the beginning of Stewart Simmons by Shena Simmons
I’m Shena, a Florida native who now lives in Atlanta with my husband, two kiddos, and a 14 year old pup. I’m a huge fan of cooking, running, plants, podcasts, long walks, college football, and game nights (some <ok, all> may say I’m overly competitive). I carry a paper planner and won’t do a single thing if it’s not listed and in the correct color of ink. I have a newfound love for pickle ball, despite a lack of natural talent. I’m also the founder and owner of Stewart Simmons.
I started Stewart Simmons in 2016. I had just had my second child and was coming back from maternity leave. I had spent my career in finance, was great at what I did, and was making a good living. But this is how I felt inside.
I was miserable. I was stressed, over worked, and envisioning a future with far too many hours in meetings and too little time with my family.
So one day, I quit.
I didn’t have much of a plan. What I did have was a mortgage, 2 kids in daycare, a bunch of other adult bills, and an idea. As a college football fan and alum of Florida State, I had struggled year after year to find good game day apparel. I was tired of my husband's closet being filled with garnet and gold and having so few options for women.
So I got started. I did a ton of research, made every mistake one could make, learned a lot, and eventually managed to create some game day dresses.
They were . . . not great. And despite having the loveliest models/friends one can find, I didn't sell a ton. But they got better. A year later, we were getting picked up by retailers. Two years later, we were getting licensed with universities. And now, we’re here. At a place where one weekend of sales now rival the sales from all of year 1 😳 At a place where I can walk around on game days and see person after person wearing designs that I created.
I know it’s just clothes, but it’s also so much more. It’s a shirt that connects you to a community, a team, a game, a season that you love. And for me, it’s a bit of a dream come true. I don’t stop and think of it that way often. I’m generally too busy with my color coded pens and my overfilled planner. But it is. There have so many ups, so many downs, and I know there are many more to come. It’s a journey. One that I’m very thankful for. And I’m so thankful for all of you that are on it with me.
I believe in the power of stories. It’s how we connect, we learn, how we share our humanness. I wanted to create this space to share our stories. This is part of mine. And hopefully, it’s just the beginning of it.
Check back soon as we’ll be sharing lots in this space. Stories from our community, tailgating tips, fall recipes, you name it. You’ll hear from the Stewart Simmons team, guest bloggers, and, one day soon, we plan to feature your stories as well.