A woman's touch in the world of mixed martial arts | Business
Stephanie Guerra is Spokane designer that's started a small local clothing called 52-Clothing. She's currently collaborating with two local MMA fighters, Sam Sicilia and Mike Chiesa, who are currently competing on the show The Ultimate Fighter Live on FX.
She's been designing for the local MMA scene since last March. I had a chance to talk to her about her passion for design and MMA fighting.
Tell me a little about yourself: age, where you're from and some of your hobbies.
Well lets see, I was born in Northridge, California and at a very young age moved to the Pacific Northwest. I grew up in a very ethnic household that was heavily influenced by my Mother's Colombian roots. I went to high school at Gonzaga Prep which is where I really got into fashion.
Thanks to my supportive art teacher Frankie White, I was able to use fashion as a safe outlet for my rebellious formative years. Her guidance allowed me to realize, art was not just a form of expression but could also be a career. Thanks to that advice I applied to some of the most prestigious art schools in the country and decided to go Otis College of Art and Design in Los Angeles.
I am currently 24 years old and have worked with companies like Quiksilver, Adriano Goldschmied and Reebok as a graphic designer the last couple of years.
Tell me why you started the company?
I started 52-Clothing after ending my year at Reebok. After working for a very large international company like that I realized I wanted to do something independent, local and my own. I wanted to create a product that was limited and directed to a niche consumer. So one day I teamed up with an a old friend and we decided to just go for it. We started printing a small number of tees for our friends and it has just been growing ever since.
Are you an MMA fan?
Ofcourse I am! What girl doesn't love a little competitive Martial Arts. I'm a huge fan of any sort of sport that takes alot of physical and mental discipline. I grew up playing soccer, snowboarding in the winters and wake boarding in the summers so action sports have always been a huge part of my life. That's kinda what I wanted 52-Clothing to mean. 52-Clothing is a brand that anyone involved in any type of sports could wear. We take risks everyday and 52-Clothing embraces that.
How are the clothes produced?
All of our garments are produced in the USA, we then hand-dye or screenprint them locally depending on the item. A small number of items we even produced locally by hand, from beginning to end.
What's been the reaction amongst the MMA crowd?
Thankfully the local MMA crowd, especially the team at Sik Jitsu has been extremely supportive and excited about having a new lifestyle clothing company be a part of the sport. There are so many MMA enthusiasts in and around Spokane and they want to have clothing to wear other than cliche brands like Tapout.
What do you hope to achieve in the future with the company?
In the future I hope the company grows into a staple lifestyle brand. We are currently involved in various local collaborations and in the future I hope we are able to do more of those. I also hope we are able to sponsor and support more local talent. Spokane has so much hidden talent, it's about time it is seen on a national and hopefully international scale one day. I hope 52-Clothing has the ability to be a part of that in the future.
How can people buy your clothes?
Easily, they can just order online or check out our booth in many events in town this spring!