Real Women Doing Real Things: Charna Zucker and Jacqueline Harris, Founders of I ♥ Tyler Madison

Sisters and fashion designers of I ♥ Tyler Madison, Charna Zucker and Jacqueline Harris, see fashion as a great way for people to express themselves, and to help women be themselves. After all, people comfortable in their own skin are even more comfortable in their own clothes, right? So, I bet you are wondering why the brand is called I ♥ Tyler Madison and what the brand has to do with pets and rescue…well, sometimes the best ideas come when you least expect it. And that’s exactly what happened to Charna and Jacqueline. Tyler and Madison are their rescue dogs that they took in nine and 11 years ago! While they thought that they would have so much to teach these neglected pups, it turns out that they were the ones that learned so much from them.  As animal rights activists and true devotees of canine rescue missions, I ♥ Tyler Madison is a proud supporter of the SPCA & ASPCA and, of course, a brand that designs super cute clothes!  Here’s what the sisters have to say about their mission and how they started their business…

Tell us a little about Tyler Madison and how you got started.

We had been thinking of starting our own line for years. We worked in the clothing manufacturing business producing women’s bottoms for the more missy customer, always wanting to make it more contemporary. Wanting to be able to wear what we worked so hard at producing, we finally took the plunge and launched a capsule collection for fall 2014.

What’s one thing you wish you knew when you first started that you learned along the way?

How much we thought we knew but actually didn’t.  And how much we are constantly learning.

What inspired you to align your business with animal advocacy? 

The company is named after both of our rescue dogs “Tyler and Madison.”  Since we were children (we’re sisters!) we always felt this connection to animals and wanted to do our part for every voiceless animal on this planet.  We are using our clothing line as our platform to give back in any way we can.

And what kinds of things are you doing to keep your animal advocacy efforts going?

We started by donating a portion of all proceeds to the Montreal SPCA and ASPCA in the U.S.. This is the foundation of our “fashion with a cause” mantra. With each season, and as we grow, we look for other opportunities to “paw it forward.”  We have recently partnered with PETA, we sponsor animal charity events, we hand out anti-fur flyers at our fashion trade shows, we donate our garments to volunteers at local shelters as a “thank you” for their hard work.  We are constantly looking for new ways to help our furry friends.

What’s the best advice you have for women who want to start their own brand?

You need a strong business plan, support system and the ability to ignore or disregard any negativity.

Name three business women you admire and why.

Ingrid Newkirk- animal activist extraordinaire – enough said.

Stella McCartney- animal rights activist, used her celebrity status to make vegan fashionable.

Brigitte Bardot- not your typical business woman- built her career with one goal in mind– to help, protect and save animals worldwide- embodies beauty inside and out!

For more on I Love Tyler Madison, check out their website HERE.

Read more Real Women Doing Real Things stories.

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