Shea Mullen is Moving It With Vintage Style to Make it “Cool to Care” about MS
Being able to combine fashion designing and baking into one career and one life’s dream requires a unique individual – and Shea Mullen fits the bill because she thinks its “cool to care” while having the “good stuff” in life. Her bakery, Coco’s Cupcake Café (Pittsburgh, PA), invites people to experience the "good stuff" in life.
In a recent blog, Mullen commented that "cupcakes make people smile so behind every design, flavor, package, or event, my ultimate goal is to know that people smile when they think about their CoCo's experience."
Her positive attitude carries over to Shea’s charitable work, where it’s “cool to care.” In addition to managing her bakery (with a co-owner) and Good Chemistry, a marketing and design company, Mullen devotes a great amount of time to her GIVE AND TAKE collection of charity t-shirts. The mission of the GIVE AND TAKE collection is to “stimulate social consumerism by making available an accessible way to support a cause while shopping for style.”
The GIVE AND TAKE Collection licenses images from vintage charitable fundraisers and prints them on “100 percent custom dyed and aged cotton shirts” in hip colors. The national organizations benefiting from Mullen’s design and philanthropy are selected based on her personal connection to the conditions they represent.
In recognition of World MS Day GIVE AND TAKE is offering 25% off the purchase of any shirt that supports the National Multiple Sclerosis Society!
Shop now and enter coupon code WORLDMS2010 when checking out.
Mullen has said, “The initial event that sparked the idea for GIVE AND TAKE was a trip to Target. I was in line waiting to check out and I saw a college aged young man wearing a Dance-a-Thon shirt for a Leukemia event. It fit him great. I loved the vintage graphic and I asked where he got the tee and he said, Goodwill. I went to my sister's that night for a family dinner. I told them about my experience and how I wanted to recreate charity event shirts and give money back to the organizations. We all loved the idea and sat around talking about the organizations that I should work with.”
Mullen supports the National MS Society because she is living with the multiple sclerosis herself. Her road to diagnosis started in 1996 when she began to experience dizziness, tingling in her toes and intense swelling in her ankles. It was summer, so her physicians initially thought she had been bitten and possibly contracted lyme disease or something similar. However, as symptoms persisted, she was ultimately diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 2000. Despite understanding that MS is a lifelong condition, Shea considers herself “one of the lucky ones” who is successfully managing her symptoms. In fact, the bakery and GIVE AND TAKE were started after her diagnosis.
“My doctors said, you need more sleep and less stuff in your life, but I find that I need more activity to feel good!”
“Even though I felt depressed when I got diagnosed, eventually I said to myself that I can’t be afraid of MS any longer and I need to live my life. I just have to take that challenge and run with it.”
Mullen encourages people around the nation to create GIVE AND TAKE teams to participate in walk-a-thons and other charity events. She has said, “They are more than just t-shirts, they are part of a lifestyle. I realize there are big issues globally, but the causes I chose are everyday obstacles we all face,” explains Mullen.
Mullen’s fashion sense in combination with her dedication to philanthropy has made the GIVE AND TAKE line popular in retail stores across the nation and her tees can be spotted with a fair amount of regularity being sported by some of the nation’s most popular celebrities, most recently Reese Witherspoon.
National organizations including the National MS Society truly benefit from her devotion. To find out how you too can move it with vintage fashion to support the MS Movement and for more information about GIVE AND TAKE and the other organizations with which Mullen has partnered visit www.giveandtaketees.com.