the past, we are still often bombarded with media that push stereotypes and images that do not always reflect us fully. This is why Izzy & Liv was created.
Black women come in all shades, shapes, sizes and styles. We come from different walks of life, have varied interests and a range of experiences. We are each unique and possess a beauty that is our own. Still, often times we feel an unspoken bond. This is true whether we are blood-relatives, life-long friends, or strangers in a room of unfamiliar faces, who give each other that familiar nod or reassuring smile that says “you have a friend here.” THIS is the powerful, unexplainable bond that many of us have. This is the aura Izzy & Liv taps into with our apparel and accessories.Our brand is self-affirming, inspirational, fun, sassy, filled with pop culture references and a bit retro. Our goal is to to design pieces that reflect some of our shared experiences; celebrates the icons we love; reinforces the empowering beauty we possess, and immortalizes the things we can’t get enough — things that makes us laugh and smile. When you shop at Izzy & Liv, you’re bound to find something that you can relate to!As Black women continue to rock around the world, Izzy & Liv’s mission is to help them do it confidently and stylishly. Our brand launched in 2014 by Nicole W. Brown. Her daughters, Isabel (Izzy) and Olivia (Liv), gave her the inspiration to create a clothing line that speaks to both black women and little girls who want to see more of themselves in the mainstream.
Hi Beauties! My name is Nicole W. Brown and I am the Founder of Izzy & Liv. Some people ask me why I started Izzy & Liv, to answer that, here’s a little bit about myself —Years ago (2002 to be exact) I was searching for websites for black women. I found a lot of sites for women in general — with a few images of women of color here and there, or an article or two among hundreds of others about black hair care for example. But I wanted a quality site that was created with me as the primary thought. There was a need to be filled, so rather than wait for someone else to fill, I thought — “that someone could be me”. In 2003 I launched a community website for women of color called Mahogany Butterfly (MaBu).With MaBu, I wanted to create a space that empowered Black women by reminding us of our beauty and strength. A place we could go to and immediately feel a sense of pride in who we are an connect with other like-minded women. I ran the site for 6 years while continuing to work full-time as a marketing manager for fortune 500 brands. In 2011 I sadly retired the site being overwhelmed with technical issues, working my 9-5 full-time, while running the MaBu on the side and being a wife and mother to my then 3 children. I spent the next few years focusing on my marketing career and being a mother to two boys, Avery and Ethan, and daughter, Isabel. While being a marketing manager paid the bills, I always regretted letting MaBu go and never could shake my creative passions rooted in a desire to create content and goods that reflected and celebrated my culture.
Then, in 2013, I gave birth to my 4th child, Olivia. She was born prematurely weighing just 1 pound, 5 ounces. She spent 4 months in a NICU before coming home, followed by a year in and out of hospitals for surgeries and doctors visits. Getting through that time reminded me of how precious life is and of the importance of following your passions to live a full life. I left my career in marketing and decided to focus on building a business I could be passionate about and proud of. Having daughters Isabel (Izzy) and Olivia (Liv) reignited the desire I had for providing an outlet for both black women and little girls who want and NEED to see more of themselves and the things they love in the mainstream.I hope that Izzy & Liv truly resonates with you. My goal is to design pieces that celebrate our many facets — funny, sassy, reflective, spiritual, bold, confident, silly, serious, proud, sexy, cute, and everything in between. I hope as you browse our shop you find yourself coming across designs that need no explanation — you just get it. I want us to be “here” with it (If we were face to face, I’d be waving two fingers back and forth between our eyes, :-) ). I hope our designs speak for themselves and tell stories you can wear and that allows you to just be you (whatever side of you takes center stage on a given day!)
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