Long story short: I’m trying to self fund my Masters degree costing £23,235 after being left without funding by the University of Cambridge.
Whilst I could talk about how disgustingly exclusive elitist institutions are or how demoralising it is to constantly try and prove you are poor enough and worth investing in, I would rather tell you about my #TeesForFees campaign and the women that inspired it.
#TeesForFees came about after my friend Kitty (jokingly) suggested that I should make merchandise for ‘fans’ of my instagram and blog. This happened whilst I was in the midst of emailing individuals, businesses and charitable foundations, trying to convince them to part with their cash so that I could study my dream course at uni. At that point I decided that I’d had enough of leaving my future in the hands of others and wanted to get a little bit entrepreneurial myself.
Whilst the main aim of #TeesForFees is to garner financial support so that I can claim my place at the UK’s #1 University, I also wanted to use the opportunity to celebrate women, and more specifically, the women in my life who are killing it daily. So I created a line of t-shirts and tote bags with an illustration of these powerful women on.
The illustration featured on the tees & totes was designed by Kim, who goes by @wheelygooddoodles on insta and features sketched portraits of the women that cheer me on and inspire me to do this degree. The printed tees and totes were designed with the intention of celebrating women in all of their glory. My friends are artists, scientists, philanthropists, nurses, athletes, financial experts and political geniuses, but most of all they are unstoppable.
I wanted the products to be affordable so tees are £15 and totes are £12. It was also important for me to have the products printed on organic cotton and available in sizes XS-4XL.
I launched #TeesForFees at the end of May and initially sold 105 products, raising £575 for the cause. The success of the campaign is down to an incredible army of women that will back me through anything and everything. They have been purchasing, sharing and connecting me to people who can make a difference. This isn’t just about the nine women on the shirts, or my wider group of friends, this is about the global sisterhood. Strangers have contacted me on LinkedIn to tell me that they’ve bought a tee and told their colleagues about the campaign and friends of friends have written articles about me in national publications. If this campaign has proven anything to me, it’s that women are unstoppable.
I have relaunched the campaign recently as I think it has the ability to go much further than is already has done. You now have 7 days left to get your hands on a tee or tote.
If you would like to support me financially but don’t vibe with the tees and totes, check out my GoFundMe.
Article by Hannah Gaffey [@instahangaf]