Today we’d like to introduce you to Sana Latrease Cotten.
So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
My twin brother and I were removed from our drug-addicted mother at the age of five years old. When we were removed from the crack house that we knew as home, I had been molested, had an STD, was malnutrition and abused to the point of being unrecognizable. Eventually, I was placed into foster care where the molestation continued.
The next years of life consisted of me visiting my incarcerated mother in prison, being adopted, searching for love in all the wrong places, becoming a teen mother, being in a verbally and sometimes mentally abusive relationship, becoming the victim of a home invasion, almost went to jail for murder, pain, pain and more pain, BUT I have persevered through it all.
After enduring a very grueling inner-self healing process, God began to show me how everything that had endured was not meant to break me, but rather to build me. It was not meant to shame me, but rather to empower me, because the journey is much bigger than me, in fact, It wasn’t about me. It was about the woman that would be attached to me. I took my shame and created my apparel line called “Unashamed.”
It started as my truth but has erupted into a revolution of truths. The front of the t-shirt states, “I have a Story that will make you believe in God,” the back of the shirt is the story. The story may be that the person wearing it was molested, adopted, abused, a single mother, depressed, incarcerated, abandoned, broken, rejected, homeless, whatever it is that the enemy has used to hold you in shame and bondage, this shirt represents the chains and shackles being removed and the power being taken back.
It is not only a way to lose the shame, but it is also a conversation starter, no matter which way you read the shirt in passing, it causes a conversation and forces people to get uncomfortable with the things that have been swept under the rug in so many generations.
Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
This line has been far from smooth. A lot of people that were close to me tried to discourage me from publicly telling my story. I have found myself having to defend my healing process to people who would rather continue to see me in bondage because they are still in bondage.
I also literally started my business from scratch overnight. After posting a picture wearing the shirt, many customers began contacting me to purchase on, and I had nothing ready. I had no website, no business name, no stock, nothing. I had to move quickly in order to meet the demands of my customers.
We’d love to hear more about what you do.
I create apparel that tells your story. I also travel and speak to women and men about what I have gone through and empower them to be their healed, whole selves. I am known for coaching women through their healing process.
What sets me apart from others is the fact that I am very transparent. Nothing is off limits to me. I stand in my truth, and I accept my past, but I don’t allow it to define me. My faith in God is what defines me.
If you had to go back in time and start over, would you have done anything differently?
If I had to start over, I would ensure that I had an ample amount of stock before going live so that the orders can be mailed out sooner.
- Tshirts – $20
- Hoodies – $25
- Website: SanaLatrease.com
- Phone: 860-759-5773
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: @Sanalatrease
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/sana.cotten
Blaq Pearl Photography, Keshia Tigner, Stacey Mccrea, Sheila Barnes, Michael Stackhouse, Cathy Stewart, Deirdre Suggs