By Victoria Feng, Assistant and AKOM Editor
Alexandra Chang started the company The Zeitgeist and was named by Tiger Beat as one of their 19 under 19 nominees in the Entrepreneurship category. Her shirts are sometimes inspired by causes she’s passionate about, like women’s rights and animals. Read on to find more about Alexandra’s company and her passion for creating shirts.
Amazing Kids (AK): What inspiration do you use for your T-shirts?
Alexandra Chang (AC): Everything! I am constantly inspired by the things and people around me as well as what people are talking about. My shirts often have topical sayings on them, so I always pay attention to what people are interested in.
AK: You donate some of your profits from “The Emma Tee” to Girl Up. Can you explain more about this organization and why you chose to create this shirt?
AC: When it comes to The Zeitgeist, every shirt has a story. I want every design to have a meaningful significance behind it, and I think it is highly important to give back to causes that you believe in and care about. I was lucky enough to have my grandmother live with my family and me the first 13 years of my life. Living in a three-generation family of inspiring women and having three younger sisters, I have always been surrounded by strong, courageous women and girls who follow their dreams while remaining true to themselves. My grandmother graduated from Radcliffe and was in the second class of women at Harvard Law School, and my mother wrote the novel Legally Blonde. Girl Up’s mission of empowering women and girls all over the world, particularly through education, very much appealed to me. I realize that many girls lack educational, employment, and economic opportunity.
AK: What do you consider to be your favorite piece of clothing you’ve ever designed?
AC: I really love “The Ken Tee” that I designed for kids, as 50 percent of the proceeds go to the Peninsula Humane Society. The shirt says “Adopt Don’t Shop,” and this message is near and dear to my heart, as I have rescued five dogs from the Peninsula Humane Society. I also volunteer there multiple times throughout the year. I also had an incredible time designing two holiday shirts in collaboration with Children’s Action Network, with 100 percent of the profits being donated to the organization.
AK: Are there any designers or other people you look up to?
AC: I really look up to Iris Apfel, Emma Watson, Sheryl Sandberg, and Victoria Beckham. My all-time inspiration, though, will always be my mom!
AK: What were some challenges you encountered in your journey, and how did you overcome them?
AC: The hardest part was overcoming my initial fear and just getting started.
AK: Do you have any goals for the future—both professionally and personally?
AC: I want to go to college to pursue my interests in film, English, media, and journalism. Eventually, I would love to enter the entertainment industry as a screenwriter, director, or anything creative—but before any of that happens, I’m sure I’ll be fetching coffee for lots of people! I also envision myself expanding The Zeitgeist into new areas beyond T-shirts and online content.
AK: Is there any advice you would give to our readers?
AC: If you want to start your own business, surround yourself with other entrepreneurs. Reach out to those you admire, and talk to people you know. In other words, have a conversation with people who have done it before. Most importantly, never stop asking questions—be nosy, feel curious, and get inspired. Finally, after all of your hard work, dedication, and research, just go for it! Stop talking about it, and get your amazing idea out there.
AK: Is there anything else you would like to add?
AC: Always be a champion of others. There’s no better feeling.