Chelsea Coulston was frustrated at not being able to find STEM-inspired clothing for her daughter, an aspiring scientist, and so decided to create her own clothing brand! Annie the Brave is an up-and-coming company that aims to encourage young girls to pursue STEM and follow their dreams. Annie the Brave wants to get young girls excited about STEM by creating more options when it comes to clothing and science—STEM certainly doesn’t have to be exclusive to boys!
We interviewed the founder, Chelsea Coulston!
Tell me a little bit about your company and how Annie the Brave got started?
Annie the Brave is a girls clothing brand that offers STEM-inspired dresses that encourage bravery in little girls. My oldest daughter wants to be a scientist who studies fashion. We went searching for a dress with scientists on it over a year ago and couldn’t find one. It was disheartening but I was discouraged because I thought, hey I could just make one but then, we couldn’t find any fabric. That’s when I knew that we could create something for girls that weren’t satisfied with what was currently available.
Why is Annie the Brave so great for little girls?
Our brand strives to encourage girls to be anything. We believe that you can love science and experimenting while also loving to twirl in a dress. By creating dresses that encourage their interest in STEM we are affirming that STEM is for girls!
What kinds of dresses do you have for young scientists and for what ages?
When we launch our Kickstarter on April 15th we’ll be offering three unique designs: Scientist Girls, Ocean/Sharks, and Space. Each design will come in sizes 2T-8.
As adults, we know that there are not a lot of science reaffirms out there for young girls (like clothing), was your daughter puzzled by this?
Unfortunately, yes. At six years old, she is a confident girl who loves science and fashion so it was surprising for her to not find a dress with scientists on it.
After not being able to find STEM clothes for your daughter, an aspiring scientist, how did this make you feel from a mother’s standpoint?
As a mom, when your child has an interest in something like science, you want to do all you can to foster that; so when she asked for the dress I was going to do anything I could to get it for her. As the search went on and nothing turned up, it really frustrated me because I felt as though these dresses didn’t exist because science isn’t supposed to be for girls. We know that’s wrong—the message to send to girls.
Why is STEM so important to children’s lives and education, and how can parents get involved?
I think it’s important to encourage STEM interests at a young age because it allows children an opportunity to investigate and explore. Beginning in early childhood gives children a strong platform to build upon. Data suggests that although the majority of girls have an interest in STEM at a young age, only a small number pursue STEM professions as adults. Of those girls, ones that have role models in STEM are more likely to pursue STEM professions.
What do you hope to see in the future for girls interested in science?
I hope to see STEM as a mainstream topic for girls. I know we’ll see more STEM and exploration themed clothing because Annie the Brave exists to make that happen. Additionally, I hope we continue to discuss the importance of girls in science so all girls know that science is for them.
Chelsea Coulston is the founder of Annie the Brave and a mom of two little girls. Chelsea is from Las Vegas, Nevada and received her BA in Social Studies from the University of Nevada Las Vegas. She went down the path of entrepreneurship since it was difficult maintaining a job as a military spouse. Coulston has her own blog Making Home Base that has been featured on Home Depot, Better Homes and Gardens, Apartment Therapy, Popsugar and more. After her six year-old daughter Peighton requested a science dress to match her future career, Annie the Brave was born. Annie the Brave is a clothing brand that offers STEM-inspired dresses to inspire bravery in little girls.