Check out my interview with the founder: Lizzie Cochran.
What is the goal of Epidemia Designs?
Our goal as a company is to create awesome products that feature patterns derived from biological images and to use those products to make science more appealing and accessible to young people, and especially young girls. Furthermore, we will be using 15% of our profits to fund research and programs aimed at expanding access to high quality health care around the world.
What was your inspiration behind the concept?
The inspiration for Epidemia came from studying microscopic images in my biology lab course as well as coming across similar images in an article I read about the history of epidemics. I kept noticing how beautiful the images were and how cool it would be to turn those images into patterns that could be printed on clothing and accessories. My hope was that, by putting these images out there in a way that is commercially appealing to young people, we could make the sciences more interesting and accessible to youth, especially to girls who may see science as a primarily masculine field. I want to show that science and art can work together to inspire change.
How does Epidemia Designs speak to women and young girls in science?
One of our major goals is to use our products to inspire girls to explore interests and careers in the sciences, in part because I, myself, am pursuing a career in medicine and I know how long it took me to come around to the idea that to be feminine and to be scientific did not have to be mutually exclusive. I grew up feeling like my strengths were in the arts and the humanities and believing that being good at those things must have, in turn, meant that I was not good at math and science. I was always interested in medicine and knew pretty early on that that was what I wanted to do, but I struggled for a long time to believe that I had the capacity to be successful in the sciences. I think that there is still a belief among young girls that the sciences are men’s fields and, with Epidemia Designs, I hope to play a part in changing that perception. We hope that our designs will serve as conversation starters and, through interesting, appealing patterns, further the idea that science is for girls too. Furthermore, I believe that, worldwide, women are one of our greatest untapped resources and that having more women in science will lead to more medical and scientific breakthroughs that could change the shape of health care.
Can you tell me about your Kickstarter campaign and how you will use it to move forward?
I first started developing the idea for Epidemia in late 2014 and we started producing our first prototypes in January 2015. We launched the Kickstarter last month and through the funding from the Kickstarter campaign, we hope to launch the production and sale of our inaugural line of athletic leggings with the theme of “She’s Got It.” The line will feature four styles of leggings called, She’s Got Heart, She’s Got Brains, She’s Got Guts, and She’s Got Nerve. Each style will feature patterns created from images of heart muscle, brain cells, epithelial cells, and nerve synapses, respectively. We will also be producing a Kickstarter exclusive line of leggings featuring the images of stem cells. Moving forward, we hope to expand our product line to include other athletic apparel including sports bras and shirts, as well as men’s athletic apparel. Furthermore, we will expand our accessory offerings (currently journals and phone cases) to include bags, scarves, and other products. Finally, we plan to use 15% of our profits to fund research and projects aimed at decreasing the incidence of preventable disease and expanding access to high quality healthcare worldwide, with an emphasis on improving access to vaccinations.
Our website is www.epidemiadesigns.com and the kickstarter can be found at http://kck.st/1I7PVG8.