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In almost a decade of designing and selling T-shirts, one of Nicole Grier’s favorites is titled “She Loved Herself.” The design reads, “She embraced her stretch marks, fell in love with her cellulite, flaunted her rolls & gave zero f*cks what anyone said. And she lived happily ever after. The end.”
Like all the T-shirts Grier designs for her e-commerce business, Feminine Funk, “She Loved Herself,” promotes self-love, body positivity, and self-empowerment, particularly for women. Though the messages usually come in shorter, punchy, unapologetic slogans like “Curvy Queen Energy” or “Thick thighs & Good vibes,” Grier is particularly proud of “She Loved Herself.”
“It’s basically like a letter to yourself,” Grier told What Now Atlanta. “Every time I read it, I feel like, ‘Damn, that’s a good one.’”
After nearly a decade of selling her clothes online, Greir is opening Feminine Funk’s first brick-and-mortar in late November, set to move into a space in the One Moreland development.
Grier founded Feminine Funk in 2011 with a mission to promote and spread the self-love she felt through the clothes she designed.
“I’m a black woman, I am plus-sized, and I love who I am,” she said. “So I wanted to create a brand where women felt that too … I wanted women to not feel like there was something wrong with them because they had stretch marks or because their size is bigger or their hips are bigger, or their whatever was bigger that society tells you shouldn’t be big on a woman.”
Though body positivity for women is central to the brand’s mission, as a Black-owned business, Femenine Funk takes on another meaning.
“I think that as a black woman, it’s different when it comes to something as simple as our hair,” Grier said. “I’ll just speak for me, but as a little girl, it was hard for me to accept my hair. I wanted straight hair. Now as a black woman, I’m teaching love your hair, love your lips, love everything about you. Love your skin.”
For years, a brick-and-mortar was out of the question for Grier. She was happily engaging with her customers—she calls them the “Funk Tribe”—online, operating out of the Bay Area before moving to Atlanta two years ago. She only changed her mind a few months ago.
“We just wanted a space where the Funk Tribe can come and we get to interact and talk with our customers,” Grier said. “I feel like that’s really important, just to be able to converse and meet them and hear what they want, what they like, and just provide a space for that.”
The 615-square-foot space that Feminine Funk will operate out of is sandwiched between Cutters Lounge and the upcoming Chi Chi Vegan Tacos. With both Feminine Funk and Chi Chi Vegan Tacos moving into One Moreland in deals brokered by Kevin Lynch of Keller Knapp Commercial, the One Moreland building is now fully leased.
Having acquired the space just earlier this week, Grier doesn’t have an exact idea of how the space will look. That said, she intends to create an extension of her company’s mission of inclusivity and self-love. “We just want people to come in and just feel good vibes,” she said.
“I’m excited to see how our customers react to our space. I’m hoping they love it,” Grier said. “I’m excited for that. I’m excited for all the new things we’re putting out, and I’m excited for the future.”