March 02, 2022

What Clare brings to the adaptive clothing table

If you're reading this, you've probably read some other stuff from Clare, like a Christina Stephens email, or a social media post or three on adaptive fashion. But you haven't met Clare properly, and because we're celebrating women all month, we thought it's time we shine the light on some of the other amazing women behind the label. 

Name: Clare

Role at Christina Stephens: All things Marketing 

What is the biggest thing you've learnt since working with Christina Stephens? 

I'm a marketer, so I thought I was pretty good with words and language. But there were certain questions I was afraid to ask, and certain sentiments I didn't know how to phrase in a respectful and meaningful way. Jessie and Lisa and the team were so helpful in pointing out nuances, as was the  Disability Reporting Book which was launched earlier this year.

I'm still also blown away by the fact that 20 percent of the population have a disability, yet it's not catered for in so many industries. Obviously our mission is to bring adaptive fashion to mainstream retail and media, but learning about how many buildings for instance, aren't accessible, or how many workplaces still don't have accessible planning in place, has really been an eye opener. 

Why do you care about being an active disability ally and creating change in this community? 

When Jessie first approached me about working with Christina Stephens, one of the first things she said was "I'm on a mission!" Sure, she's running a business, but her passion for filling a (desperate) need and giving people with disabilities an actual choice with their wardrobe, was just so palpable from the get go. It was impossible to say no! Working with Christina Stephens you know that there's a greater sense of purpose -

We're not just selling t-shirts, we're giving people their freedom back. We're giving them more choice. We're giving them something that makes them feel even more sexy and confident.

We have big plans to take on mainstream retailers, but for me, hearing and seeing the reviews we get, that's the best part of the job. To know we'reactually making a difference to people.  

What does a typical day look like for you?

On a Christina Stephens work day, once I get kids out the door I can't start anything until I have a coffee! Then it's usually checking in with the team on Asana and email, then it can be anything from planning and writing the month's emails, to proofreading social media posts, to analysing our sales data to find out where our best performing platforms and products are, what messages are working, and understanding the people who are buying our products. This is what I love about Christina Stephens - every day is different, and seeing an idea or a strategy go full circle and actually work, is pretty rewarding. 

When have you felt most empowered in your career? 

Looking back, the roles I have excelled in the most, is where I have been surrounded by other incredible, empowered women. I've worked in an all-girls high school, had some amazing female bosses, and built a network of other whip-smart marketing ladies. And when I'm in a collaborative environment where we can all brainstorm, support each others' ideas and encourage each other to take the next step - that's when I've felt my most magnificent. 

What are some fun facts that people might not know about you? 

  • I'm married to a Kiwi and I have an 11 year old stepson, a four year old daughter, and a nine month old son. I have my hands full, but wouldn't have it any other way.
  • I can be easily bribed with red wine, pasta and chocolate
  • I'm Melbourne based, but a Queenslander at heart
  • I've never seen the movie ET 



Also in News

Adaptive fashion for people with disability showcased in Australian first
Adaptive fashion for people with disability showcased in Australian first

May 17, 2022

The history-making show featured 10 models with disability from across Australia, including disability advocate Lisa Cox, actor and disability advocate Chloe Hayden and Queensland Australian of the Year 2021, Dr Dinesh Palipana, who said the experience of taking part in the adaptive runway was "indescribable".
Here’s what it was like to be in Fashion Week’s first adaptive show
Here’s what it was like to be in Fashion Week’s first adaptive show

May 17, 2022

‘Unexpected’, ‘unbelievable’ and ‘unreal’ were all words I heard to describe the Adaptive Clothing Collective at this year’s Afterpay Australian Fashion Week (AAFW). It was clear that founder Jessie Sadler and lead designer Carol Taylor had achieved one of the things they set out to do with this new collection for Australia’s first inclusive fashion label, Christina Stephens: to dispel the myth that clothing adapted for people with disabilities could not be fashionable, stylish, glamorous, luxurious and even a little sexy. (Inside Retail)
Adaptive Clothing Collective runway makes an emotive case for universal design
Adaptive Clothing Collective runway makes an emotive case for universal design

May 17, 2022

Awash with innovative, inclusive designs and bold colours, JAM and Christina Stephens’ collections make clear people with disability deserve to be seen and have their needs met. (Harpers Bazaar)