A year after launching her first farm-to-fashion product, 18-year-old Kate Stephens is making a huge impression with her YouTube channel and clothing line.
Monday marked the launch of her 100% U.S.A. cotton-grown t-shirts, produced with the support of American-made products and the cotton industry in mind.
Stephens mentioned in a YouTube video that it took around a year for her to launch the shirts because of the difficulties that accompany designing and manufacturing a made and grown in the USA shirt.
At 16 years old, the fourth-generation farmer launched her business to keep the farming tradition alive in her family. She has since taken to social media, where she uses her knowledge about how a Montana farm is run to educate and inspire others.
“It feels very empowering. I have lots of young women and girls who watch my videos and have grown up in an area where they've never seen a woman driving a car online or any being a part of the agricultural industry in any way. So they now see my videos and think, ‘Wow, I can do that, too.’ So it means a lot to me,” said Stephens. “And I'm the first woman on our farm to ever operate a big machine like this, and I'm very happy to be able to share that with many people.”
Stephens comes from an agricultural background, with roots tracing back to 1912 when her great-grandfather immigrated to central Montana from Denmark.
Running one of the combines during harvest on their farm, Kate gives viewers a first-hand look into what it’s like to be a part of this community.
She hopes to bridge the gap between farmers and consumers, teaching her buyers about where their food and fashion products come from in a fun yet educational way.
“I would like to see people become more aware about where their clothing comes from and who you're supporting when you're purchasing those clothes.”
The shirts come with a QR code that buyers can then use to track exactly where the shirt came from. This unique feature allows people to see who they are supporting, from cotton farmers to cotton spinners.
“It's an amazing process and something that each one of these families is very proud of.”
Her business is one extension of her family farm, and she hopes that as it continues to grow, she will be able to see her mission of bridging the gap between farmers and consumers completed.