An unusual STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math) concept combined with some fashion knowledge creating a unique brand of tech-based fashion entrepreneurship.
Swaha USA is a Steam-themed clothing and accessories brand whose online store is changing the face of women’s and children’s wear. Swaha celebrates women in all fields of endeavor and tackles gender stereotypes with bright, fun clothing to lift the imaginations of children.
In 2015 founder Jaya Iyer’s two-year-old daughter desperately craved some planet-themed clothing to fulfill her dreams of flying into space as an astronaut. But nothing related to space existed in the textile departments.
Iyer used her knowledge of fashion merchandising to create an exclusive clothing brand designed for her Steam-themed assortment that defies gender stereotypes. As a result of those efforts she became one of the most successful STEAM fashion brands for children and adults in the world.
“I wanted to encourage my daughter’s passion and other girls with similar interests in the best way possible — with clothing! I realized there was a missed market for kids who like things that aren’t gender traditional, Iyer told TechNewsWorld.
difference makes an ‘a’
In doing so, Iyer forges a relationship that fosters academic STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) studies and the role the arts and humanities have previously overlooked.
“I believe there is no STEM without A” [art], Art is a part of science, technology, engineering and even mathematics.”
One of her biggest hurdles was being able to make clothing designs technically accurate. But working with women working in the field has helped her overcome this hurdle.
“We are now working on bringing our products to more women so that they too can wear these clothes and show their love for tech-themed clothing,” Iyer said.
from dreams to reality
According to data from the US Census Bureau, today only 25% of computer scientists and 15% of engineers are women. Iyer hopes to change that with her fashion lineup. Very sensitive to customers’ suggestions, she developed about 95% of designs from customers’ inputs.
“Our customers absolutely love our products! Teachers love wearing our clothes when they are teaching the concept represented in our clothing design. Professionals love wearing them to work and to various conventions. We have There is a very loyal customer base who regularly come back to buy our products,” offered Iyer.
Steam influencer Dr. Arlene Simon is a biomedical engineer who invented a blood test that detects whether cancer patients decline bone marrow transplants. She is also the founder of AB InventsA multicultural children’s products company that helps inspire young innovators.
All too familiar with being the “only woman” or “only black” engineer in a room, Simon Swaha sees USA as a game-changer. Its creative approach to helping bridge the gender gap in STEM makes science fun and fashionable, and empowers girls and women to pursue STEM careers.
“If she wears it, she can be. Give a girl a space outfit, and she portrays herself as an astronaut. Give her a biomedical engineering dress, and she’ll find herself with life-saving health tech.” Imagine creating,” Simon told TechNewsWorld.
This level of detection risk is life changing. Ask a girl to draw a scientist, and most likely, she will draw an old man in a lab coat, she observed.
“When girls are not exposed to women scientists, they are unable to imagine themselves in these roles. But maybe for a girl to fall in love with space only for a teacher to talk about the solar system while walking around in Swaha’s Rings of Saturn skirt,” she said.
This kind of grassroots support is essential to advance women in the field of technology. Science T-shirts and dresses are the start and spark dialogue between the girls and their mothers/teachers.
“Tell me about your dress” could lead to a conversation about how mathematical models in epidemiology predict the spread of COVID-19. Since each Swaha costume is named after a renowned female scientist, the girls are introduced to notable women like Heidi Lamar and Marie Curie,” said Simon.
women in space exploration
Svaha today launched the collections in association with women who are making a difference in the STEAM fields. These contributors include former NASA astronaut Karen Nyberg.
In his spare time aboard the International Space Station, Nyberg made hand-crafts from cast-off supplies and videographed them floating without gravity inside the station as a gift to his son, Jack.
His first doodad was a cloth dinosaur crafted from Russian food containers with a layer of cloth. He stuffed it on the board with strips of cloth cut from one of his used T-shirts stitched with ivory thread.
Together Iyer and Nyberg developed a line of dinosaur-themed clothing. For that, Nyberg tapped into Jack’s strong knowledge of dinosaurs.
Her grade-school-aged son, still a dinosaur lover with aspirations to become a paleontologist, offered his mother “dino advice” on her designs for Swaha USA. He chose four of his favorite dinosaurs to include in the design and provided them with an accurate illustration for each of his Dinos in Space collections.
give birth to concept
Jaya Iyer’s younger daughter was already focused on becoming an astronaut when Jaya started her clothing company seven years ago. Named after Iyer’s daughter, the company developed its first line of products partly by launching a successful Kickstarter campaign that raised more than $30,000.
Iyer later expanded the business line to women’s apparel called Smart Dresses for Smart Women following suggestions from customers. She then funded that clothing style with another Kickstarter campaign that raised more than $57,000.
Some of Iyer’s product inspiration came from a passion for making memorabilia for Nyberg’s son as he orbited the Earth.
“We’ve been able to perfect the designs by working with women working in STEM fields. But, reaching more people is still a work in progress. We’ve grown a lot… but we still have a long way to go.” There is a way to go,” she said.
The relationship between STEM and Steem is a major driving factor for Iyer and his followers. Her clothing line including the arts and humanities provided something for all professionals who are not part of STEM.
“We create literature, music and library-themed products that appeal to a different set of customers,” Iyer said.
According to Iyer, the fact that art is an integral part of STEM is now being accepted by more and more people. If people can be educated about the importance of different areas of the arts in STEM education and professions, it will be much easier to adopt.
“We try to do this through our clothes and social media. But, more people need to understand the importance of art in our lives,” she said.
Iyer’s clothing collection allows scientists to harness their inner Ms. Frizzle. They also feel as “widespread impacts,” noted fossil librarian, science communicator and manager of the paleontology collection at the University of Montana, Cali Moore. The company recently launched its Velociraptor Design Collection.
“By wearing your science, you invite questions and comments. I have all kinds of interactions wearing the Swaha USA piece. It’s another outlet for me to spread my love of paleontology,” she told TechNewsWorld.
Hero kids are great. But sometimes it becomes difficult to connect with them. Moore offered, having someone in your community, higher on your level, is more tangible to be successful in supporting women in STEM.
“Jaya collaborates with real scientists, and it’s fun to see what they’ll create for themselves. I hope this inspires others to create STEM-focused clothing for people who identify as female.” are,” she said.
From paleontology, where art is so closely linked to science, art is a great advantage. In paleontology, art helps us visualize what ancient organisms and ecosystems might have been like, Moore continued. This allows us to get closer to our past. “Obviously looking really, really good, while also looking totally out of place is a plus,” she said.
steam wear at a glance
According to Iyer, Swaha USA’s high-quality 100% organic, super-soft dress is a sign of geek and features pockets in all.
Each style of dress is named after famous female scientists such as Marie Curie, Rosalind Franklin, Ada Lovelace, Ruby Payne-Scott and Dorothy Hodgkin.
Some of Swaha’s unique designs for dresses, skirts, blouses, T-shirts, cardigans, hoodies, sleepwear and accessories are visually interesting.
The collection includes everything from science heroes on raglan tops to stylish, high-quality dresses that feature Steam-themed concepts.
Other thoughtful selections include Amazing Women Pioneers Canvas Bags, the Pi Day Collection, a Moon Phase glow-in-the-dark ombre Aida dress, and a colorful Chemistry Lab Rosalind dress.
Fashionable creative clothing featuring augmented reality, DNA the iconic double helix, trigonometry, and even literary treasures such as Jane Austen is also offered.
Visit Svaha USA to browse all of the geeky, STEAM-themed, apparel and accessories collections.