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Sustainable clothing brand offers a new way to tell a story

Vicentia, co-founded by Courtney Hellendrung and Alaina Landi, is a sustainable hand-printed clothing brand aimed to share the stories of women. It all started in 2017 when they both met and they realized there was a universal thirst for empowering messages on graphic tees but according to Hellendrung, something was missing. 

“We were like, ‘That’s so cool that this is at the forefront of our societies, these women empowerment messages you can find everywhere,'” said Hellendrung. "But what are you learning from this? What is the tangible thing? We came up with a way to create shirts inspired by women and accompany them with QR codes that allow you to scan your shirt and read about the women.” 

Beyond just sharing stories about women, the brand is also sustainable and offers unisex sizes from XS - 4XL. With their recent brand launch party, Landi said Vicentia has carefully selected four women to represent.

“We focused on a Japanse artist, a Mexican-American social justice warrior, an African American writer and a British mathematician,” said Landi.

Those women are Yayoi Kusama, Dolores Huerta, Maya Angelou and Joan Clarke.

Vicentia have three pillars they target; accessibility, sustainability and giving back to the community.

"Something that is really important to us is to support the community that supports us,” said Landi. “Our mission is to donate five percent of each purchase to organizations that support women and girls in STEM, art and business.” 

“We want to be a part of the Milwaukee community; we want to create a larger community that's centered around cool women,” says Hellendrung.

Courtney Hellendrung and Alaina Landi, co-founders of Vicentia | Courtesy of Vicentia

When I had a conversation with Courtney and Alaina, they told me about their upcoming initiative, Hometown Heroines, where individuals in Milwaukee can nominate local women they know and love to become a victress. It's an exciting way to celebrate and learn more about amazing women making a difference here right at home.

Audio Storyteller / 88Nine On-Air Talent | Radio Milwaukee