A local entrepreneur is fusing her Cincinnati pride and graphic design experience with the launch of a new apparel and accessories company.
Fashion and Cincinnati pride have always been two great loves for Lauren Wassler. She recently decided to make those passions a profession by launching Queen City Revolt, a Midwest-inspired apparel and accessories company.
Right now, Wassler says she‘s in the thick of humble beginnings but has big dreams for the future of her business. “I have always worked from home with a workshop in my garage and basement. My husband and I are currently building a house that will have an amazing new workspace for me! So, for the time being, I am actually working out of my parent’s basement,” she says. “Free rent, plus I get to see my dad every day, since he also works from home!”
Queen City Revolt started in 2011 when the job turned from Wassler’s side hustle into an income-providing job. “I was a full-time graphic designer and bartender, and I started designing apparel in the little bit of free time I had.” Wassler says.
It is just Wassler and a part-time employee who helps her. “I have three babes ages three and under that are home with me, so she helps as much with Queen City Revolt, as she changes diapers and keeps them from pulling t-shorts off the shelves,” she laughs.
The inspiration behind starting the business came from Wassler’s previous job in graphic design. “We did all types of artwork for apparel, promotional items, banners, vehicle wraps, awards, web graphics, etc.,” she says. “While I was grateful to have the opportunity to try all those different things, I found that my favorite projects were always the ones involving apparel design. Plus, I really really liked the idea of being my own boss.”
The name of the business came from her hometown she loves dearly. “Queen City, of course, came from this great city we live in, Cincinnati. I was born and raised here and I love it; it truly has so much to offer. I am grateful that my kids will grow up here,” Wassler says. “The ‘revolt’ part was just the idea of designing things that were a bit more original and a bit less mainstream than the apparel found in big box stores.”
There is a variety of different apparel that Queen City Revolt sells and they include: tees, long sleeve tees, tanks, crewsweatshirts, hoodies and youth and adult hats. “More recently, I have started designing some youth/infant/toddler apparel, as well as some bags and purses,” she says.
The business also has an infant and toddler brand called, PeachColt, which was inspired by her daughter, Joslyn. “In 2016, I had my first baby. She was born with a multitude of medical complications that we had no indication of, prior to her being born. It was quite the surprise,” she says. “Joslyn ended up having a seven-month stay in the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital, NICU, and has been back for many stays since, with over 40 surgeries/procedures and countless appointments.” These struggles didn’t hinder Wassler’s entrepreneurial dreams, though. Instead, they fueled her determination and inspired her creativity even more as she ran the business from the hospital room.
“It was then that I started designing infant/toddler apparel. Cincinnati Children’s has this amazing thing called NICUView. It was a little camera mounted over Joslyn’s bed that had a live feed, so a person could log on and see her while not being at the hospital. It was truly a gift since my husband had to go back to work right away and we couldn’t have many visitors because of the potential for disease/contamination. We started tye username and password with our friends and family,” she says. “Each child in the NICU was assigned a color/animal combination. The username we were assigned was PeachColt. Since I started designing the apparel there at the hospital with by her, it just made sense to have the line after our badass little fighter.
The mission of Queen City Revolt is to create a legacy for her kids and the community. “Queen City Revolt allows me to do that. I also try to give back to my community where I can,” she says. “I don’t have huge aspirations of a brick and mortar or a ton of employees. I like working from home and being able to raise my kiddos.”
Wassler comes back to work every day because of her love for designing clothes. “I remember growing up and watching my parents hustle, do jobs they didn’t love to provide for myself and my brothers. It taught me the meaning of good work ethic, but also made me appreciate getting to do a job I actually enjoy,” Wassler says. “I know my kids are watching my every move, so I hope that the effort i put into this every day will instill in them the same go-getter attitude I learned from my parents. I hope they learn from watching me that ‘the only one standing in your way of your dreams is you.”
If you want to keep up with what’s going on with Queen City Revolt, follow them on Instagram and their website, and there’s a coupon code: Ohio that will score you 15 percent off your total purchase.