Our Founding Story
Hey everyone! Katie here, the owner of Fidgey Ray Boutique. This week on the blog, I just wanted to take a few minutes to tell you the story of this brand and our WHY here at Fidgey Ray Boutique.
I have a diverse background, which I think gives me unique perspective and insights to run my business. In 2014, I joined the US Army Reserve several months before officially graduating high school, and went to basic training just two days after my eighteenth birthday. I completed my training in 2015, and reported to my first reserve unit in Georgia. Shortly after that, I transferred to XVIII Airborne Corps at Ft. Bragg, NC and went on to deploy to Kuwait with them for a year in support of Operation Inherent Resolve. I am now back on part-time status at Fort Meade, Maryland.
Throughout my deployment, I completed my undergraduate degree in Homeland Security and Counterterrorism, which gave me unique insight into my deployment workload as a counterterrorism analyst. When I returned home and came off of active duty orders, I began working as an intelligence analyst in Washington, DC - first for the Department of Homeland Security and then for the Defense Intelligence Agency as a contractor.
In December 2019, I completed my Master's degree in Middle East and Islamic Studies at George Mason University. Here I focused my thesis on the attacks on the Yazidi community by ISIS in 2014, and the resulting genocide that this community faced at the hands of ISIS.
Since I was a little girl, I have always loved fashion and dressing up to look my best. This love quickly blossomed into a habit of drawing and designing my own fashion pieces - from skirts to wedding dresses.
Fitness has also been a huge part of my life from a young age. I grew up dancing - doing ballet, tap, jazz, contemporary, and hip hop. When I was about 9 years old, I began competing in dance, which consisted of a great deal of strength and conditioning sessions and learning a lot about the human body. These days I spend a lot of time in the gym - whether I'm helping to train Soldiers or just working off steam - which is why you'll notice that a significant amount of our content is geared towards health and fitness, including our new FRBFit at-home workout program, which you can learn more about here.
My brand is a direct reflection of ME - my background, my habits, and my hobbies. I strongly believe in the power of business to drive positive social change, so I wanted to create a brand that was centered around 3 things:
1. Giving back to a community in need
2. Empowering women to explore their own personal style
3. Promoting fitness and positivity for all
Whether it's through our unique, high quality clothing, our fitness programs, or our activewear or gifts, we are committed to bringing you the highest quality items at the best price...while empowering you and a community in need along the way.
Nope, "Fidgey" is not a real word. But it does have sentimental value to me. It is a nickname given to me by my fiancé, David, because I never stop moving and I'm always "fidgeting". I guess that is pretty fitting since this brand came along because I wanted to keep my hobbies and passions moving. "Ray" is my middle name and my great grandmother's maiden name. She is the person that influenced my love of fashion and all things pretty, so I wanted to keep her name at the forefront of this brand to honor her legacy and all of the joy and beauty that she brought to my life.
Our goals at Fidgey Ray including raising $100,000 for the Free Yezidi Foundation. Here's a little bit more about this important organization that's doing amazing work for men, women, and children who are survivors.
"The Free Yezidi Foundation is a politically independent non-profit organization designed to assist Yezidis in need. It was founded shortly after terrorists attempted to eradicate the Yezidi people in August 2014 in Iraq. The Free Yezidi Foundation seeks to implement projects to protect and support the most vulnerable members of the Yezidi community. It also tries to create international awareness of the plight of the Yezidis and how to ethically address their concerns.
FYF is one of the leading Yezidi civil society organizations providing humanitarian and human rights support to Yezidi civilians. FYF is a humanitarian, apolitical, and non-profit organization formally registered in the Netherlands (ANBI), the United States (501c3), and the Kurdistan Region of Iraq, and has been operating since 2014. FYF’s operational headquarters is in the Duhok province of Iraq. The Foundation is engaged with humanitarian services for Yezidi survivors and for Yezidi women and children, with a special focus on trauma recovery and psychological services, economic empowerment, community reintegration, and education. FYF pursues justice and accountability on behalf of Yezidis affected by ISIS crimes. FYF plays an important role in promoting better and broader humanitarian and human rights support to Yezidis, including the rights of women and girls within the Yezidi community."
Read more about their mission and aims here.
In order to reach our goal, we need to make 1 million dollars in profit. Seems like a lot, but I know we're going to get there! We are going to reach this goal by providing on trend, boho, and vintage-inspired fashion for women at a price and quality that I am truly proud of. Each purchase helps us on our goal of aiding this community of survivors.
If you've made it this far, THANK YOU so much for every second of your precious time you've spent with me. I look forward to changing the world with you.