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A photo of a phone with the Firebrand Collective store site pulled up.

Firebrand Collective

UX Design, Research, Graphic Design, Branding, Project Management, Web Development, Art Direction - 2021

Firebrand Collective is an e-commerce site and lifestyle brand for folks of all different identities who are passionate about social change. This brand celebrates all different genders, sexualities, races, backgrounds, and identities and keeps inclusion at the front of everything it does. Every item in the store is tied to a related charity, so each purchase of that item results in a designated percentage (between 10 - 20%, specified in each product description) being donated to the associated cause. As folks shop for different items in the store, they are simultaneously raising money for various relevant charities that align with their lifestyle and advocate for marginalized groups, like Brave Space Alliance, The Greater Chicago Food Depository, and QTPoC Mental Health, to name a few. 

Below are examples of some of the different socially- and politically-charged apparel.

A photo of the Firebrand Collective website on a desktop, where the Featured Collections section of the site is shown.
A photo of a person straddling their bicycle and smiling on the phone, wearing a Firebrand Collective shirt that says "there is nothing wrong with you" with a simplified illustration of a human and plants in the design.
A photo of an adolescent child blowing bubbles while sitting in an armchair, wearing a Firebrand Collective shirt that says "forever growing" with illustrated flowers on it.
A photo of a person looking toward the floor wearing a hoodie with a Firebrand Collective shirt with two hands reaching toward each other, accompanied by the text "you'll be okay and so will I" on it.
A photo of a human with a Firebrand Collective tshirt on that features a coffee mug with the word "Tired" spelled out on top of the coffee, mimicking foam.
A photo of a human wearing a Firebrand Collective t-shirt that says "it's going to be okay" with a simplified design of a human and plants.
A photo of a person smiling and holding up two peace signs with a sweater that says "Amplify marginalized voices" on it.
A photo of a person looking off into the distance with a Firebrand Collective Ze/Hir pronoun shirt on.
A photo of an elegantly dressed human with a Firebrand Collective shirt that says "Crybaby" spelled out with letters that look like they're made from tears.
A photo of an adolescent human wearing a 3/4 length Firebrand Collective t-shirt, featuring a lighthouse that is projecting a message that says "Here for you".

The Process

I was originally brought in as a UX Designer to tighten up an existing product, but both the user and market pointed to the fact that the audience was not quite receptive to the initial idea. I presented the client with an alternative that the research did show an opportunity for, and the branding pivoted and I was brought on permanently as UX Manager to lead the project.

Below is the original Worse Than You site from before I came in as well as the current Firebrand Collective site, which illuminates the shift in the brand.

A screenshot of the Worse Than You website, featuring some apparel and the logo that resembles the middle finger.
A screenshot of the Firebrand Collective website.

I was responsible for managing 5 different designers, working toward developing the brand further and generating content for the merchandise. I held weekly design studios and conducted a series of short sprints, where designers would implement changes from their critiques and iterate on different design concepts. I also generated content for the store, but my efforts were focused more around the general experience and establishing company culture, values, and equity framework that would establish a foundation of trust, transparency, and belonging.

The bulk of this project lived in the research. Finding the pivot opportunity was huge, and all the pieces fell into place after that. This role inherently came with a lot of educating, whether that was sensitivity training within the team or coaching design interns to become more confident and thorough problem-solvers. 

An image of a laptop and a tablet with different views of the Firebrand Collective website being displayed on each.
An image of a phone with the mobile site for the Firebrand Collective store pulled up, displaying the Only Human collection.
An image of a phone, displaying Firebrand Collective's mobile website, displaying a view of the Products page.
The standard version of the Firebrand Collective logo icon. Two overlapping hexagons, the larger pink and the smaller blue, meant to resemble a flame.
The all blue version of the Firebrand Collective logo icon.
The all black version of the Firebrand Collective logo icon.
The all peach version of the Firebrand Collective logo icon.
The standard, horizontal Firebrand Collective logo, featuring the overlapping hexagonal design as well as the words "Firebrand Collective", where the text is all dark blue except for the peach-colored "o" in Collective.

Next Steps

As Firebrand Collective looks toward building a Kickstarter campaign to help fund its plans for expansion, there is a lot of work to be done! There are a lot of marketing pieces that will be falling into place in the near future, but in the meantime, a formal style guide will be created and the art direction and refining of the brand will continue. The company is in the process of licensing its content before it launches officially.

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