A 12-year-old Santa Barbara native is selling hoodies and T-shirts and helping nonprofits at the same time.
La Colina Junior High School student Reese Large started the clothing line Real Life, which opened its online store this week after months of research and development.
Real Life is the product of the COVID-19 pandemic, the closure of Nordstrom and a lot of extra time at home. Each item has a design that supports a cause, with a portion of each sale going to a nonprofit partner.
The first two designs, which are available for purchase, are supporting Project Aware, an organization of scuba divers committed to the removal of litter from the ocean and shark and ray conservation. Reese’s designs are Surf’s Up, which is available as a crop hoodie, and Let’s Scuba, which is available as a zip-up hoodie and T-shirt.
The hoodies cost $45. The T-shirts are $25. They come in a variety of sizes.
During early quarantine during the pandemic, Reese was missing the adventures and experiences that happen in real life, according to a news release.
“I started thinking about the various things I missed – playing softball with my GVGSA softball team, scuba diving because we had just gotten certified and being out with friends,” Reese said. “When Nordstrom closed, I realized that I could step up and create clothing options that teens and tweens would like, while also making a difference.
“I love fashion as much as the outdoors and our planet. Creating Real Life lets me help future generations have the best Earth they possibly can,” she said.
For months, Reese conducted research on the fashion industry, which included conference calls with fashion industry executives and surveys to peers. She also worked with a local vendor to learn about the screen printing process.
And Reese researched nonprofits that supported causes she and her friends care about and linked a design to each organization.
Reese’s apparel will expand next with the production of the Lake Life line, benefiting the American Eagle Foundation.
To purchase hoodies and tees, visit www.wearreallife.com or on Instagram at @wearreallife.