In this edition of EmpowHER's "HER Health Minute" Michelle King Robson talks with genetic artist, Darin Grandmason, about his "In Our Genes" clothing line and why they are one of her favorite things.
Michelle: We’ve all seen the ribbons and bracelets that women wear to show their support for causes like breast cancer and AIDS, and now a Phoenix-based artist and entrepreneur has come up with his own unique version of how people can demonstrate their passion for driving change in women’s health.
Darrin Grandmason, founder of “In Our Genes,” has created t-shirts showcasing an artistic rendering of the genetic fingerprint for chronic health conditions affecting people around the world. As a women’s health company, EmpowHER commissioned “In Our Genes” to create a special edition t-shirt featuring the x-chromosome for women as well as the genetic markers for five of the top chronic health conditions affecting women. Welcome Darrin!
Darrin: Oh thank you Michelle, thank you for having me.
Michelle: You are welcome. Thank you for being here today. This is so exciting. Tell me why you started this?
Darrin: Essentially, about two years back I got the idea that I wanted to put the genetic face on disease and essentially, when you see, like for instance in breast cancer you see the BRCA1 and 2.
Darrin: You see the markers there. You know that’s a genetic fingerprint for breast cancer and the same with ovarian cancer and Alzheimer’s and a host of others.
Michelle: So you started this and you came up with the idea of doing t-shirts, which is such a great idea. I mean we have all seen the bracelets and we have seen all the things that are there – the ribbons… I love the idea of this t-shirt and I am wearing the t-shirt today.
I really want you to talk a little bit more about why you decided to do this and what are all the features of this shirt that make it so incredible?
Darrin: Well there are a few challenges. I wanted to create a signature shirt for the product line because genetic art itself has a lot of emotional value, especially when you are fighting the fight with that particular disease.
The other thing is I wanted those shirts to be reflective of what a person might go through in the fight. For instance, we designed the three snaps up on the collar to open that up and that’s essentially for people that are in the fight that might have to wear a head-wrap or a wig. So they don’t have to take that head-wrap or wig off when they are removing or they are under treatment.
Michelle: What a great thing, I mean who would have thought…
Darrin: Well there are three components to the shirt essentially. It’s science, fashion and compassion. And the science part of course being the genetic fingerprint or the genetic face of that disease, and then the fashion part, fashion component being a brush organic shirt that’s breathable, comfortable and is thought-provoking, the snaps in the actual cut of the shirt.
And then the compassion part comes in with our intention and declaration panel and that’s where you can create a permanent “get-well” card for the shirt. And essentially, what we can do is show the viewers later in the interview, we can show them how they fill out the intention card and how they fill out the intention panel on the shirt with the fabric pen that we provide with each sale.
Michelle: I love that. I love that for so many reasons. I also know that you have a program where you take part of the proceeds and then you donate that back to whatever that marker is, that fingerprint.
Darrin: Yes, it’s to the allying charity; it’s called “5 for Thrive” and essentially what we do is we take five dollars from every shirt sale and it’s donated back to the allying charity for research for a cure. Because it is really what this is about and it’s about a cure, it’s about finding different ways through research that will help people in the long run for this.
Michelle: Darrin, tell me how can women get these great shirts?
Darrin: We also have additional information available…
Michelle: On EmpowHER, right?
Darrin: Yes, on EmpowHER.com.
Michelle: Great. Sounds like the perfect combination of science, compassion and fashion to me. And ladies, this is a great way for you to advocate for change in women’s health. Remember, change begins with you.