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Dash Forward: Our Story
I’m Kristee Seal Frierson and we started Dash Forward in April 2013 by selling pocket tees at the Picayune Street Fair. I had ordered one for myself off of Etsy and I paid over $30 for it. Once I got it in the mail, I realized that this was something that I could easily make and sell at a more affordable price. I had very little experience with a sewing machine, but my mama had a lot, so I asked her to sit down and teach me how to make them. Within a week or so, we had the whole family/extended family working on these t-shirts! Some of us would cut the patterns, others would starch and iron them into the shape of a pocket, and then the rest of us would sew them on the shirt. Seriously such a joint effort (thanks to Arica, Alyssa, Kayla, Aunt Lisa, and Mom)! We still have the original pattern that we drew up. About 6 months later, Andrew (my then boyfriend, now husband of 4 years!) bought me my first tabletop embroidery machine for my birthday and the rest is history.
The name Dash means a lot to me because I feel like it is a word from the Lord. In the 7th grade, I had a classmate pass away suddenly due to abuse at home. Her name was Ashley. After she passed, I felt so convicted because I knew that I could have been a friend to her. I’m not even going to say a “better” friend because, in reality, I wasn’t a friend to her at all. It was something I dealt with for a while, so much so that I had multiple “quiet times” with God just asking for forgiveness.
I felt like He spoke to me and said that He called me to be a friend to the friendless. From then on, I tried to be friends with everyone, specifically new kids at school. A few years later, I made friends with David—a new guy our freshmen year. David passed away in a car wreck my 10th-grade year. I struggled with that for a little bit. I was at a summer youth camp a few weeks later where we were in our quiet time and were instructed to write the first thing that came to our minds. Before I knew it, I had these words written down in my Napoleon Dynamite Notebook: David+Ashley=DASH. I never knew what would come of the name Dash, but I knew the name would serve as a constant reminder of David and Ashley along with a call for me to continue to be a friend. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve fallen short of this calling SO MANY TIMES, but I am so grateful God is still good and forgives my shortcomings.
Whenever I realized that Dash was turning into a business versus a side hustle/hobby, I knew that I needed a name for it. I was skeptical about naming it Dash because I only wanted to use that name if I felt like the Lord wanted me to. I had a random lady at a craft show I was attending walk up to me one day and, I kid you not, she said “DASH FORWARD.” She had no idea of me or my story. But I just knew that was going to be the name of our shop.
Don’t let this picture fool you, behind me is a ROCKSTAR team that I would not be able to do business without. Seriously. There are 20+ ladies, ages 16-28, working behind the scenes to make sure that Dash and Dash Wholesale operate as smoothly as possible.
Dash has helped me form a lot of relationships that I would have never had otherwise. Whether that be through the countless employees we have had or the local/long distant customers we have met over time, it has been such a joy to get to know everyone.
Dash Forward serves as a vessel to help ladies of every age and body type reach their best self. No matter what stage of life you may be in—high school, just entering college, expecting your first baby, or waiting for your last child to graduate high school—style is one thing all women have in common. We aim to clothe generations of women in fashionable, affordable pieces that will leave them wanting more!
This is just the beginning! We really do appreciate each and every one of our amazing customers. We refer to our community of ladies as "DASH DIVAS" and would love nothing more than to have you join us! To follow me personally and see all of the behind-the-scenes action of this crazy life of mine, you can find me on Instagram @kristeesealfrierson.
Kristie Seal Frierson
Kristie Seal Frierson