The F Word Gift Shop

Haley Martin

We are so excited to announce that The F Word Gift Shop will now be making their debut as a Faire seller. The CEO and founder of the brand is bringing her rad feminist prints to our marketplace on eco-friendly and ethically sourced items. We just got the chance to chat with Annie Anzaldua on the origins of the company, what it means to her, and where she sees it going.  
  • When/why did you first take a serious interest in fashion? 
  • People ask me this question all the time and I always have the same lame answer: since I got my first Barbie! I cannot remember a time that I wasn’t into fashion. I used to change my clothes five times a day when I was little. I guess I didn’t seriously commit to fashion until I got accepted to the fashion design program at Academy of Art University, though. 
  • What led you to start The F Word? 
  • Well, I used to work for a very well known, fat-shaming fast fashion retailer that shall remain nameless. Working there really opened my eyes to how disgusting the representation of women is in this industry, and just generally in the U.S. I had a two-year contract that I couldn’t break, so I waited it out and quit the literal second that it expired. I knew after that I wanted to do something that would benefit women instead of shaming them for having human bodies. 
  • How did you start your company? (time, funding, employees, etc.) 
  • Around June of 2017, I started The F Word Gift Shop as an Etsy shop, just as a fun side project. We had like 10 sales a month at that point I think Then I heard about Bulletin Broads in New York (this dope retailer that only sells feminist goods from women-identifying artists). I reached out to them about selling our line and much to my surprise; they wanted a lot of inventory from us! My best friend Bianca was a lifesaver and kept me sane on the phone when I got the inventory list. She worked for a print manufacturer, so she really knew her stuff. I have since hired her to join the team because of how amazing she is. Anyways, I was actually on vacation in Europe at the time, so the vast majority of our vendors and contractors were booked while I was in line at Musee D’Orsay or in an airport in Sweden. When I got home from my seventeen hours of travel, my husband Antonio stayed up with me all night and well into the next day to package the order and ship it out! 
  • What has been the most difficult part of starting your own company? 
  • I would say, knowing what the next step should be. There is no guideline when you are your own boss, and that sometimes means making tough decisions without outside help. Do I add more products to the line or do I buy more stock of current items? Should I attend this trade show or would that one be better? Since the whole company is on your shoulders, sometimes it is scary knowing that you are the only one who is accountable for the bottom line.  
  • How do you want people to view The F Word? What is your mission for the brand? (what are your goals, objectives, etc.) 
  • I want people to come away with positive feelings about feminism. That word has become so taboo over years of negative press, and it breaks my heart when people close to me say they don’t consider themselves a feminist. That is why our mission is to spread awareness through our merchandise and to create an open dialogue.   
  • What drove you to use sustainable manufacturing for your products?  
  • This one kind of ties back to my time in the fast-fashion world. Our ecological practices were disgusting there. One time my merchant ignored me when I called out a color issue, and when it finally came to production they all said, “this color is awful!” and offered to literally burn the hundreds of thousands of yards of faux-suede instead of making a new style out of it. I was so sickened and everyone in the meeting looked at me like I was being crazy. That was when I knew I couldn’t keep designing for them.  
  • When did you first find out about intersectional feminism? What did you think, and what led you to become so passionate about it?  
  • I think that I have always been an intersectional feminist as I was fortunate enough to be raised by two very encouraging parents, but I didn’t really have the label for it. I guess you could say my feminist click moment was when my middle school English teacher told me that I wasn’t going to get into college because I was too “aggressive” (meaning that I had won our team’s debate). I remember looking around and thinking “well you didn’t say that to any of the guys that won their debates––it was super frustrating for me and that same scenario playing out my whole life just made me realize that women shouldn’t be punished for something that men are glorified for. As for the intersectional part, if it isn’t intersectional, then it just isn’t feminism! 
  • What do you do to promote the movement? And what are you goals involving it? 
  • The most important thing we can do in my opinion is talk about it! I used to be (and still sometimes am) really quick to jump on people with facts and statistics when they are incorrect, but a lot of times that steers people the opposite direction because they feel attacked. I think talking to people calmly, but accurately, reveals a lot about “our side” and makes people more inclined to hear us out. Additionally, we are actually launching a podcast this summer that will talk about why feminism is considered taboo, and how it is really a great movement that is aiming to give more people rights, not take them away from people who already have them. 
  • What is something you want readers to know about yourself? And, about The F Word? 
  • I guess I would say, they should know that we are just getting started! I am so thankful to work with an amazing team that is so incredibly creative, and we cannot wait to share our podcast and new products with the masses soon!  

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