JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — Erica Engelby loves to shop, but she would time and again run into a dilemma: cute, trendy clothes would often sport liberal messages she couldn’t support. Instead of getting frustrated with her options, the 25-year-old decided to change the market.
Over the past few months, Engelby has created and launched Chic Politico, an online clothing store geared toward conservative women. T-shirts, swimsuits, and hats are adorned with messages like “women’s rights begin in the womb” and “you had me at limited government.”
Engelby, who works in the state Capitol as the legislative director to House Speaker Elijah Haahr, said she took it upon herself to make a few clothing designs she personally liked and started a website and social media presence. It wasn’t long before she began to get positive responses — and even requests — from women across the country.
“When I was shopping and saw shirts that were left of center, I felt disheartened that maybe I was alone or maybe there weren’t that many conservative women out there, and that’s why these companies were ignoring them,” Engelby told The Missouri Times. “But I didn’t agree with that. I’m very in favor of promoting conservative values and encouraging other conservative women and telling them they aren’t alone.”
From reposting photos of women wearing Chic Politico apparel to taking requests for products consumers want to see, the company is extremely customer-driven, Engelby said. In a few weeks, she will begin accepting applications for brand ambassadors as a way for other young women to get involved and help promote the company.
“The biggest surprise has actually been the positivity, just seeing how many women feel the same way I did,” Engelby said. “Everyday I log on and find more messages and comments from women who are so excited they found Chic Politico and they found cute products they like.”
“Hopefully with these shirts … conservative women can see they aren’t alone, and there are others out there who share the same beliefs as them,” she said, adding the pro-life products have been particularly in-demand.
Shirts are $19.99 and take about five to eight business days to get to a customer; swimsuits and hats will take a bit longer, Engelby said.
Aside from apparel promoting pro-life views and gun rights, other shirts contain messages of encouragement and empowerment, such as, “determined to rise,” “unapologetically ambitious,” and “future senator.”
Engelby said she’s always been creative, but this is the first time she’s started her own business — right after her 25th birthday and while the legislative session was still underway. For now, she plans to continue selling her designs online to women across the country.
Kaitlyn Schallhorn is a reporter with The Missouri Times. She joined the newspaper in March 2019 after working as a reporter for Fox News in New York City. Throughout her career, Kaitlyn has covered political campaigns across the U.S. and humanitarian aid efforts in Africa. She is a native of Missouri who studied journalism at Winthrop University in South Carolina. Contact Kaitlyn at firstname.lastname@example.org.