Carla D’Addesi and her daughters founded COL 1972 in January, and they’re determined to make the company the “Chick-fil-A of fashion.”
During a phone interview Monday with Faithwire, D’Addesi said COL 1972 — which stands for Culture of Life 1972, the year before the U.S. Supreme Court gave legal cover for abortion in its landmark ruling on Roe v. Wade — has already launched four collections since opening just eight months ago.
The success the pro-life business has enjoyed, she argued, “is nothing short of a miracle,” noting the COL 1972 newsletter has already topped 10,000 subscribers and has snagged pro-life advocate Abby Johnson as a brand ambassador.
D’Addesi’s lifestyle brand first garnered attention in late August, when it launched its “1972” necklace, a response to jewelry worn by singer and actor Selena Gomez, who appeared on television in late May donning a “1973” necklace created by jeweler Sophie Ratner to commemorate the Roe v. Wade decision that same year.
Gomez has been outspoken in her support of abortion. In May, the 27-year-old celebrity said it’s “no one’s business what a woman chooses to do with her body.”
As for the “1973” necklace she wore, it costs $380 and 30 percent of its proceeds go directly to the pro-abortion Physicians for Reproductive Health.
“Our life tribe,” D’Addesi explained, “was reaching out to us just so concerned that Hollywood is glorifying abortion and 60 million deaths, so we felt very called to counter that … with our ‘1972’ necklace.”
A big part of COL 1972 is its cheerful disposition, according to D’Addesi, who is a children’s author, a homeschool mom, and a former occupational therapist. She went on to say it’s important for her brand to show what the pro-life community is for rather than what it’s against.
As Christians, the COL 1972 founder explained, it’s important for her and her daughters’ message to be “winsome” and “attractive,” particularly for people who don’t understand the pro-life perspective or have been turned off to it because of negative encounters or experiences.
After discovering so many fashion brands that sow money into Planned Parenthood and other pro-abortion businesses, D’Addesi and her daughters “felt led” to start their own company, offering an alternative to conscientious shoppers looking for pro-life options.
And all of it has a purpose. Some of the pieces — like the “1972” necklace or the “Life is Amazing” T-shirts — are outspokenly pro-life, while other options don’t even have any COL 1972 branding on them but still serve as conversation starters.
“We want to be the Chick-fil-A of fashion. We want people to say, ‘Where did you get those waffle fries? They’re amazing.’ And then they go to Chick-fil-A because it’s clean, great service, fabulous food,” D’Addesi explained, adding she hopes her apparel brand will spark similar interest and help educate people about the pro-life movement.
D’Addesi said she had no intention of going into the fashion business — even calling the idea “absolutely crazy” — but she just couldn’t shake the nagging feeling there was space for a company like COL 1972.
The company’s success in less than a year has convinced her she made the right decision.
“We covet everyone’s prayers,” D’Addesi said.