Shobha, the founder of Proclaim, and I met through a quintessential millennial medium — Instagram! She and I connected earlier this year and bonded over the desire to quit our corporate jobs to pursue our creative passions.
Lo and behold a few months later, we both are working on our brands full-time! Shobha’s brand, Proclaim is a purpose-driven company with the goal to bring ethically-made nude bras to real women. And by real women, she means women of all shapes, sizes, and ethnic backgrounds. For her product launch, she actually collaborated with local creatives (that again, she discovered on Instagram) to model for her line!
Proclaim’s bras are made locally in San Francisco and the fabric of the bras is made from 100% post-consumer recycled plastic water bottles! I would have never have guessed given the super soft material of the bra.
Without further ado, let’s dive into our interview with Shobha.
My name is Shobha Philips. I’m the founder of Proclaim, an ethically-made, skin-tone lingerie brand in San Francisco. I’m originally from St. Louis and spent some time in Minneapolis before landing in San Francisco 10 years ago. I love hiking, spontaneous travel, and spending time with my nieces and nephew.
+What were you doing before Proclaim?
I started my career in Merchandising at Target Corp in Minneapolis where I worked on a buying team for junior apparel before moving to San Francisco. I spent several years in Market Research, leading surveys and focus groups for government clients before briefly returning to my Retail roots with a position at Gap Inc. I now work full time on my startup, Proclaim.
+Tell us how you got the idea to create a line of sustainable nude bras.
The idea was really a culmination of frustrations from the fashion industry. As a woman of South Asian descent I could never find a “nude” colored bra that matched my skin tone. A good nude bra is a wardrobe staple and it was nearly impossible to find. It’s also hard to find ethical brands that make their garments with consideration for the environmental and social impacts of production. Creating a brand you can feel good about supporting from was important to me.
+Are there any particular experiences/struggles you want to share with us being a South Asian woman entrepreneur?
I actually feel like my life experiences as a South Asian woman have been an asset to me in becoming an entrepreneur. The whole concept of Proclaim is about bringing diversity and inclusion to fashion, issues I was keenly aware of as a South Asian woman. I feel like I have experienced struggles as entrepreneur that are typical of the fashion industry regardless of race or gender.
+Share your wellness routine with us!
I wish I could say I have a routine but the last year has been so chaotic I unfortunately do not adhere to anything strict. I try to run a few miles 3 days a week. I find running to be a great stress relief when I can fit it in. I also try to walk instead of taking a car or public transit as much as I can. Living in San Francisco, which is just 7 by 7 miles I manage to walk a few miles every day just getting from point A to point B. I also try to go to my local farmers market on Sundays and pick out fresh produce to cook a few healthy meals at the beginning of the week that can last a few days.
+Do you live by any mantras or sayings?
Don’t fear failure. I think this was a big realization/step in deciding to become and entrepreneur and in dealing with the big decisions you have to make on a daily basis. I realized the idea of failure and what people would think was holding me back. I had to take a step back and realize that others opinions don’t matter at the end of the day. And that even if things don’t work out the way I was hoping, I am learning so much and having fun along the way.
+Is there anything else you’d like to share about Proclaim?
We’re working on some new styles and expanding our size offerings – which should debut in early 2018 🙂
Plus if you are looking for holiday gift ideas or a sweet Black Friday deal all Citrus & Gold readers get a $15 discount for their purchase with the code GIRLGANG15! Happy shopping!